Many computer users find themselves dealing with an issue wherein their system clock fails to update automatically, yet there are some solutions you can try in order to address this problem.
First, attempt to synchronize your system clock with an Internet time server by right-clicking on the clock in your System Tray and selecting Adjust date/time.
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1. Check your time zone
Your computer clock may fall out of sync with its local time zone when your location changes, but Windows provides straightforward ways to synchronize it again if this occurs. Use either the settings app or Control Panel; alternatively you could synchronize with an Internet time server which may provide more accurate readings that help prevent clock drift over time.
To check the time zone in which you reside, right-click the date and time display in either your taskbar or Systray (sometimes known as System Tray) and choose Adjust Date/Time from the shortcut menu. Next, within the Date and Time Settings Window click Change Time Zone button then choose your timezone from list then OK button – to disable Dynamic Daylight Saving Time uncheck box next to it before selecting OK button.
Use the tzutil command to view and change your computer’s time zone. This command provides a list of valid time zone IDs with their names and offset from UTC, plus an option allowing only compatible time zones (tzutil /l) to display.
If your computer clock is showing incorrect times, the problem could lie with its synchronization settings. To correct it, first ensure your PC is connected with a reliable time server using either the Settings app or Control Panel > Time & Language and selecting Additional date, time & regional settings (on Windows 10, this can also be found by clicking on the Settings icon and choosing Time & language from within Windows 10).
Once your synchronization settings are correct, you can configure the Time and date options to update automatically. Within these settings, ensure you select your time zone correctly as well as turning on Set time automatically toggle switch if applicable and turn off Adjust for daylight savings time automatically toggle switch if applicable.
Manually setting the date and time is also possible with the Search icon in the taskbar, which opens a search bar allowing you to quickly enter keywords or phrases to quickly find the Settings app. After finding it, go into Time & Language option then Date and Time Settings for more options to adjust clock settings.
2. Check your Internet connection
If your Internet connection is having issues, they could be impacting how well your computer updates the date and time. To check how fast your network is performing, conduct an Internet speed test using Speedtest.net; which provides your download, upload, ping speeds. If your speed falls below what it should be then contact your ISP immediately so they can help resolve it.
Windows computers allow the date and time settings to synchronize with an Internet time server for accurate clock settings; if however, your date and time settings appear to keep fluctuating unexpectedly, this could indicate your clock is synching with an incorrect server.
To verify your Internet connectivity, launch the Control Panel and navigate to “Date, Time and Language.” You can also do this by right-clicking on your clock icon on the taskbar or clicking Start > System and selecting “Settings.” On System screen make sure both “Automatically sync with Internet Time Radio Button” are ON.
If you are using a Mac, click the Apple menu in the top left corner and select “System Preferences.” Next, navigate to Clock & Calendar icon before Date & Time in “Date & Time.” To synchronize Internet Time automatically or manually select from drop-down list “Synchronize with Internet Time”.
3. Check your BIOS settings
Many PCs are configured to automatically sync their date and time with an Internet time server, providing accurate clock readings. Sometimes however, this syncing process may break down, leading to system clock displays with incorrect timestamps. When this occurs, the first step should be attempting to synchronize again; if that does not work, check BIOS settings as this may also need attention.
BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System and stores your computer’s configuration settings, including date and time settings, within its memory. These settings are stored within an energy source called the CMOS battery – powered by a coin battery sized component similar to what’s found inside an electronic calculator – that stores them. If this battery dies out unexpectedly, your computer won’t be able to retain these settings and your dates and times won’t remain correct.
To reset the CMOS battery on your computer, access its BIOS menu. Depending on your manufacturer, this may involve pressing a key right after turning on your PC; typically the F2 or DEL key should appear during bootup process and allow access. Once in BIOS, change your date and time from its default values to what you require – for instance setting it to “Circular Date and Time Format (CCTF).”
As part of setting the time zone, ensure the “Set time zone automatically” setting is enabled and that “Adjust for daylight saving times” has been disabled.
Your laptop may display incorrect date and time due to poor connectivity with time servers. In such instances, reconnecting to them and synchronizing again may restore accuracy to its display.
Your computer could also have a misconfiguration with its boot order. Your boot order determines where it looks for storage drives to start up from, so if your OS drive doesn’t rank higher in this list it may not load correctly.
4. Check your hardware
Date and time on a computer serve various functions, including showing when you logged on and when files were last modified. They’re also used to synchronize your clock with a server so it stays accurate; if this synchronization becomes an issue for businesses that require consistent time settings across their network, however, this could become problematic. To address the issue, either alter your date and time settings or turn off time syncing – both options offer solutions.
Your clock may keep resetting for one of several reasons, with the most likely culprit being a dead CMOS battery. This internal battery stores information about BIOS and system clock settings; when it dies, your computer’s time and date may reset every time it shuts down. To check whether this is indeed the issue, power down and remove CMOS battery before rebooting your laptop to see if its settings remain the same.
Use a CMOS battery tester to see if yours is working; otherwise, replace it immediately.
Resetting the system clock settings through Windows Registry Editor may also help speed up resolution; although this may be more complex than waiting for scheduled synchronization to take place.
If your computer’s clock keeps resetting itself, replacing the CMOS battery or upgrading its motherboard might be necessary to prevent its clock settings from disappearing when restarting it. While these measures might be expensive, they’re well worth their cost if they help protect against losing clock settings every time your restart your laptop.
If you are using Windows 11, the Control Panel provides an easy way to set your date and time. Simply search your taskbar for “Control Panel”, click on it, select the Clock, Language, Region tab or Additional date time regional settings tab then enable Internet Time in order to keep your clock from drifting slowly over time and also change its settings via its Internet Time tab if necessary.