5 Ways to Fix the Wrong Date and Time on a Mac

Making sure your Mac displays the correct date and time is important for several reasons. Obviously, an incorrect time could cause you to be late or early for an appointment, event, or other commitment. Also, an incorrect date could result in you showing up somewhere on the wrong day. But other problems can also arise.

For example, if your Mac’s date and time are incorrect, you may have trouble installing apps, downloading software updates, and performing other online tasks. Fortunately, the solution is simple. Let’s see how to fix date and time issues in macOS.

1. Choose to automatically set date and time in preferences

If you’re new to macOS, you might not know where to go to change the date and time settings on your Mac. If so, setting the date and time can be as simple as tweaking that option in System Preferences. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.
  2. To select Date and hour.
  3. Click it Security padlock and enter your administrator password to unlock the changes.
  4. Enable the option to Set date and time automatically.

2. Use another server to automatically set the date and time

When you choose to automatically set the date and time, macOS must pull the correct information from an Apple server. Usually the results are accurate. However, sometimes server issues or miscommunication can cause your Mac to display incorrect information.


When this happens, you don’t have to rely solely on Apple to provide the correct date and time. Instead, you can experiment with adding alternate servers and see if you get different results.

Here’s how to change the date and time server in macOS:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Date & Time.
  2. Ensure that Set date and time automatically is checked and unlock the Security padlock.
  3. Delete the current entry and enter a new time server.

Here is a short list of public time servers you can try:

  • time.google.com
  • time.facebook.com
  • time.windows.com
  • swimmingpool.ntp.org

Many other public time servers are available, so you can experiment with different options until you get the results you want. However, if the problem persists, something else may be causing the problem.

3. Enable location services to automatically set the correct time zone

Using location services is one of the easiest and most effective ways to automatically set the correct date and time, especially the time zone. If the feature is enabled and the information is accurate, macOS should automatically adjust the settings to match your current location in the world. It will even update seasonal changes in your time zone, such as daylight saving time.

Here’s how to set the date and time by location:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Date & Time > Time Zone.
  2. Unlock it Security padlock.
  3. Check Set time zone automatically using current location.

If macOS displays a message saying Enable location services to determine your current locationyou can do just that by following these steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy.
  2. To select Rental services in the side menu and unlock the Security padlock.
  3. Ensure that Enable location services is checked.
  4. Scroll to System Services and click Details.
  5. Ensure that Time zone and system customization is checked.

When you return to your Date and hour preferences, macOS may still display a message prompting you to turn on location services. If so, just uncheck and then recheck the Set time zone automatically the box should solve the problem.

If, however, the automatic option doesn’t work or doesn’t provide accurate results, you can disable the feature and manually drop a pin in the right place. Because you can’t zoom in on the map, reaching the right city can be tricky. Therefore, you may need to use the the nearest city drop-down menu to select the correct location.

4. Use the correct region to automatically set the date and time

Date and time issues can occur if your Mac is set to the wrong region. Fortunately, changing this setting is simple. Here’s how to change the region in macOS:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Language & Region > General.
  2. Select the correct country using the drop-down menu to Region.

From here, you can also make other date and time-related changes, such as changing to 24-hour format. If you want even more control over how macOS displays your clock or calendar, you can click the Advanced and select either the Appointment or Time tongue. With these preference panels, you can fully customize your date and time formats.

5. Manually set your Mac’s date and time

When all the automatic options fail, setting the date and time manually may be the best solution. However, this method has several drawbacks. If something or someone causes your manual setting to get out of sync with the actual date and time, no automatic correction will take place. If a problem occurs, you must first notice it and then manually fix it yourself.

Also, crossing borders in different regions can cause problems if you don’t remember to change your settings. On top of that, if you’re in a place that uses daylight saving time, your clock won’t automatically adjust to the correct times of the year, and you’ll end up living an hour behind or ahead. on everyone.

But if the automatic options don’t work and you don’t want to do any further troubleshooting, a manual setting might be the best remedy.

Here’s how to manually set the date and time in macOS:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Date & Time > Date & Time.
  2. Uncheck Set date and time automatically.
  3. Use the calendar to select the correct date.
  4. Enter the correct time in the digital display area or slide the analog clock hands to the correct positions.
  5. Click on Save.

When you are ready to try the automatic option again, you can enable Set date and time automatically and see if the problem resolved itself. If not, you may need to try additional troubleshooting.

Other date and time troubleshooting tips

If the more specific date and time troubleshooting tips didn’t work, you may need to take a more general approach. Here are some other steps you can take to fix macOS date and time issues when all else fails:

  • Restart your Mac: Sometimes a simple reboot is enough to fix a problem.
  • Update software: If macOS lets you access the update server, updating your software may fix the problem.
  • Safe boot: Although unlikely, third-party software could be causing your date and time issues. Therefore, booting into safe mode should temporarily fix the problem and help identify rogue apps.
  • Try another network: While network issues are another unlikely cause, connecting to another Wi-Fi source or personal hotspot may fix the problem.

It is important to get the correct date and time

When you don’t know the correct date or time, you get out of sync with everyone and can only be too late or too early. macOS’s automatic option is great for most situations because it lets you skip time zones, observe daylight saving time, and always show the correct information. However, when the macOS clock isn’t working as expected, the steps we’ve covered are usually enough to fix the problem.

If, however, you believe that time is just a construct of the human mind and does not exist in objective reality, troubleshooting is probably not necessary.

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About the Author

Margie D. Carlisle