How to Show Seconds in the Menu Bar on Mac ( macOS Sonoma )

Display the time down to the exact second in the Mac menu bar. Quickly enable seconds in the System Systems or Control Center.

By Abhishek Chandel
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How to Show Seconds in the Menu Bar on Mac

How to Show Seconds in the Menu Bar on Mac

The menu bar clock on Mac computers displays the time in an Hour:Minute format by default. However, it is possible to customize the display to also show seconds. By going into the System Settings and Control Center options, you can access the clock display options and enable showing seconds. This simple tweak provides more precise timekeeping in the menu bar for those who want or need to track time down to the exact second.

Step-by-step Guide to Show Seconds in the Menu Bar on Mac

1. In the first step click on the Apple icon at the upper left corner, & select the "System Settings" option.

2. In the System settings, click on the "Control Centre" option.

3. Now in the control center, scroll down to the bottom & in the "Menu Bar Only" section, click on the "Clock Options" button next to the clock option. 

4. Here you'll see the "Display the time with seconds" option, simply turn on the toggle next to it.

5. And that's how you can show seconds in the Menu Bar on Mac. Now if you see the upper right corner of the menu bar then you'll clock in with "Hour:Minute:Second" format.


Following these quick steps allows Mac users to easily switch their menu bar clock to show hours, minutes, and seconds. Toggling on the "Display the time with seconds" setting under Clock Options in the Control Center makes the change. This enhanced precision can be useful for timing certain tasks or events on a Mac. With just a few clicks, you can customize the menu bar clock to suit your time tracking needs.

FAQs - Show Seconds in the Menu Bar on Mac

Can I display seconds in the Mac menu bar?

Yes, it is possible to customize the menu bar clock on a Mac to display seconds in addition to the hours and minutes. This provides more precise timekeeping ability.

Where are the settings to show seconds in macOS Ventura?

In macOS Ventura, the setting to enable seconds is found under System Settings > Control Center > Clock Options. There is a toggle for "Display the time with seconds".

How do I show seconds in older macOS versions (pre-Ventura)?

For older macOS versions prior to Ventura, you can show seconds by going to System Preferences > Date & Time and checking the "Show seconds" box.

Do I need a specific macOS version to display seconds?

Showing seconds is supported in macOS Sierra and newer. Older macOS versions do not have an obvious built-in setting for this.

Can I customize how the seconds are displayed (font, size)?

Unfortunately, no. The seconds display format is predefined.

Will showing seconds impact my menu bar space or other icons?

The seconds display is quite compact, so it shouldn't significantly affect your menu bar layout.

Does showing seconds drain my battery life?

There is negligible battery life impact from simply showing seconds in the menu bar clock. The clock is updating every second already, so displaying this does not add meaningful overhead.

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