In today’s digital age, instant messaging apps have become immensely popular for connecting with friends and family. WhatsApp has emerged as the top choice, with over 2 billion users globally. The platform offers seamless messaging, voice, and video calling features. It works flawlessly across Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac devices.

An interesting thing about WhatsApp is that it automatically adopts the time format set on your device. By default, it uses the 24-hour format. However, many users prefer seeing time in a 12-hour format with AM/PM indicators.

If you also want to change WhatsApp time to a 12-hour format, then this guide will help you do that in just a few simple steps. Let’s get started!

Understanding Time Formats In WhatsApp

How To Change Whatsapp Time To 12 Hour Format

To begin with, WhatsApp does not have its own dedicated time settings. It simply mirrors the time format configured on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The 24-hour format displays time from 00:00 hours to 23:59 hours. The benefits of this format are:

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  1. No AM/PM distinction is needed.
  2. Avoids confusion for global interactions across time zones
  3. Provides unambiguous time for scheduling meetings or appointments.

The 12-hour format displays time from 1 AM to 12 PM, along with clear AM/PM indicators. The advantages of this format are:

  1. More commonly used in some countries like the USA, India, etc.
  2. Easy for casual conversations without risk of mix-ups.
  3. Aligns intuitively with reading analog clocks.

Based on your location, habits, and personal preference, you may like seeing WhatsApp time in a 12-hour format instead of 24 hours. The steps ahead will guide you through the process.

How To Change Whatsapp Time To 12-Hour Format In Easy Steps

To change the time format, you first need to access the date and time settings on your device:

1. On Android Phones:

Step 1: Open Settings from the app drawer.

Accessing Date & Time Settings On Your Device

Step 2: Go to System > Date & time.

Accessing Date & Time Settings On Android

Step 3: Enable Automatic date & time and Automatic time zone.

Accessing Date & Time Settings Android Device

2. On iPhones:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General.

Accessing Date & Time Settings iPhone

Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Date & Time.

Accessing Date & Time Settings iOS

Step 3: Toggle on ‘Set Automatically’.

Accessing Date & Time Settings iOS Device

3. On Windows PCs:

Step 1: Right-click the time displayed on the taskbar.

Step 2: Select Adjust date/time from the menu.

Step 3: Enable ‘Set time automatically’.

This will open the required date and time settings to update the time format.

Also Read: How To Add My Name In WhatsApp Message In 6 Easy Steps!

Switching To 12 Hour Format

Accessing Date & Time Settings On Your Device 24 Hour Format

Once you have accessed the time settings, look for the time format option:

  • On Android, disable the ‘Use 24-hour format’ toggle.
  • On iOS, select ’12-hour time’.
  • On Windows, choose ‘h:mm: ss tt’ as the format.

The moment you apply these changes, your device will switch to showing time in 12 12-hour format with AM/PM indicators.

Verifying Update In WhatsApp

To confirm the change has been applied to WhatsApp, close the app completely and restart it. Now check:

  1. The message timestamps in your chats – they should display in 12 hours time with AM/PM.
  2. Send a test message to yourself and verify it shows the correct 12-hour time.
  3. Your last-seen status will also begin showing in the new 12-hour format.

This confirms that WhatsApp has successfully synced to the updated 12-hour time display across your device.

Troubleshooting Tips

In rare cases, WhatsApp may still continue showing time in a 24-hour format even after you switch your device settings. If this happens, try these troubleshooting fixes:

  • Recheck that 24-hour time is disabled in the device settings.
  • Clear WhatsApp cache and data from App settings.
  • Update WhatsApp to the latest version from the Play Store.
  • Uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp as a last resort.

These steps should resolve any discrepancies and sync WhatsApp to the new 12-hour time format.

Understanding Regional Conventions

An interesting point to note is that time formats vary across countries and regions. Some parts of the world are more accustomed to 12-hour time with AM/PM.

Others prefer the unambiguous 24-hour format. As you communicate with diverse global contacts, being aware of these regional conventions can help avoid confusion.

For instance, if you message someone in Germany, the time stamps from their end may be in 24-hour format initially. If communicating across time zones, a 24-hour display has the benefit of providing clear information on scheduling.

Change Settings Selectively For Contacts

A nifty trick is that you can selectively display 12-hour or 24-hour time only for specific WhatsApp contacts:

  • Open contact’s chat window > Tap profile icon > Custom notifications > Time format.

This will override your device’s global setting for just that contact. You can configure the time format on a per-contact basis depending on their location and preferences.

Also Read: How To Unblock Yourself On WhatsApp (4 Easy Methods)

Customizing Other Notification Settings

Along with time format, you can customize other notification sounds and vibrations for your WhatsApp contacts:

Step 1: Open contact’s chat > Tap profile icon > Custom notifications.

Customise Notifications

Step 2: Set notification tone, enable/disable vibration, etc.

Custom Notifications

This allows unique alerts for your important contacts on WhatsApp.


Switching WhatsApp time to a 12-hour format is a simple adjustment through your device settings. It allows personalizing time display to your liking.

The tips in this guide will help you change the time format seamlessly across platforms. Customizations like 12-hour time make WhatsApp more user-friendly.

Going forward, expect even more enhancements in WhatsApp settings for greater flexibility. Adapting notification settings can further help optimize your messaging experience.

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