Your computer has an internal battery that can keep track of the time, even when it’s powered off. But those batteries and the PC’s internal clock can sometimes fall behind.
That’s why Windows, like most other operating systems, can be configured to occasionally check and calibrate for the correct time with one of several special time servers around the world (these are called NTP — “Network Time Protocol” — servers).
By default, Windows 10 will check with Microsoft’s own time server (time.windows.com) to ensure that your PC’s clock is accurate. However, it’s possible to change the server that your PC connects to, allowing you to use a time server from a competing company like Google, or one of several time servers run by various national governments and scientific organizations. Here’s how to change the time server in Windows 10.
Change the Time Server
To get started, first launch the Windows 10 Settings app, accessible via the gear icon in the Start Menu or by searching for “Settings” via Cortana. From Settings, select Time & Language.
Next, select Date & Time from the sidebar on the left side of the window, and then scroll down to the Related Settings section on the right side of the window. Click on Additional date, time, & regional settings.
This will launch the Control Panel. Select Set the time and date in the Date and Time section.
Finally, from the Date and Time window that appears, click on the tab labeled Internet Time.
If your PC is currently configured to synchronize with an online time server, this window will tell you which sever is currently selected and the time and date of the previous and next synchronization. To change your time server, click Change Settings.
As mentioned, the default time server is time.windows.com, but you can erase that and add the compatible time server of your choosing. A couple to consider are time.google.com (Google’s own in-house time server) and time.nist.gov (a rotating list of time servers throughout the United States administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Of course, if you’ve received instructions from your organization to use a particular time server, you’d enter that address instead.
Once you’re done, click OK to save the change and close the window. You can also click Update Now to force a time synchronization immediately, or just wait and let Windows handle it on its own schedule.
Want news and tips from TekRevue delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for the TekRevue Weekly Digest using the box below. Get tips, reviews, news, and giveaways reserved exclusively for subscribers.