How to Set Your OS System Clock

Make your computer clock right with these steps

Horas / Hours
Horas / Hours. © Hernán Piñera; CC BY-SA 2.0 license
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The clock on your computer is one of the easiest ways to quickly glance over and check the current time. It's important, then, even if just for your own sanity, for the clock to be correctly set.

The clock is also used by various system components, and could cause issues and errors if you don't have it set up with the right time, date, and time zone.

How to Set the System Clock on Your Computer

The instructions for changing the time, date, or time zone on your computer are different depending on your operating system.


  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Choose Clock, Language, and Region from the list of Control Panel applets.

    Note: If you don't see that applet, it means you're not viewing the items in Category view. Skip down to Step 3.
  3. Click or tap Date and Time.
  4. Manually adjust the date and time with the Change date and time... button. You can also set the time zone with Change time zone....

    However, the best way to set up the system clock is for it to work automatically. To do that, go into the Internet Time tab, click/tap Change settings..., and then make sure the Synchronize with an Internet time server is checked.
  5. Choose OK on the Internet Time Settings screen, and then again on Date and Time, to save the settings.

If you're using Windows XP, make sure the w32time service is running to have it set your time automatically.


See our step-by-step, picture tutorial of these steps in our Manually Change the Date and Time on a Mac piece.


Here's how to change the date and time in Linux:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Type the following and then press Entersudo apt-get install ntp

    If your OS flavor uses a package system other than apt-get, use it instead to download and install ntp.
  3. Still in terminal, type and enter: sudo vi /etc/ntp.conf
  1. Verify that the file reads like this:

    driftfile /var/lib/ntp/ntp.drift
  2. Type sudo service ntp restart at the terminal prompt and press Enter to restart the service.

To change the time zone on Linux, make sure /etc/localtime is symlinked to the correct time zone from /usr/share/zoneinfo.

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