Since I live in Germany, my timezone is GMT+1 (or GMT+2 in the summertime period). Previous Windows versions were not able to have the hardware clock set to UTC, and the Windows time to the local time. That was / is a big mess, since almoust every other OS is using UTC preferedly.

Is this fixed in Windows 7 and is it now possible to use UTC in the BIOS and local time in Windows?

3 Answers 3


Have a look at this page:

Save the following lines as utc.reg, and then run it to import this registry tweak. It allows you to set the hardware clock in your PC’s BIOS to UTC time. This is handy for boot dual-booting Mac, or Linux, when those operating systems are set to read the BIOS clock as UTC time, instead of Windows’ preferred Local Time (e.g., PST, PDT, MST, MDT, CST, CDT, EST, EDT, or the standard “GMT-” and “GMT+”)

Here is the code to save as utc.reg:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


The equivalent answer can also be found here.

  • 20
    Make sure you read the notes at cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/mswish/ut-rtc.html - the RealTime option still has several glitches. Sep 7, 2010 at 20:27
  • 3
    Ok, i knew this registry hack from former Windows versions and i thought in 2010 perhaps they've got managed to get such easy things as UTC support officially working. Unfortunately it doesn't seem so.
    – mru
    Sep 19, 2010 at 15:26
  • Does this work with Windows 8?
    – pratnala
    Oct 28, 2012 at 12:05
  • 4
    @PratyushNalam Yes, it works with Windows 8. I just set it up. Nov 29, 2012 at 17:46
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    This can be applied in single line reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation" /f /v RealTimeIsUniversal /t REG_DWORD /d 1 Apr 9, 2017 at 11:34

Windows 7 support for UTC time in the RTC is at this time incomplete (July 2013), and not recommended by sysadmins who have tried to make use of it.

The site recommended by grawity above includes a useful summary of the state of this problem.

Currently, if you enable "RealTimeIsUniversal", occasionally the system time gets reset to a wrong time (UTC minus local offset). This causes the DHCP client to fail to refresh the dhcp lease and the system becomes disconnected until you manually refresh the lease, or restart the DHCP client.

Finding a workaround for this particular bug may be an acceptable tradeoff, but there might be other subtle bugs that come and go as Windows gets updated, due to the fact that the "RealTimeIsUniversal=1" configuration is not regression tested at Microsoft presently.


I want to add this link http://www.nathanhunstad.com/blog/2012/01/windows-7-utc-time-issue/ in which explains that sometimes Windows doesn't update the BIOS clock, but does make the UTC->Local time conversion.

The key is to make the change in the BIOS manually and Windows won't change it. It also speaks that Internet Time won't work correctly.

Hope it's interesting for you and find it usefull!

  • 1
    Please post all relevant information from links into your answer, this will help avoid link rot
    – 50-3
    Sep 12, 2013 at 1:26
  • What did I miss?
    – txomon
    Sep 12, 2013 at 8:45
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    you have linked an article (I think I can't open the link) I was just saying that this link is unlikely to exist forever if there was any extract from the article you could use to further explain your answer please include it in your answer
    – 50-3
    Sep 12, 2013 at 21:10
  • Well, this is meant to be an addition to the official and selected answer. I already wrote the important parts of it. (in which explains...)
    – txomon
    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:16

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