How to Fix: Windows 10 Clock Missing

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Sammy G. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just upgraded to Windows 10 following your advice. Everything looks great, however, my Windows 10 clock is missing - it's just up and gone - completely disappeared! I don't understand how or why the windows 10 clock went missing, but I'd like to get it back. Can you help? "

My response:

Based on my experience, the Windows 10 clock can disappear in one of two ways: either by a misplaced (or corrupt) system setting, or if your user account - or Windows itself - is corrupt.

How to Fix: Windows 10 Clock Missing

Adjusting Task Bar Settings

Sometimes (but not always), settings can inadvertently get changed during a major upgrade - as is the case with an upgrade to Windows 10. And, sometimes, what you end up with is a Windows 10 clock that goes missing.

Luckily, you can re-adjust this feature using the task bar settings. To do so: right click over an empty space on the task bar, and select Properties from the dialogue menu. Note: if you're using the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, the "Properties" dialogue menu option is no longer there - it is now "Settings".

On the proceeding window, you should see the heading "Notifications", or "Notification Area" depending on which version of Windows 10 you're running. Under that heading, you should also see an option (a clickable link) which reads: "Turn system icons on or off" - go ahead and click it. A new window will appear with the heading "Turn system icons on or off". At the top of the list should be the clock, with the option to turn it on or off. If it is currently in the Off position, turn it On; the clock should now appear immediately in the lower right hand corner of the tray bar. If it does not, then your Windows 10 may be corrupt in some way or another - described next.

Create a New User Account

In some instances, Windows 10 may not install properly during an upgrade (or even after a new installation), which results in the Windows 10 clock not appearing in the tray bar. You'll know if you are dealing with a corruption issue if you've tried adjusting the settings as discussed from the previous section, and nothing changes.

Based on my experience, a missing clock usually also means that your Start Menu will also be broken and may not respond to a click sometimes, or at all. If this the case, it's very likely your user account is corrupt or Windows itself is corrupt. In the former case, you may be able to remedy the situation by creating a new user account.

To create a new user account, do the following:

  1. Click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
  2. Next, highlight the text below using your mouse:

    net user Temp abc123 /add
    net localgroup administrators Temp /add
    echo this is a dummy line
  3. Right click over the above text and select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. Now, go to the administrative command prompt and right click in the middle of the black window. The text you copied in Step #2 should now be output to the command line; this will create a new user account called "Temp" with administrative access, with password as 'abc123'.
  4. Now it's time to log off and test the new account. First, bookmark this page so you can come back to it if needed; also, please read this and the proceeding steps in its entirety before you actually proceed, so that you understand what is about to happen. To log off: click Start, then click the power icon, then select Log Off. You will be logged off the computer for your existing account and the browser window will close. Once you're at the Windows sign-on screen, you should see a list of users on the bottom left corner of the screen - click the "Temp" user to sign in, and enter password 'abc123'. During the login process, it will take a while to generate the desktop.
  5. Once you reach the desktop, the Start menu and clock should work. From here you have two options:

    (a) If the Start menu and clock does work: then your previous user account is corrupt. You will need to create another new account (naming it properly instead of "Temp"); once that is finished, you will need to transfer your user data from the old account (Documents, Pictures, bookmarks, and other things) over to the new account. This requires resetting file permissions; otherwise you won't be able to access your data. Unfortunately this is beyond the scope of this article, but you are welcome to contact me for help.

    (b) If the Start menu and clock does not work: then your Windows is corrupt - fixing that can be very technical and well beyond the scope of this article. At this point you can backup your entire system and reinstall Windows and all your programs, then re-import your user data and reset file permissions - OR, you can can contact me for remote desktop support, and I may be able to fix the problem by remote.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If your clock is missing and/or your Start menu is broken, or some other weird things are happening with Windows 10 that appear to be broken - I can help. Simply contact me with a brief message describing your problem, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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dietrazor's picture

On logging in to the temp account I saw that the clock was back and so presumed my actual account was corrupt. However, when I reverted back to my own account my clock was back! Thank you for the article.