If you notice “Set time automatically” greyed out in Date & time settings, the usual suspects include Privacy settings (Location), network, workstation, and Local Group Policy. Regarding solutions, you should tweak Privacy settings (Location), turn off Network Location Awareness (NLA), and change Local Group Policy. Read to the end to put an end to the issue then manipulate time to your liking.
What Is Going On
On standalone PCs, “Set time automatically” greyed out is usually the result of Privacy settings (Location). If Windows is unable to geolocate your computer, it’s only natural that location-related settings would be disabled.
For PCs connected to networks serving as clients, “Set time automatically” greyed out means the lack of permission. In the case that “clients” attempt to change Date & time settings, an alert “Some settings are managed by your organization” is going to appear.
Local Group Policy
In case you don’t know, Local Group Policy dictates various aspects of Windows computers and Date & time is not an exception. Unless you take action, there is no way you could access “Set time automatically”.
A List Of Solutions
Tweak Privacy Settings
- Step 1: Press Windows + I to open Settings, choose Privacy and select Location.
- Step 2: Toggle the Location for this device switch to “enabled”. For good measure, you should toggle the switch next to Mail and Calendar to “enabled” as well. After you finish, restart your PC.
- Step 3: Determine whether the issue persists.
Turn Off Network Location Awareness (NLA)
- Step 1: Go to Search bar, type Control Panel and press Enter.
- Step 2: In Control Panel, change View by to Category, click System and Security then pick Allow remote access.
- Step 3: Under the ‘Remote Desktop’ group, uncheck the check box next to Allow connection only from computers running Remote Desktop … (recommended). Next, hit OK.
- Step 4: Restart your PC.
- Step 5: Go to Date & time settings then toggle the “Set time automatically” switch as you like.
Unjoin Workstation From The Domain
- Step 1: Click File Explorer then pick This PC.
- Step 2: Hit System properties at the top.
- Step 3: Choose System info then select Change.
- Step 4: Pick the Workgroup radio button, enter a workgroup name and click OK.
- Step 5: Restart your PC.
Change Local Group Policy
- Step 1: Sign into your PC using an admin account, go to Search bar, type gpedit and press Enter.
- Step 2: Go to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment.
- Step 3: Choose ‘Change the system time’ then select ‘Add User or Group. Next, click Object Types, check the ‘Groups’ checkbox and pick OK.
- Step 4: In Enter the object names to select, type Users, click Check Names and pick OK. Save the changes, restart your computer and see how things turn out.
Other Common Inquiries
What Time Zone Does Microsoft Use?
Since Microsoft headquarters reside in Washington state, they observe Pacific Time and so do their systems.
Is Time Important In Windows Domain?
Windows need time to create timestamps for resolving authentication conflicts and preventing attacks.
How Come My Computers Keeps Losing Date?
If your local PC time keeps reclocking back to a particular date like 1/1/2009, it’s possible that your CMOS battery is damaged. Depending on the situation, you have to replace the battery.
As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.