How to Display UTC (GMT) on the Mac Dashboard

The World Clock widget on the OS X (Mac) Dashboard presents a list of cities representing the different time zones around the world. This is handy for those of us who have friends or do business across the globe. However, for situations where one needs Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or “Zulu” Time… there doesn’t appear to be any setting.

Be sure to select the right city. London would appear to be the correct choice seeing how Greenwich is a district of Greater London… but London observes summer time, so the clock will be off by an hour for half of the year.

To show the correct time choose the fair city of Reykjavík, Iceland. Iceland does not observe summer time and is in the same time zone as Greenwich.

There are ways to hack the World Clock configuration file to add an actual UTC selection, but choosing Reykjavík is simple and quick.


22 thoughts on “How to Display UTC (GMT) on the Mac Dashboard

  1. James Reuben Knowles Post author

    Off hand I don’t know of a way to relabel the widget. There are some posts that can be found via Google that get into the deeper internals. This method satisfied my goal and I didn’t pursue it any further.

  2. Dan McIntyre

    Don’t know why this isn’t a standard in the widget. Who doesn’t use UTC? Cummon Apple! Get with the program! More people know UTC than Rejsacivivk Rekcjaysvic oh you know what I mean! :-))

  3. DaveD

    Hi James
    I just stumbled across your page
    while looking for a way to display UTC on the OS X clock widget.
    (It’s Venus transit day, and I don’t want to miss it because of a mistake in determining UTC.)

    Thanks for the Reykjavik tip! It works like a charm, but someone asked about relabling the clock. I found it’s an easy tweak:

    Navigate to /Library/Widgets

    Right-click (or control-click) on World Clock and select Show Package Contents

    Open the English.lproj folder (or the folder for the appropriate language)

    Copy localizedStrings.js to the desktop (You can’t edit it while it’s in a system folder)

    Open localizedStrings.js in a text editor

    Find the string for Reykjavik and change it to:
    localizedCityNames[‘Reykjavik’] = ‘UTC’;

    Replace the file in the system folder and authenticate with your password

    Restart the Mac. That should do it.


  4. James Reuben Knowles Post author


    Thanks for the notification!

    Obviously Iceland has not be swept away by passing singularity and is still on the map, so they’ve reworked time zones it would seem. I’ll be updating one of my machines soon and will be able to see what has been done.

  5. Milo

    Thank you very much for this info, was trying to do some SWR listening and loggings and realized my time was off for the past few weeks! Thanks for the tip means i don’t have to download something. Good info

Leave a Reply