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Chapter 4. Windows XP Applications and Tools > Date and Time Properties

Date and Time Properties \windows\system\timedate.cpl

Set your system’s clock, choose a time zone, and enable Internet time synchronization (see Figure 4-20).

To Open

Control Panel [Date, Time, Language and Regional Options] Date and Time

Double-click on the clock in the notification area (Tray)

Command Prompt timedate.cpl

Command Prompt control date/time


The Date and Time dialog is pretty straightforward. Set your system’s clock with the Date & Time tab and your time zone with the Time Zone tab.

Figure 4-20. A new feature in Windows XP, Internet Time, will automatically synchronize your PC’s clock with Microsoft time

The Internet Time tab allows you to synchronize your PC’s clock with one of several Internet time servers automatically. If you turn on the “Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server” option, Windows will synchronize your clock once a week. Naturally, you must be connected to the Internet for this option to work; if you’re not connected when Windows attempts to connect to the time server, it will just try again next week. Also, your time zone and daylight savings settings must be set properly; otherwise, the time synchronization will set the wrong time.


  • All settings in this dialog are covered in Chapter 5.

  • The default Internet time server, time.windows.com, is Microsoft’s own server for Internet time synchronization, but it is not your only choice. You can type the address of any time server here, which is useful if your connection to Microsoft’s server is slow or if you get errors when you try to synchronize your PC’s clock. There are literally hundreds of time servers on the Internet. To find one that is geographically close to you, find an Internet Time Server list, such as the one at http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/clock1.htm.

See Also

“Control Panel”

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