How to Set Your OS System Clock

Make your computer clock right with these steps

What to Know

  • Windows: In Control Panel, choose Clock and Region > Date and Time. Select Change date and time.
  • For automatic setup, select Internet Time > Change settings > Synchronize with an internet time server.
  • Mac: System Preferences > Date & Time. Linux: Ensure /etc/localtime is symlinked to the correct time zone.

This article explains how to set your computer's system clock so you can use it to check the time and ensure an incorrect time, date, and time zone doesn't cause errors in various system components.

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.

Windows

  1. Open Control Panel.

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

    If you don't see that applet, it means you're not viewing the items in Category view. Skip down to Step 3.

    Clock and Region in Control Panel on Windows 10.
  3. Select Date and Time.

    Date and Time in Control Panel
  4. To manually adjust the date and time, select Change date and time.

    You can also set the time zone with Change time zone.

    Change date and time button on Windows 10 Date and Time dialog box.
  5. To set up the system clock automatically, go to the Internet Time tab and select Change settings.

    Change settings on Internet Time tab of Date and Time dialog.
  6. Make sure Synchronize with an internet time server is selected.

    Synchronize with an internet time server check box in Internet Time Settings.
  7. Choose OK on the Internet Time Settings screen, and then again on Date and Time to apply the settings.

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

macOS

See our step-by-step, picture tutorial of these steps in our manually change the date and time on a Mac article.

Linux

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

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

Was this page helpful?