Previously, there was an Internet Time tab on the Date and Time applet of the Control Panel, wherein one could force a query of an internet time server and also type in a different server from the ones supplied. However, this tab has now disappeared, and I need to have it back. I should mention that this machine has never been part of a domain, since it seems that machines that are such do not have such a tab. I should be obliged to anyone who can help me restore the missing tab.

Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1

  • I have a dumb question: what happens if you click on the "Change date and time" button on the dialogue box?
    – user3463
    Commented Feb 27, 2011 at 23:29
  • You get a dialogue box called Date and Time Settings, whcih allows one to change, manually, the date and time, but nothing that allows one to configure the Windows service that automatically queries internet time servers or to force a query. That was accessed by a tab on the main Date and Time dialogue box, now gone missing. Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 2:18
  • Are you still experiencing this issue? Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 13:54
  • Unfortunately, I still am, despite having tried the suggedtions kindly offered by Caleb Anderson. Commented Jul 7, 2012 at 6:08
  • Do you have Windows Time enabled in the services.msc? Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 20:25

4 Answers 4


It sounds like the computer thinks it is part of a Domain. As you mentioned the internet time tab is disabled for domain environments. The computer will sync with the domain controller and there isn't a way to have it sync to the internet in domains.

I think this article from Microsoft might help. It provides a number of registry values that effect this area. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042

Also, you might be able to run a few commands from command prompt to resolve this too:

w32tm /config /syncfromflags:MANUAL /manualpeerlist:time.nist.gov
w32tm /config /update
  • 3
    He specifically says: I should mention that this machine has never been part of a domain, since it seems that machines that are such do not have such a tab.
    – Bob
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 13:40
  • 2
    I totally missed that. I edited my post to hopefully provide a better answer. Thanks for directing me to my oversight.
    – CEPA
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 17:45

If your computer is not a domain member, the Windows Time service can be set to Manual startup mode and should ordinarily not be running.

Try just stopping the service to see if the additional tab returns. You may have to go as far as setting it to Manual startup and rebooting.

Additionally, the registry key HKEY\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers needs to be configured correctly in order to make it work. In the screen shot below, there are six available time servers listed, but the (Default) value is empty.

time server key (misconfigured)

The (Default) value needs to have something in it. Otherwise, the Internet Time tab will not show. Specifically, the (Default) value needs to have the name of one of the other values in this Servers key. It cannot have an invalid value. Using the screen shot again, a value of 6 would be invalid, because there is no corresponding time server labelled "6." On my machine, the (Default) value is 1, which means my computer gets time from time.windows.com.

  • Stopped it, set it to Manual and rebooted: no luck—still no Internet Time tab. Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 7:46
  • Did you check the additional registry-related info I posted? Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 1:06
  • Just did it about 15 minutes ago. There was no (Default) value set. Now Windows syncs time both automatically and manually, once I removed the no longer operational time servers. Thanks to everyone for the help. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 1:35
  • There are still some mysteries left. On my computer the time-server according to the Internet Time tab is time-nw.nist.gov, but (Default) is "1" (link), which according to you should mean time.windows.com. I conjecture that (Default) should be non-empty for historical reasons, but that Windows 7 picks randomly a server, maybe only checking that it really works.
    – harrymc
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 5:45
  • I get what you're saying. Maybe Windows starts with the value you put in (Default) but could change servers for a number of reasons. I know when I was putting different numbers in for the (Default) value, the time server name changed appropriately in the Date/Time applet. Like a lot of things in Windows, we may never know every detail of how it works. I also wonder if the actual selected server is based on your location. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 12:07

In previous versions of Windows, the Internet Time tab was not built-into the Date and Time applet, but was added there by the Windows Time service. In Windows 7 I found weird things happening, such as seeing the service running although it was set to Manual, or of seeing Internet Time displayed and time-sync done even when the service is disabled.

I'm starting to think that Windows 7 will start the service when time-sync is to be done, no matter what is specified as its Startup type. I still don't know whether the Internet Time tab is now built-in or is still being added there by the service on its first run.

It seems however likely to me that there is still some connection between the service and the Internet Time tab, so that some corruption caused this mechanism to malfunction.

The Time service is defined in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\W32Time. In case that the problem is caused by registry corruption, I have posted this key's contents on pastebin for comparison. Do not import it blindly into the registry (or at least not before saving yours).

Otherwise, all I can suggest are general troubleshooting steps such as the System File Checker.

  • Um, this and this. You should know better.
    – Synetech
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 16:37
  • @Synetech: It seems to me I am simply not agreeing with the second "this", while saying that the first "this" is correct but might still not work because of registry corruption. I should maybe have been clearer about it, rather than going for a too-general answer.
    – harrymc
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 19:10
  • You said to make sure the Time Service is running but it has already been established twice that he made sure it is.
    – Synetech
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 19:12
  • @Synetech: That's what I meant by "too general", meaning going beyond the bounds of this post. But the advice to "stopping the service to see if the additional tab returns" is totally mistaken.
    – harrymc
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 19:15
  • 1
    The service need not be running. On my domain-joined PC, the service is running and there is no Internet Time tab (makes sense, because I'm in a domain). On my non-domain PC, the service is not running, and I have the tab. It is likely that the service must not be disabled, but the notion that the service must be running is incorrect. Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 23:01

My computer is part of a Domain and the tab is not visible. If I disable the network card, then the tab can be seen/accessed. Re-enabling the NIC turns the tab invisible again.

  • Interesting. The catch of course is how to access the time server with no active card - or does any change persist once the card is re-enabled?
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 15:51

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