When I go up to my cabin, Windows always changes my time zone to Pacific. I'm in Mountain Time, and I actually go east to get to the cabin. I don't know if it's the IP address, or the WiFi network, or what, but it happens every time. If I go into Time settings and disable automatically detect timezone, I can set it back to mountain time. But if I re-enable auto-detect, it switches right back to Pacific.

Is there any way I can teach Windows the correct time zone so that it auto-detects correctly?

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    Do you have some sort of issue with manually setting the time zone? I mean you just need to click a few buttons and you're done... permanently... The auto detect feature is just there so that most users don't have to manually set the time zone, but there will always be users who need to do that. I personally prefer to always set it manually even if I can do it automatically, because automatic could always mess up my time zone when my IP address changes. – Cestarian Feb 28 '16 at 7:04
  • I like to leave it at automatic because when I travel, it resets automatically. I was on the west coast the other week, and it changed automatically for me, just like my cell phone. This one location is just.... detected wrong. It's not a huge deal, but I like to fix small issues like this. – Carrot Feb 28 '16 at 7:09
  • Just disable the automatic time zone detection, then manually, set the time zone. – Ramhound Feb 28 '16 at 7:54

The "Set Time Zone Automatically" feature in Windows 10 uses the location information from the Windows Location APIs, which have different levels of accuracy based on where the location information was obtained.

Per the documentation on MSDN, the accuracy is as follows:

  • GPS : within approximately 10 meters
  • Wi-Fi : between approximately 30 meters and 500 meters
  • Cell towers : between approximately 300 meters and 3,000 meters
  • IP address : between approximately 1,000 meters and 5,000 meters

You are probably only getting accuracy by IP address, which you can read more about in this article.

While there's a solution for overriding your location in the Maps application (as described here), unfortunately it's functionality is currently limited to the Maps application itself. Currently, there is no mechanism to feed this location back into Windows such that it is used to detect your time zone. If such a feature is every created, I'll be sure to come back and updated this article accordingly.

Update: As of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (August 2016), you can now change your default location via the Maps application, and this location will indeed be used by the "Set Time Zone Automatically" feature. You may need to turn the feature off and back on again for it to pick up the location change, but it does indeed use it now.

  • Great answer! I think it must be the IP address info that is getting pulled to determine my location. It's strange though, I actually did already set my location with the Maps application. Maps now correctly picks up where I am, but the time zone info is still wrong. I tried disabling WiFi and getting a direct connection into the router. Time zone was still wrong. Looks like it must be the IP address. – Carrot Feb 28 '16 at 23:07
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    So, it seems I was mistaken (I know - right?!) ;) I've updated the answer to reflect the current story. Probably for now the best idea is to disable the auto time zone feature when you only have IP location and your location is misidentified. – Matt Johnson-Pint Mar 15 '16 at 23:16
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    On CenturyLink (Qwest/US West) I can be assigned from DHCP IP pools that put me alternately in Oregon, Idaho, Minnesota, Pennsylvania. Direct Detection means little when it's using IP address on an internet service who has combined all its regional netblocks to make up for increased demand on a reduced availability of IPV4 addresses. And this is from a static location. – Fiasco Labs Mar 16 '16 at 0:03
  • Very nice answer. – Cestarian Mar 29 '16 at 19:05
  • Did not work for me. I changed the location in the maps application to my address and then went back to Date & Time settings and flipped the "Set time zone automatically" option, but it still sets the time zone to "(UTC + 12:00) Auckland, Wellington", which isn't even the correct country. The only solution I found was to turn off "Set time zone automatically" and then just manually put in the time zone I'm in. I'd already done that before I tried your answer, so I just did it again. – dcp May 24 '18 at 12:40

No, there simply isn't a way to do that, this auto-detection is based on your IP Address, you just need to manually set the time zone, it's as simple as that. At least you can set the time zone for network synch (I mean back in the day we always had to manually set the clock in computers, in case you don't remember that, there was no timezone sync)

If there is any way to do this it would be a lot of trouble (spoofing your external IP address through a VPN might do something. Also might not do something (depends on how the system is set up), but as I said, that's way too much trouble for a small issue like this)

  • " there simply isn't a way to do that, this auto-detection is based on your IP Address" - This actually isn't entirely true. Windows uses a bunch of information on top of your ip address, but Windows might not know your pubic ip address if your connected to a router, which is the primary reason I say this is false. In most cases like your mobile phone, Windows will use the knowledge of access points, and determine your location based on that. – Ramhound Mar 15 '16 at 23:24
  • What "other information" though? (And the answer still applies; even if this bit wasn't a 100%) – Cestarian Mar 16 '16 at 4:50

protected by Community Sep 8 '18 at 6:20

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