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Starting with Windows Vista and on through Windows 7 and 8, you can synchronize your clock with an internet-based server. This will ensure your computer time is always correct. Having the correct time is essential, especially when you want to search for files modified on a specified date; if the date is incorrect, you will have trouble finding your files.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to sync your clock’s time with time.windows.com’s time. This guide also applies to Windows Vista.

More Windows 7 Guides

Synchronize Your Clock with an Internet-based Time Server

To synchronize your clock, do the following:

  1. Click the Clock and click Change time and date settings…
  2. Under the Internet Time tab, click Change Settings 

    Sync System Clock with Internet Time in Windows 7 - 1

  3. Check Synchronize time with an Internet time server. I chose to use the default windows.time.com, click Update now, and click OKSync System Clock with Internet Time in Windows 7 - 2

Now if, for some reason, your time gets offset, you will maintain a correct time for your system.

Follow this guide to display your clock in 24 hour format

Want to add more than one clock in your system tray? Follow this guide: Add multiple clocks in Windows

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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18 thoughts on “Sync System Clock with Internet Time [How To]”

  1. Boschportell says:

    Yes, but it's possible change de periodicity of resyncronization? One week (by deflault) is long time for my uses. (Astronomy)

    1. A NAME says:

      Yes it is possible and I have seen online guides how to do it, however the guide was too complicated for me to follow. For instance the first step was to enter system administrations tools. Not a helpful guide for me because I do not how to enter system administration tools. People who write guides should remember the golden rule “thou shalt not confuse thy reader”. 

      1. Alo Pexoma says:

        There is no such rule. The one you’re referring to is, “Know your audience.(or if we must King James it: ‘Thou shalt know thy audience.'” It’s entirely possible the ‘guide’ you were reading was written for system administrators.

      2. Rich says:

        Thank you!

  2. Sos says:


  3. DBCOLE says:

    The “Internet Time” tab does not appear in my “Date and Time Dialog. Why Not? (I am running 64-bit Windows 7 with SP1 and all currnt maintenance applied.)

    1. Rich says:

      Are you part of a domain? If so, the time is managed separately. Internet time is only a feature of workgroup (non-domain) PCs. If, however, you’re sure it’s not in a domain, let us know and I’ll look into this more.

  4. cherizza says:

     Thnk you so much. this is a big help! =)

  5. Matt-o-plex says:

    This doesn’t work for me.  No matter what internet server I select, it says unable to start windows time service.  Please try again later.  My computer says it is 10;07 PM right now.  It is 1:07.  I constantly change my computers time manually, and within a day or so, it is inevitably back to the wrong time.

    1. Rich says:

      Have you selected the correct time zone?

      Click the clock, click Change date and time settings…, and, when the Date and Time dialogue loads, click Change time zone…

    2. Jojo says:

      could it be that the clock battery in you pc has run out so when you turn it off time goes back the way it was? happend to me before. solution would be to open it and replace the battery with a new one.

  6. Rich says:

    Not within a domain. You’ll need to speak with your AD, network administrator etc. (could be other roles depending on org. size) but there’s probably not much they can do for you without customizing their setup for you, which is something most AD admins don’t want to do…

  7. Luky says:

    It would be nice to have a possibility to add a time server of your choice to synchronise your computer with, not just choose from those in the list.

  8. wtf says:


    “Windows was unable to start the online time service. Please try again later”

  9. Basim_melad says:

    chick MMC win service Win32Time

  10. Rich says:

    Try manually starting Windows Time Service:

    1. Click the Start button, type services.msc into the searchbox, and press Enter.
    2. Scroll down to the Windows Time service, right click it, and click Start.

    1. ricky says:

      THIS IS REALLY HELPFUL, After I stop the service in the local host computer and correct the time zone as well. I can change the time.

      And then I also can stop the service in the computer in virtual machine, and correct the time again. thx

  11. Rich says:

    Here’s what you can try:

    Click the Start button, type “services” and click on Services. Scroll down to “Windows Time”, right click it and click “Start”. Try the above procedure again.

    If this fails, please let us know what error you get.

    Another, less-preferred workaround I can think of:
    If you clock is telling the right time only from a different time zone, I recommend checking your time zone settings. If Windows thinks its in your time zone and the time is still offset, adjust the time zone accordingly to set your clock to the right hour for your time zone.

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