Computer time and date get reset or losing time

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope

A computer losing time or having the date and time reset is a symptom of an issue relating to the computer hardware or software. There are multiple causes for date and time loss or resetting issues. The most common causes are detailed below. Review each possible reason for help with how to fix the problem.

Computer CMOS battery failing or bad

CMOS batteryIf the date reset to the BIOS manufacturer date, epoch, or a default date (1970, 1980, or 1990), the CMOS battery is failing or is already bad.

Before replacing the battery, set the date and time to the correct values in CMOS setup and save and exit the setup. If the values are lost again, set the values again, but leave your computer on for 2-3 days without turning it off. Sometimes, this helps enable the CMOS battery to retain its settings for longer.

If this does not resolve your issue, replace your CMOS battery.


Older computers may not have a BIOS that is compatible with any year 2000 dates. If your computer was manufactured before 1995, we recommend you contact the manufacturer to determine if the motherboard's BIOS is Y2K compatible.

Issue with APM

APM (advanced power management), can cause issues with the computer keeping time. Verify this is not the issue by entering CMOS setup and disabling APM or Power Management.

If this does resolve your issue, consult with the motherboard manufacturer or computer manufacturer for a possible BIOS update.

Third-party utility or program

Third-party programs or screen savers can cause the time to stop or decrease significantly. If you're running Windows, close and disable all screen savers, and End Task all TSRs (terminate-and-stay-resident) to ensure your lost time is not being caused by these programs.

If this resolves your issue, reboot the computer and determine what TSR or screen saver was causing this issue by disabling one TSR at a time. You can also leave the screen saver disabled to eliminate that as causing the problem. Once the culprit is found, see if the program has any available updates to resolve your issue.

Virus infection

Some computer viruses can infect a computer and cause the date and time in the operating system to be incorrect or reset to a wrong time zone. A virus can conflict with operating system files that manage the date and time or cause operating system files to become corrupted.

We recommend you run a virus scan to see if your computer is infected. If any viruses are found, remove the viruses from your computer to eliminate the infection. Change the date, time, and time zone back to the correct settings, then restart the computer.

If the date and time are incorrect again after restarting the computer, there may be corrupt operating system files causing the issue. Determine when the problem started to occur, then restore the operating system to a previous date before the problem occurred the first time.

Corrupt operating system files

It is possible for operating system files to become corrupted, causing the date and time to be incorrect. Corrupt files can occur due to a virus infection, as mentioned above, or for other reasons. The best option to fix corrupt operating system files is to restore the operating system to a previous date before the problem occurred the first time. The restore process replaces the corrupt files with good files and hopefully fix the date and time issue.

Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME user

When changing the year in Windows 9x or Windows ME, the time stops until the Apply button is pressed.

When changing the month or date in Windows 9x or Windows ME, the time may decrease by 5-10 seconds.