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.


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

  1. Thanks for this tip! I’d been looking for a way to get UTC without having to hack the JS files in the widget.

  2. I’m glad it helped. 🙂


  3. Eric says:

    Great! Exactly the info I needed.
    Thanks for the post.

  4. huevo says:

    Ah ha! This is great. Thank you for the tip.

  5. Matt says:

    Dude, just what I needed. Thanks.

  6. Mek says:

    tnx ^_^

  7. Mek says:

    tnx ^_^, is there a way / hack to rename the label of the widget?

  8. 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.

  9. Dan McIntyre says:

    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! :-))

  10. DaveD says:

    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.


  11. Thank you so much for sharing the tip!

  12. Bill Smargiassi says:

    Reykjavik is gone in Mountain Lion…

  13. Bill,

    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.

  14. Malcolm Westley says:

    I’m on Mountain Lion (10.8), and I have Reykjavik under the Atlantic region.

  15. colb says:

    nice one, thanks!

  16. I have Mountain Lion. Reykjavik shows up in my widget and is currently allowing the widget to display GMT (thank yooouuuu). But the following site says Reykjavik is GMT+1 right now:


  17. Thanks for the information.

    I think it’s curious that the site says that Reykjavík is GMT +1. I suspect it’s wrong.

    If you look on that same site — for Iceland itself — it states, “Unlike most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is NOT observed in Iceland.”

    I’ve done some googling and have found no other site that claims that Reykjavík is GMT +1.

  18. D Johnson says:

    Outstanding! Another problem solved by a bright mind.

  19. Milo says:

    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

  20. For the “gee wiz” collection, according to it appears that Iceland did use summer time up until 7 April 1968 when it changed to GMT year round.

  21. tai-nui says:

    thanks for this easy tip 🙂

  22. Bhavin says:

    Thanks a tonne dude.

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