How to Turn 24 Hour Time On or Off on iPhone or iPad


Maybe you’re in the military, or grew up in a military family, and have been conditioned to operate with a 24-hour time clock. Or, maybe you just have a natural preference for either a 24- or 12-hour time clock. Whichever camp you’re in, your iPhone or iPad has got you covered! In this article I’ll show you how simple it is to switch between 24-hour and 12-hour time formats on your iPhone or iPad.

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Steps to Turn 24 Hour Time On or Off on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. You’ll land on the settings screen.
  2. Scroll down this menu, and then tap “General.” The General screen is displayed.
Scroll down this menu, and then tap General.

  1. Tap “Date and Time.” The Date and Time screen is shown.
Tap Date and Time.

  1. Tap to toggle on “24 Hour Time.” Military time will be displayed on your iPhone or iPad lock screen, and where the time is displayed in the upper left corner of your iPhone or iPad home screen going forward. If you ever want to switch back to a 12-hour time clock, you can come back to this screen at any time and turn “24 Hour Time” back off.
Tap to toggle on 24 Hour Time.

Reasons to Turn 24 Hour Time On or Off on iPhone or iPad

1. Clarity and Avoiding Confusion

The 24-hour time format on an iPhone or iPad enhances clarity in daily scheduling. This format distinctly differentiates morning and evening hours, reducing the chances of misinterpreting times. It’s especially beneficial for those with schedules extending into late hours. The absence of AM and PM designators simplifies time-reading, making it straightforward. This clarity is crucial in preventing mishaps that arise from time confusion, such as missing appointments or misaligning schedules.

2. Professional or Military Use

In various professions, particularly in military and healthcare sectors, the 24-hour clock is the norm. Adapting to this format on personal devices like iPhones ensures alignment with these environments. It fosters a seamless transition between professional and personal time management. Users accustomed to the 24-hour format in their workplace find it more intuitive and consistent to use the same system on their phones.

3. International Travel or Communication

For globetrotters and those engaging in international communications, the 24-hour time format is invaluable. Many countries outside the United States predominantly use this system. Adopting it on an iPhone aids in synchronizing with local times during travel. It facilitates clear communication about flight times, meetings, and activities without the ambiguity of AM and PM. This format is a bridge for global connectivity, enhancing understanding across different timekeeping practices.

4. Preference and Familiarity

Individual preference plays a significant role in choosing the 24-hour time format on iPhones or iPads. People hailing from regions where this format is standard find it more natural and easier to read. This preference often stems from lifelong familiarity. The format resonates with their routine and understanding of time, making it a comfortable choice. It reflects a personal alignment with one’s cultural or regional norms regarding timekeeping.

5. Avoiding Mistakes in Setting Alarms

Utilizing the 24-hour clock on an iPhone or iPad significantly reduces errors when setting alarms. Particularly for times around midnight or noon, the 12-hour format can lead to confusion and mistakes. The 24-hour format dispels this ambiguity, ensuring alarms are set for the correct time. This precision is crucial for maintaining punctuality and reliability in both personal and professional commitments.

6. Learning and Education

Adopting the 24-hour format on an iPhone or iPad can be an educational experience. It broadens one’s understanding of global timekeeping standards. This learning aspect is particularly relevant for individuals seeking to enhance their cultural competence or preparing for international experiences. It’s a step towards embracing a universally recognized way of interpreting time, enriching one’s global perspective.

7. Digital Proficiency

Using the 24-hour format on an iPhone or iPad can be part of developing digital proficiency. As many digital platforms and software use this time system, familiarity with it enhances one’s ease with various technologies. It’s a skill that transcends basic time reading, integrating into broader digital literacy. This proficiency is increasingly important in a world where digital interfaces are ubiquitous.

8. Consistency with Other Devices

For those who prefer uniformity across their digital devices, setting the iPhone to the 24-hour format aligns it with other gadgets. This consistency simplifies time management across various platforms. It creates a cohesive digital experience, where one doesn’t have to switch mental gears when reading time on different devices. This uniformity is not just about preference but also about creating a streamlined and efficient interaction with technology.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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