Best Free Tray Clock Replacement


Windows comes with a tray clock and, yes, it displays the time. However, many think that it is too basic in its functionality and would wish for more features and display options. There are a few free tray clock replacements out there that might just do the extra bit you're looking for. Here is a review of the ones I favor.

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TClock LightTClock Lite is a vastly improved replacement for the standard Windows tray clock. It provides all the benefits of the original as well as many enhancements and a number of useful additional features. It achieves this with a tiny footprint and doesn't even require installation. Given the tiny size, the power of this program is most impressive. Less impressive is the help file which is brief and not particularly helpful. However, the program is so well laid-out and simple to use that it's not really an issue. You might get a warning from your security software that TClock is potential spyware. It's not. It's just picking up the fact that it modifies explorer.exe to display the clock. The 2nd link below is to the Japanese author's site. You'll see some strange characters displayed but the "download" (sic) link is clear enough.


TClockExIf you want an alternative, try the classic TClockEx that offers similar functionality to TClock Lite. It hasn't been updated for a while, but appears to run OK on Windows XP systems.


LClockLClock is my last, but by no means least, recommendation. It pops up its own calendar with a single click on the tray clock, which you can use it for reminders and to-dos. It all works marvelously well and you get a clock display that looks like the one in Vista. LClock is based on TClock lite but doesn't allow a simultaneous time and date display.

Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

Quick Selection Guide

TClock Lite
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
many enhancements - tiny footprint - many language packs available
help file could be better
373.6 KB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 95/98-XP
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
small - many features
has not been updated for some time
456.9 KB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 95/98-XP
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
reminders and to-dos - works very well
doesn't allow a simultaneous time and date display
186 KB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2003/XP

based on TClock Lite


This software review is copy-edited by Glyn Burgess. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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by J_L on 11. January 2014 - 17:05  (113537)

For Windows 7+, there is Free Desktop Clock:

by AJNorth on 21. October 2012 - 10:13  (101133)

Another possibility for XP (and earlier versions of Windows) is Dave's Quick Search Deskbar -

It provides a very legible day-date-time display in the task bar, as well as adding search capability (Google), but does require a bit more space (though one would almost certainly disable the Windows clock, thus recovering its space).

by alexxx46 on 12. October 2012 - 13:23  (100697)

It looks like TClockLite is not fully compatible with my Vista x32. After placing it into the Startup folder my PC stopped booting properly.

by MidnightCowboy on 12. October 2012 - 14:11  (100699)

This is correct. As per their system requirements, it is only supported up to and including XP.

by Scuzzy (not verified) on 12. March 2012 - 15:46  (90286)

Does anyone know a taskbar clock/calendar allowing for the Roman numbers (e.g. XII instead of 12)?

by rasselas on 16. September 2012 - 2:15  (99315)

Cool question. How about Cuneiform? ;) Seriously, you could create a font (or find a font) that has Roman Numerals in place of (Arabic) Numerals. It obviously wouldn't be a monospaced font... but I'm sure there's some font's out there already if you look. Then you could just use them with lots of Tray-Clock apps. Hope that helps, and again, I like the idea.

by gjh42 (not verified) on 19. January 2012 - 0:04  (87373)

I just installed TClock 2010 on my new Windows 7 (x64) machine and it works perfectly. It even has a couple of new tweaks since I last used it for added flexibility. You will want to go to StoicJoker's website for the best instructions on configuring it.

"The latest build of T-Clock 2010 is (and will be) available at: "

by Scott_Y on 28. December 2011 - 22:59  (85822)

Timekeeper is highly configurable, includes an adjustable popup calendar, and works in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 (including 64-bit versions). It is similar to Stoic Joker's T-Clock 2010, but more simple. One unusual (or bothersome) feature of Timekeeper is that it displays as a toolbar to the left of the tray rather than in the tray itself, where we expect the clock to be located.


Downloading Timekeeper is a bit confusing because there is no download link on the description page. To find a link, go to the author's home page:

[edit] Direct file download link removed - not permitted

by Scott_Y on 7. January 2012 - 12:46  (86757)

I NO LONGER recommend Timekeeper. Besides running as a toolbar instead of in the Notification Tray, there are two other bothersome things about the program:

(1) It reported that it was not compatible with my Win 7 x64 system when I enabled its toolbar -- contrary to the claims on the website.

(2) The name "Timekeeper" was appended before the clock in the toolbar. This may be due to the incompatibility mentioned above.

by 12noon (not verified) on 17. January 2012 - 19:04  (87326)

There is now a download link on the Timekeeper page. You're right, it's more convenient to have one there, too.

The "Timekeeper" text is the desk band name and is a Windows feature. You can turn it off by right-clicking on it and de-selecting the "Show Title" option. (Be sure your task bar isn't locked when you do this.)

I can reproduce the issue with 64-bit Windows 7. It doesn't affect Timekeeper's operation, but it's not as friendly with that error. I think the installer is no longer selecting the correct version to install.

If you have any other issues, please feel free to report them directly to me on the 12noon Support page.

by MsCooow (not verified) on 27. October 2011 - 20:02  (82261)

I love free desktop clock

nice and free )

by iamfound74 (not verified) on 27. October 2011 - 2:52  (82210)

I would like my window to illustrate the time and date on my windows 7 on my IE9 just like chrome offers. Is this possible to find and download?

by Anonymous5 (not verified) on 9. September 2011 - 12:51  (79292)

Windows 7 has this features built in for two additional timezones. Right-click your tray clock and select "Adjust date/time" then click the "Additional Clocks" tab and configure.

by shannf on 16. July 2011 - 10:58  (75626)

For Windows 7, 32-bit or 64-bit, I suggest using Skinny Clock from or Softpedia. I have version 1.15 Beta 1, which needs tweaking for optimum results. Set autoload (right-click the icon in the taskbar, Settings, General, tick Autorun). Disable the Clock Window (Settings, Clock Window, click the definition file None button). Set the Taskbar Clock (Settings, Taskbar Clock, tick Override Taskbar - experimental but works) and select the font, colours and clock mask (I use "h:nnam/pm ddMMM" which shows the time and date even with small Taskbar icons).

by alexxx46 on 24. November 2012 - 21:37  (102851)

Win7x32 - OK. Simple and handy, Thx.
Downloaded the portable edition (Download Skinny Clock as binaries).

by Harry Kirschmann (not verified) on 12. November 2011 - 12:11  (83146)

Thanks, Shannf

This is a perfect replacement for Tclock, which does not work in Windows 7. Thanks for the task bar icon instructions because the windows screen icon did not function for me. -- Harry

by rawos (not verified) on 24. November 2012 - 10:24  (102830)

Hi and thanks for mentioning the SkinnyClock. A new version has been just released.

by George123 (not verified) on 28. February 2011 - 21:37  (67203)

I like TClock Lite's ability to conbine the day of the week, Date and Time. I like LClock's calendar where you can add short reminders.

Is there a program that has bothe?

by 54pete on 20. February 2011 - 6:39  (66781)

Thank you, just what I was looking for. At the end of the TClock Lite discussion, I think you mean "Donwload" (sic) :-)

by Stoic Joker (not verified) on 8. February 2011 - 15:49  (66032)

The latest build of T-Clock 2010 is (and will be) available at:

Stoic Joker

by rasselas on 16. September 2012 - 2:10  (99314)

Thanks for the update, and for releasing the source-code :)

by chesscanoe (not verified) on 30. December 2010 - 16:04  (63539)

I used TClockEx for many years through XP, and even modified one constant in it that corrected the monthly error for a specific day (forget details but sent the mod to the author who didn't reply). However I'm pleased enough with Windows 7 x64 clock if you drag the auto-hide task bar to be 6 lines high when on the bottom of the screen. That way you not only can show three lines of easy to see icons pinned to the taskbar, but see a clock that shows time information clearly:
10:53 AM
Clicking on this info displays an analog clock with seconds ticking away, and additionally can be configured to show analog clocks for two additional time zones.

by MCHALAO (not verified) on 30. December 2010 - 17:38  (63553)

Guess you guys may interested in checking out the just released (23.12.2010) T-Clock, by SotoicJoker, at:

Greetings from Brazil.

by Lance666 (not verified) on 31. October 2010 - 3:21  (60501)

All of this is ancient history. None of these suggested apps works in any Windows version made in the last ten years (Vista / 7).

by annon (not verified) on 31. October 2010 - 3:43  (60503)

but more than half of windows users still use XP, including me.

by Rage (not verified) on 20. September 2010 - 10:47  (58146)

I saw that very long "novel" regarding StoicJoker's tray clock utility.
But I got tired reading it in full so i'll just share StoicJoker's site where you can download T-Clock 3 and T-Clock x64

here it is:

To get the file, just click on v1.01 beside "(both) T-Clock 3 & T-Clock x64"

I haven't tried it yet but based on the screenshots, i think it's perfect.
BTW, I am using T-Clock Lite for over 3 years now i think and seeing this one, i think i'll switch to this.

Thanks Mr Novel-writer for the info! (thumbs up!)

by Mike C (not verified) on 31. October 2010 - 5:33  (60506)

Yes, I use this 1.01 (WinXP,SP3) and it's my favorite so far. Lots o' cool little features with very little energy expended.

by AnonymousAnonymous (not verified) on 10. July 2010 - 3:54  (54033)

Is there an option to have two or more clocks with different time zones in the tray?

by MidnightCowboy on 10. July 2010 - 8:13  (54041)

Windows 7 by default allows two additional time zones to be displayed with a mouse-over of the static clock. For XP, the highly configurable Samurize allows you to display whatever you want as a taskbar config. There's a bit of a learning curve with this one though if you are not familiar with the program.

by semi2255998 (not verified) on 2. July 2010 - 4:04  (53606)

You can use Samurize with the Clock client plugin to put whatever you want there

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