How to Change Date and Time on Mac Using Terminal

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 7 Min Read
7 Min Read

Hey there! Ever noticed the date and time on your Mac? You probably don’t think about it much. Most of us just set it to update automatically and forget about it. But sometimes, you might need to change it manually.

Now, you can do this the regular way through your desktop settings, but how about shaking things up a bit? Let’s dive into changing it using the Mac Terminal. Don’t worry, it’s super easy, and I’ll guide you through it step by step.

Are you ready to learn how to tweak the date and time on your Mac using Terminal? Stick with me, and let’s get started on this tech adventure together! 🚀🕒🖥️

Guide to Changing Date and Time on Mac via Terminal

Changing the date and time on your Mac through Terminal is like learning a cool magic trick. It might sound a bit technical, but I promise, it’s fun and easy! Let’s break it down into simple steps. Remember, you’ll need your admin password for this adventure, so have it ready!

Step 1: Launch the Mac Terminal

First off, open your Mac Terminal. It’s like the command center where all the magic happens.

Step 2: Say Goodbye to Automatic Time Setting

We need to turn off the auto time setting feature. Just type this spell (command) in your Terminal:

sudo systemsetup -setusingnetworktime off

Step 3: Create Your Time Formula

Now, it’s time to figure out your own time code. It’s like making a secret code! Use the format: [MM][DD][HH][MM][YY]. For example, if you want to set it to April 15, 2022, at 11:00 am, your code would be 0415110022. Oh, and remember, it’s in 24-hour format, so no AM or PM here.

Step 4: Cast the Time-Setting Spell

To set the date and time, type this command in Terminal:

sudo date [Your Time Code]

Using our example, it would be sudo date 0415110022.

Step 5: Check if Your Magic Worked

Lastly, just type date in Terminal to check if your new time setting worked.

And there you go! You’ve just changed the date and time on your Mac using Terminal. Feel like a tech wizard yet? 🧙‍♂️🕒🖥️

How to Change the Timezone on Mac Terminal

Adjusting the timezone on your Mac using Terminal is a breeze, and it’s a neat trick to know! Here’s how you can do it, even if you’re not a computer whiz. And a quick heads-up: UTC isn’t listed as a timezone because it’s a standard, not a timezone. If you need UTC, go for GMT instead, as they’re the same. Ready to set your Mac to your local time zone? Let’s go!

Step 1: Discover Timezones

First, we need to see what timezones are available. To do this, type this command in Terminal:

systemsetup -listtimezones | more

This command shows a long list of timezones, but don’t worry, it won’t flood your screen! The | more part makes it easy to scroll through. Just press the space bar to move down the list.

Step 2: Choose and Set Your Timezone

Once you’ve found your timezone in the list, it’s time to set it. Type this command, replacing [your time zone] with the one you picked:

sudo systemsetup -settimezone [your time zone]

For example, if you’re in Denver, CO, USA, you’d type:

sudo systemsetup -settimezone America/Denver

Step 3: Double-Check Your Work

To make sure you’ve set the timezone correctly, type this:

sudo systemsetup -gettimezone

This command will confirm your Mac’s current timezone setting.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully changed the timezone on your Mac using Terminal. Now, your Mac will show the perfect time for your corner of the world. 🌍⏰💻

Final Words

And there you have it! Changing the date, time, and timezone on your Mac using Terminal is pretty straightforward. Remember, the key to this tech magic is knowing your admin password and turning off the automatic time and date settings first.

I really hope this guide helps you become a pro at setting your Mac’s time and date. It’s a handy skill to have and can make you feel like a tech-savvy wizard! If you ever get stuck or have questions, just revisit these steps. Happy time traveling on your Mac! 🌟🕰️💻


What do I need before I start changing the date and time on my Mac using Terminal?

Before you start, make sure you know the password for your admin account. Also, remember to turn off the automatic date and time setting in your Mac’s System Preferences.

How do I open the Mac Terminal to change the date and time?

You can open the Mac Terminal by searching for it in Spotlight or finding it in the Utilities folder within your Applications directory.

What format should I use to set the date and time manually in Terminal?

Use the format [MM][DD][HH][MM][YY]. For example, to set the date to April 15, 2022, at 11:00 am, you would type 0415110022. Remember, the time is in a 24-hour format.

How can I view a list of available timezones in Terminal?

To view the list of timezones, type systemsetup -listtimezones | more in Terminal. You can scroll through the list by pressing the space bar.

Is there a difference between UTC and GMT for setting timezones in Terminal?

For setting timezones in Terminal, GMT can be used as an equivalent to UTC as they represent the same time standard. UTC is not listed as a timezone because it’s a standard, not a specific timezone.

How do I verify that I’ve correctly set the date, time, or timezone on my Mac using Terminal?

To verify the date and time, type date in Terminal. For the timezone, type sudo systemsetup -gettimezone. The Terminal will display the current settings to confirm your changes.

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