How to Set Your OS System Clock Right

The Importance of Setting Your Time Clock

Horas / Hours
Horas / Hours. © Hernán Piñera; CC BY-SA 2.0 license

If you're one of those people who gets a dozen or more emails a day, you likely scan them before opening each one.

Sometimes, you make a mental note to go back to a particular email, but take a day or two to do so.

Then it happens: you can't find it.

While you may think the email is gone forever, it might be easy to find it according to the day and time it was sent if you set your OS system clock correctly.

Set Your OS System Clock Right in Windows

  1. Open the Windows Desktop.
  2. Right-click on the time in the status bar.
  3. Select Adjust Date/Time from the menu that has appeared.
  4. Go to the Internet Time tab.
  5. Click Change settings.
  6. Select Yes in the user account control dialog if one comes up.
  7. Make sure Synchronize with an Internet time server is checked under Configure Internet time settings:.
  8. Click OK.

Under Windows XP, make sure the w32time service is running to have it set your time automatically.

Set Your OS System Clock Right for Mac OS X

  1. Click the Apple menu in OS X.
  2. Select System Preferences from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Go to the Date & Time tab.
  4. Make sure Set date and time automatically is checked.
  5. Close the System Preferences window.

Set Your OS System Clock Right for Linux

For a Linux or other Unix-like OS:

  1. Open a terminal prompt.
  2. Type "sudo apt-get install ntp" and press Enter.
  1. Now type "sudo vi /etc/ntp.conf" and press Enter.
  2. Verify the file reads:
    driftfile /var/lib/ntp/ntp.drift
  3. Save the /etc/ntp.conf file and exit the editor.
  4. Type "sudo service ntp restart" at the terminal prompt and press Enter.

    Time synchronization is also available for almost any other platform and operating system.

    Set the Correct Time Zone, Too

    To make sure your computer is set to the correct time zone:


    1. Go to the Windows Desktop.
    2. Click on the time in the Windows status bar with the right mouse button.
    3. Select Adjust Date/Time from the menu.
    4. In Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8:
      • If the correct time zone does not appear under Time zone:
        1. Click Change time zone....
        2. Select the desired zone under Time zone:.
        3. Click OK.

    Mac OS X

    1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu.
    2. Choose Date and Time.
    3. Go to the Time Zone tab.
    4. Make sure Set time zone automatically using current location is checked.
    5. If Mac OS X does not detect the correct location, or if you do not want Mac OS X to identify your whereabouts:
      • Pick a city corresponding to your time zone under Closest City:.
        • You can search for your country, town or city in the field by starting to type its name.
    6. Close the Date and Time preferences window.