How to Change or Customize Day Name, Date and Time Format on Windows 8 and 8.1 Lock Screen?

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UPDATE: This tutorial will also work in Windows 8.1.

If you are using the latest Windows 8 OS, you must be already aware of the new Lock Screen which is shown just before the login or welcome screen. It works similar to a mobile phone lock screen. You need to press any key or use a mouse click to unlock the computer.

This new lock screen shows a nice background image which can be changed using PC Settings as described here. If you don't like lock screen, you can turn it off using this guide.

Lock Screen in Windows 8 shows some useful information such as battery status, network connectivity status, email notifications, etc. Apart from this information, it also shows current day name, date and time in big fonts which might be useful for many people.

Default_Date_Day_Time_Windows_8_Lock_Screen.png

But if you want to change or customize the display format of date and time on lock screen, you can't do it. By default Windows 8 doesn't provide any built-in option to customize date and time style of lock screen.

Today in this tutorial we are going to share a hidden Registry tweak which will allow you to customize day name, date and time format on Windows 8 lock screen. With the help of this tutorial you'll be able to:

  • Switch between 12-hour and 24-hour time format on lock screen
  • Change language of day name and date on lock screen

In testing builds of Windows 8 such as Developer Preview, Consumer Preview or Release Preview, a hidden file "UserSettings.ini" was used to store information about the date and time format of lock screen. This file was present in "%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Logon\" folder. It contained information about current locale name, language, time format, etc and looked like following:

[GlobalizationPreferences]
TimeFormat=hh:mm tt
LocaleName=en-US
GeographicRegion=US
Calendar=GregorianCalendar
Clock=24HourClock
Languages=en-US

Windows_8_Lock_Screen_Settings.png

One could easily change the settings given in the INI file and it used to immediately apply to lock screen. Unfortunately Microsoft removed this feature from final RTM version of Windows 8. Now the INI file no longer exists in Windows 8 and even if you create the file manually, it doesn't work.

So how to customize the day, date and time display format on Windows 8 lock screen? Don't worry! Although Microsoft removed the INI file but they put the same information in Windows Registry. Now you'll need to edit Registry to change or customize the information.

So if you want to customize Windows 8 Lock Screen date and time format and if you want to change display language of Windows 8 lock screen information, check out following simple steps:

1. Press WIN+R keys to launch RUN dialog box. Type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SystemProtectedUserData

3. Under "SystemProtectedUserData" key, you'll see a key with the name similar to S-1-5-21-x-x-x-x. Under this key, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SystemProtectedUserData\S-1-5-21-x-x-x-x\AnyoneRead\LocaleInfo

4. The "LocaleInfo" key is the one which we require to change the lock screen date and time format. This key contains all the required information which was stored in INI file in Windows 8 testing builds.

5. Click on "LocaleInfo" key and in right-side pane, you'll see various Strings such as:

  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • GeographicRegion
  • Language
  • LocaleName
  • NativeDigits
  • SubstitutionMode
  • TimeFormat

Customize_Windows_8_Lock_Screen_Date_Time_Format.png

6. We'll be playing with following Strings only:

  • Language
  • LocaleName
  • TimeFormat

You might need to take ownership of the Registry key before editing it. Please check this guide to learn how to take ownership of a Registry key.

7. First let's talk about time format. If your Windows 8 lock screen shows time in 24-hour format, then the "TimeFormat" String in your Windows 8 Registry would be set to HH:mm tt. Change it to hh:mm tt and it'll start showing the time in 12-hour format.

12_Hour_Time_Format_Windows_8_Lock_Screen.png

Same principle applies to 12-hour format. If your Windows 8 lock screen shows time in 12-hour format, then the "TimeFormat" String would be set to hh:mm tt in your system. Change it to HH:mm tt and it'll start showing the time in 24-hour format.

8. Now its turn of display language. If you want to show day name and date in a different language on lock screen, you can change values of Language and LocaleName Strings to your desired language code.

For example, if you want to show the information in Hindi language, change values of Language and LocaleName Strings to hi-IN and lock screen will start showing day name and date in Hindi language.

Date_Day_Name_Hindi_Windows_8_Lock_Screen.png

You can use any language code such as en-US for English, de-DE for German, fr-FR for French, ru-RU for Russian, etc.

Following are some screenshots of Windows 8 Lock Screen showing day name and date in different languages:

Windows 8 Lock Screen information in German:

Date_Day_Name_German_Windows_8_Lock_Screen.png

Windows 8 Lock Screen information in Russian:

Date_Day_Name_Russian_Windows_8_Lock_Screen.png

Its fun to show information on Lock Screen in a different language. Feel free to try the tutorial and share your feedback in your comment...

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1


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