Here’s how to set your computer clock correctly if Windows keeps changing or is incorrect.
Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers that keep changing the time are either constantly wrong or have a dead battery. This could indicate a problem with the setting or a defective battery. We will show you how to fix your computer clock if it is not working correctly.
Let’s look at the most common reasons your computer clock is not working correctly, regardless of whether it’s off for a few seconds or keeps resetting.
1. A Dead CMOS Battery
This could be a problem with your PC clock, especially if you have an older computer.
The CMOS battery is located on the motherboard of your computer and supplies power to the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor chip (CMOS). This chip stores information about your system configuration, including date and time. This chip is protected by the CMOS battery, which ensures that it can store these data even if your computer is not connected to power.
The chip can lose information if the battery is drained. The Windows computer will lose its date and time properly, which is one of the symptoms. You’ll notice that your computer defaults to an incorrect date and time every time you restart it, such as January 1 at 12 midnight.
It is easy to replace the CMOS battery. It is as easy as turning off your computer and protecting yourself against static electricity. Next, open the case to check which type of battery you have. After you have purchased a replacement (they are cheap), you can open your computer again to replace the CMOS.
For more information, see our guide to replacing CMOS motherboard batteries. You can swap them easily on desktop computers but it might be more complicated on laptops depending on the model.
2. A wrong time zone setting
Windows could be setting the wrong time zone if your computer clock is off exactly one hour. Windows can reset to the incorrect time zone even if the time is manually set. If the hours are incorrect but the minutes are correct, it is likely that Windows is having trouble with its time zone.
Right-click on the System Tray in the bottom-right corner and choose to adjust the date/time. You can also visit Settings > Language & Time > Date & Time. These options may look different on Windows 11, but they are still available in the same manner.
Check the Time Zone box to verify that the information is correct. Select the correct time zone using the dropdown menu. If the dropdown box appears grayed out, you may need to disable Set Time Zone Automatically slider.
You can enable both Set daylight saving time automatically for convenience. To ensure Windows pulls the correct date from the server, click Sync while you are here.
3. Windows Time is Out of Sync
If your CMOS battery remains charged and your computer clock is not synchronized for long periods of time by a few seconds or minutes, you may have poor time synchronization settings. First, verify that your computer’s clock is synced with a valid timeserver.
On Windows 10, go to Settings > Language & Time > Region and then select Additional date/time & regional settings on the right. You will be taken to the older Control Panel interface. Click To set the time and date in another window, go to the Date & Time tab.
To access this menu, select Additional clocks from the same Date and time Settings page.
After you have logged in on any version of Windows, you can switch to the Internet Time Tab, click Modify Settings and then you can modify the Server as needed.
Select an option from either the dropdown menu, or enter a server you prefer. This will be used by your system to synchronize it with the Internet to prevent it from drifting slowly. Choose Update Now to trigger a sync. You must ensure that Synchronize is enabled with an Internet-based time server.
To verify that Windows is synchronizing its time correctly, press the Windows key. This will open the Start menu search. Type services and then open the utility.
Find Windows Time under the Name Column, right-click it and choose Properties.
Set Startup type in the Windows Time Properties Window to Automatic. To ensure that the service is running, click Start. Next, click OK. Save your changes. Windows will now be prompted to check in with the server every other day to ensure that your computer’s clock is correct.
4. Set the clock in your BIOS/UEFI.
Most cases, an error in the PC clock will cause Windows to malfunction. If nothing else works, it’s possible that your motherboard’s BIOS/UEFI clock is incorrect, which could cause the OS to be confused. This is your OS’s system time, and it is much deeper than the one your OS uses.
This option’s exact location can vary depending on the machine. How to enter the BIOS or UEFI on your computer. Once inside, search for a Time or Clock entry. This will allow you to check for an incorrect time and make any necessary adjustments. To find it, look in the manual of your motherboard or search for the name and setting of your BIOS clock.
Once the system-level clock has been set correctly, go back through the steps in Windows. They should now work.
5. Malware could be spread by a wrong computer clock
Although unlikely, it is possible. Malware is difficult to eradicate.
If none of the above solutions work, it is possible that malware has hijacked your computer’s clock and is causing problems with your computer’s time. You will need a few tools to remove the malware. Make sure that your antivirus program is current with the most recent virus definitions. Next, you should consider a secondary malware scanner that can be used on-demand, such as Malwarebytes.
After you have downloaded and updated all the tools, launch them in Safe Mode. Safe Mode is important because malware will not launch at startup or be active when you select this boot mode. This makes it less likely that the malware will escape detection and removal.
If your Windows 10 or 11 is not working and you haven’t been able to resolve the problem, you might consider resetting or refreshing your system to be certain that the malware has been removed.
Keep your system and all installed software current to protect yourself against future infections. Also, follow basic advice in order to avoid getting viruses.
Your Windows Computer Clock is Back on Time
Although it may seem minor, having the wrong computer time could cause serious problems. Once you have fixed this problem, you will be able to pay more attention to the details of your computer. Sometimes, small problems can indicate serious trouble.
Your computer may lose everything if the CMOS battery goes dead. It will then have to identify its hardware components each time it boots. This is just as frustrating as a virus trying to trick you or a bad time zone setting causing all your computer’s settings to be messed up, from the clock and email client timestamps. If you spot something strange, be alert and take immediate action.