How to Change the Date and Time on a Mac Manually

Learn how to change the data and time on your Mac

When you start your Mac for the first time, macOS prompts you to select your time zone and then sets the date and time automatically based on this setting. If you travel or want to reflect a different time zone for work, you can change the date and time on your Mac manually.

Instructions in this article apply to macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS Sierra (10.12).

How to Set the Date and Time on Your Mac Manually

Complete the following steps to change the date or time on your Mac desktop or laptop.

  1. Select the ​time indicator at the top right side of the menu bar to open a drop-down menu.

    Click Open Date & Time Preferences.

    Path to date & Time Preferences on a Mac

    You can also open Date & Time preferences by selecting System Preferences in the Dock and then selecting Date & Time.

  2. In the Date & Time tab, clear the check box next to the Set date and time automatically. You will probably have to unlock the lock at the bottom of the screen and enter your Mac password to make changes.

    Mac Date & Time preferences
  3. Select the clock face and drag the clock hands or select the up and down arrows next to the time field above the clock to change the time.

    Mac Date & Time preferences showing digital and analog time
  4. To change the date, select the up and down arrows next to the date field above the calendar or click on a date on the calendar.

    Mac Date & time preferences
  5. If you just want to change time zones, select the Time Zone tab. Clear the check box beside Set time zone automatically using current location and then select a time zone on the map or using the menu beneath the map.

    Time zone tab of Date and time preferences
  6. Click the padlock when you are finished to prevent unauthorized changes.