Customize Time & Date Format in Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome Panel

Last updated: February 2, 2019

gnome shell

This quick tutorial shows how to change the time and date clock format in Ubuntu 18.04’s default Gnome desktop panel.

Since Ubuntu switched to Gnome 3 desktop, you can no longer use dconf editor to customize clock format. Instead, a Gnome Shell extension can do the job.

1. Open Ubuntu Software, search for and install Clock Override extension.

2. Once installed, either launch the settings from install page, or use Gnome Tweaks -> Extensions.

3. When the settigns page opens, type in the box to change the time format.

Here are some codes:

  • %a = abbreviated weekday name
  • %A = full weekday name
  • %b = abbreviated month name
  • %B = full month name
  • %d = day of month
  • %H = hour (00..23)
  • %M = minute (00..59)
  • %p = AM or PM, %P = am or pm.
  • %S = second (00..59)

For a full list of code, run man date in terminal:


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

8 responses to Customize Time & Date Format in Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome Panel

  1. great tutorial; very helpful, brief and to the point; thank you.

  2. Great! That’s what I was looking for a long time ago…

  3. You are saved my day. Thanks

  4. Victor Cabral Vida May 5, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Great, I thought that I couldn’t

  5. Thanks. It helped …. I don’t know why Ubuntu made this so complicated.

  6. Good job! Full time format for file explorer @ 18.04

  7. Thanks a lot. Really nice.