How To Change The Clock On A Computer

by on December 19, 2007

Q: How do I change the clock on my computer? It is 2 hours behind.

A: As someone who uses a computer for work day-and-night, I appreciate how important it is to have an accurate computer clock! Since you did not include and information about your operating system, I will include procedures for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Linux and other operating systems will work similarly as well.

Before I begin, there are some generic time-related issues to consider while you prepare to correct your computer’s clock. First, you need to know the timezone in which you are located. Luckily, computers today allow you to choose your timezone using a map. Then the correct timezone is automatically chosen by the computer.

Next, you should consider how daylight savings time influences the behaviors of your computer’s clock. For example, the dates associated with daylight savings time in the USA were recently changed by a new law. There are updates available for newer operating systems, such as Windows XP and Mac OS X, that will inform your computer about these new dates. If you have installed all possible updates for your modern operating system, your computer should already have the new daylight savings time rules. But if you are using an older operating system, such as Windows 95, you will have to either download an unofficial patch or disable your computer’s automatic daylight savings time feature. NOTE: Downloading unofficial patches is not recommended for security reasons.

Windows: There should be a clock in the lower right corner of your computer’s screen. Double left-click on the clock and a new window should appear. It that fails, attempt single right-clicking on the clock. You will see three tabs at the top of the new window: Date & Time, Time Zone, and Internet Time. The Time Zone tab has options for switching your location and managing the automatic daylight savings time feature. Please disable automatic daylight savings time if you are using an older operating system. The first tab, Date & Time, contains all of the tools that you will need to manually adjust your computer’s calendar and time. The Internet Time tab allows Windows to automatically adjust your computer’s clock to perfect time using the internet. Do not forget to press the Apply button once you have finished.

Mac OS X: Go to System Preferences. You can get there by using the Blue Apple in the upper left corner of your computer’s screen. Choose the option called Date & Time. Aside for the internet time option being located in the first tab, OS X’s time-related preferences work much the same as in Microsoft Windows. My research indicates that you can disable automatic daylight savings time in older (and newer) versions of Mac OS X by unchecking Set date & time automatically. Why Apple does not provide a separate option for daylight savings time is unknown, at least to me.

Good luck getting the correct time to display on your computer!