How to switch between AM/PM & 24-hour time format in Windows 10

Modify Time Format in Windows 10

Windows 10 matches the regional time formats as prevalent in the set region. However, there are times when our choice differs from the region’s standard, or there’s a detection error. Whatever your reason be, let’s look at how we can modify the time formatting on a Windows 10 PC.

Enable or disable the AM/PM time format in Windows 10

One of my Windows 10 PC decided to force the 24-hour time format on me. And while switching it to the AM/PM format, I realized that it is not as straightforward as it should be. So, in case you’re in a similar boat, here’s a quick overview of the steps you will need to perform on your Windows 10 PC to switch your time format between 24-hour and 12-hour options.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Windows 10 PC.

    Press the Start button and then tap or click on the gear icon to launch the settings app.Press the gear icon in start menu

  2. Open “Time & language” settings

    Click or tap on the “Time & language” option in the Windows 10 settings. Depending on your screen resolution and window size, the option may not appear within the first frame. Windows 10 settings app

  3. Open the “Region” sub-setting option

    Click or tap on the “Region” option on the left sidebar. It will take you to the page where you can choose the Region and regional formats.
    Time and Date settings on Windows 10

  4. Select “Change data formats”

    Scroll towards the end of the Region settings and click on “Change data formats”.
    Region settings screen of Windows 10

  5. Change the values for short time and long time

    In the final step, you need to change the values of the “Short time” and long time.
    For the AM/PM format: Select the time with AM mentioned. E.g. 09:00 AM
    For 24-hour format: Select the time without AM in it. E.g. 09:00 or 9:00 (per your choice)
    Change data format settings in Windows 10

That’s it. The changes you make here will be applied instantly. This should be enough for a basic change. In case you need more control, then check out the “Region – Change date, time & number formats” item in Windows Control Panel.

Pretty simple, yet complex, right? It would have been way better if Microsoft gave a simple toggle at the Date & time settings page itself.


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