How to display seconds in Taskbar Clock in Windows 10/8/7

The Taskbar Clock in Windows displays the date and time. The day, month and the year are displayed – and the hour and minutes are seconds are displayed. In this post, we will see how to show or display second in the Taskbar Clock using the Registry in Windows 10 v1607, or third-party freeware on Windows 7/8/10.

Before we proceed, it is important to know, why Microsoft did not build this capability into the Windows operating system, to begin with. Was the constant blinking of the colon too distractive?

Said Microsoft,

The blinking colon and the constantly-updating time were killing our benchmark numbers. On machines with only 4MB of memory (which was the minimum memory requirement for Windows 95), saving even 4K of memory had a perceptible impact on benchmarks. By blinking the clock every second, this prevented not only the code paths related to text rendering from ever being paged out, it also prevented the taskbar’s window procedure from being paged out, plus the memory for stacks and data, plus all the context structures related to the Explorer process. Add up all the memory that was being forced continuously present, and you had significantly more than 4K.

Now that we know why the Windows Taskbar Clock does not display seconds, let us move on.

We have already seen how to how to add the day of the week to taskbar clock, now let us see if we can add seconds to the Taskbar Clock time.

Display seconds in Taskbar Clock

There is no way to natively display seconds in the Taskbar Clock in Windows 8 or Windows 7. However, Windows 10 v1607, will allow you to do so, by tweaking the registry.If you wish to do so, you will have to use 3rd-party free tools like

If you wish to show the seconds in Windows taskbar easily, you will have to use 3rd-party free tools like T-Clock Redux or TClockEx.

Display seconds in Taskbar Clock

T-Clock Redux in an enhanced fork of Stoic Joker’s T-Clock 2010. Apart from letting you display the seconds too, it offers many other features. It works on Windows 8.1/7 and Windows 10 too. TClockEx is such free tool that can help you show seconds. This one also lets you tweak additional options in the Taskbar Clock.

Users on Windows 10 v1607, can open Windows Registry, navigate to the following registry key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

create a new REG_DWORD, name it ShowSecondsInSystemClock and give it a value of 1.

Let us know how useful you find this tip.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

14 Comments

  1. chris miraillet

    7+ taskbar tweaker does it too with more tweaks

  2. Alan Wade

    1st Clock 5 is what I use, ok it isnt free but the boundaries are many.

  3. nardly

    Does 7+ taskbar tweaker do it on windows 10 though? I used it on 7 but I don’t see it in the 10 beta yet

  4. chris miraillet

    you’ll find the beta version right under the stable one on the website of the author , it works good on 10 with some options for win10 in preferences notifications icon

  5. colinbr96

    Given that typical computers have around 8GB of RAM these days, opting to save 4KB seems ridiculous

  6. tc

    I keep getting error windows titled “Unable to start TClockEx!” and either “TClockEx could not load in the allocated time. The loading time will be adjusted so that you should not see this message again.” (repeatedly after install) or “Timeout Error! TClockEx could not load in the allocated time, and has given up.” (if started from Start Menu). I’m on Windows 10 Pro, i7-6700 @ 3.40 GHZ 32.0 GB (12.8 GB used).

  7. TClockEx is a 3rd-party tool to tweak some options regarding the time & date display of Windows. Maybe it is not compatible with Windows 10???

  8. Rob

    TClockEx is *very* old; I used to run it on Windows 2000 and prior. It didn’t run very well on Windows XP unless you used the “classic” theme so I’d be very surprised if it ran properly on Windows 10.

  9. Milo

    You could always edit your registry, if you feel comfortable enough doing that. I did and it worked flawlessly.

    Start Regedit.exe and go to the following registry branch:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
    Create a DWORD value named ShowSecondsInSystemClock
    Set its value data to 1.
    Logoff and login back in. O simply restart the Windows Explorer Process

    This adds seconds to the tray clock.
    Works in Windows 10 Anniversary Update (v1607) and higher.

  10. Matthew Lynam

    An easy way to do the same thing is to go to Start -> search for “cmd”, right click on the “cmd.exe” executable and select “Run as administrator”, then type the following in the command window:

    REG ADD HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced /v ShowSecondsInSystemClock /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f&&taskkill /f /im explorer.exe&&explorer.exe&&exit

    That will add the ShowSecondsInSystemClock registry value and set the value as 1 (enabled), then if the registry tweak worked, it will restart Windows Explorer so you can see the updated clock behavior. If that worked, it will exit and the window will close.

    and if you ever want to change it back, do the same thing and replace the 1 with a 0.

  11. Ole Bjørn Dahl

    why does Microsoft call system for windows saying its point and click system when every-time something is to be done we has to edit in registry or use dos commands ?

  12. Rob

    This works a treat. Thank you!!

    The only extra thing I had to do was reboot for the change to take effect.

  13. Vineet Kumar

    thanks ,it worked in windows 10 version 1709

  14. Brandon

    Sorry to revive this if there’s a more appropriate thread out there, but should this work for Windows 10 v1803? Do you need the tool, or can you just modify the registry and be done with it? Doesn’t seem to be working for me, unless you need a reboot first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


6 + 5 =