How to set a computer's date and time

Below is a listing of different methods of how to change the computer's date and time in each of the major operating systems and through the CMOS setup.

Tip: If the computer loses or resets the time and date after it has been off the CMOS battery is bad and needs to be replaced.

Windows 8 users
Windows Vista and 7 users
Windows 9x, NT, 2000, and XP users
Through the BIOS or CMOS setup
MS-DOS and Windows command line users
Linux and Unix users
Apple users

Setting the date and time in Windows 8

The steps below only allow you to adjust your time zone. If you want to customize your time further we suggest changing the steps from the Windows Desktop, which is the same steps contained in the below Windows Vista and 7 steps.

  1. From the Start Menu Charms click Settings or press Windows key + I
  2. In the Desktop settings click More PC settings.
  3. In PC settings click General

Setting the date and time in Windows Vista and 7

  1. Click on the Date and Time in the notification area. This is commonly the bottom right-hand corner of the screen (as shown below).
  2. In the Window that appears click Change date and time settings

Windows 7 date and time settings

Setting the date and time in Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4, 2000, and XP

  1. Right-click on the time in your Systray. This is commonly in the bottom right-hand of your screen.
  2. Click the Adjust Date/Time menu item.
  3. This opens the Date/Time Properties window. In this window you can adjust the time, date, and time zone. If you want to change how the computer handles daylight savings, click the Time Zone tab and check or uncheck the 'Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes' option.
  4. Once the proper date and time has been set click Apply and then Ok.

Tip: You may also double-click the time to open the Date/Time Properties window.

Setting the date and time in the BIOS or CMOS setup

  1. Enter the CMOS setup.
  2. In the main or system setup screen you should be able to see the date and time. Using your arrow keys, navigate to the date and change the date. Once highlighted on the month, day, or year, press your arrow keys or your page up or page down keys to change the date.

    These steps may vary for your BIOS; additional help, information, and simulations can be found on the BIOS help page. You can also change the date and time by following the steps for your operating system below.

Setting the date and time in MS-DOS and Windows command line

Setting the date through MS-DOS can be done by using the date command. Additional information and help with this command can be found on the date command page.

To adjust the time while in MS-DOS use the time command. Additional information about this command can be found on the time command page.

Setting the date in Linux and Unix

Use the date command to set the date and time. See the date command page for further information and examples of how to do this.

Setting the date on the Apple operating system

  1. Open the Apple Menu
  2. Open the Control Panels
  3. Open Date & Time
  4. Within the Date & Time window you will be able to set the date, time, time zone, and change the network time server.

Additional information