How to Change the Date and Time on a Mac Manually

Learn how to change the data and time on your Mac

Calendar next to an Apple keyboard

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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, though, you can change the date and time on your Mac manually.

Instructions in this article apply to macOS Catalina (10.15) and later, although they may apply equally well to previous versions of macOS.

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 corner of the menu bar.

    Date & Time Preferences on the macOS Catalina menu bar
  2. Select Open Date & Time Preferences.

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

    Open Date & Time in the macOS Catalina menu bar
  3. In Date & Time, clear the check box next to the Set date and time automatically. Select the clock face, and then drag the clock hands (or select the up and down arrows next to the time field above the clock) to change the time.

    To change the date, select the up and down arrows next to the date field above the calendar.

    If Date & Time is locked, select the padlock icon in the lower left corner, and then enter your password to enable changes.

    Date & Time dialog box in macOS Catalina

    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.

    Time Zone tab in the Date & Time dialog box in macOS Catalina
  4. Select the padlock to prevent unauthorized changes.

  5. Close Date & Time by selecting the red circle at the top left of the dialog box or selecting System Preferences > Quit System Preferences.