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Configure Internet Time (NTP) options in Windows 10

Internet Time (NTP) is a very useful way to keep your PC's time accurate automatically. Once configured, Windows will request time data periodically from time servers, so you can be sure that time and date on your device are set properly. Here is how it can be done.

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With Windows 10, Microsoft is moving all classic settings of the Control Panel to the new Universal (Metro) app called Settings. It already includes all basic management options that the average user needs to control the operating system. One of its pages is dedicated to Date and Time options. It is located in Settings -> Time & language -> Date & time:

date-and-time-settingsAs of this writing, it does not include anything related to NTP. To configure NTP, you still need to use the classic Control Panel applet.

Configure Internet Time (NTP) options in Windows 10
To set the NTP server in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to the following section:
    Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region

    date-and-time-settings-in-cp

  3. Click the icon Date and Time:The following window will appear on the screen:date-and-time-classic-applet
  4. There, switch to the tab named Internet Time. To adjust available settings, you need to click the button "Change settings...":
    change-settings-button-on-the-internet-tab
    Once you click it, you will be able to enable NTP and specify a custom time server if required:configure-internet-time-ntp-options-in-windows-10

Alternatively, you can specify a custom NTP server using the Registry. It can be done as follows.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers
  3. There, every time server should be stored under string values named 1,2,3 ...n and so on. The server which is currently in use is determined by the default parameter which should be set to the appropriate number (the value name). You can add here a new string value and set the default parameter you have created:ntp-settings-in-registrynew-string-valueadd-a-custom-ntp-server-via-registryactivate-ntp-server-via-registry
  4. You might need to restart Windows 10 to apply the changes you made.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

7 thoughts on “Configure Internet Time (NTP) options in Windows 10”

  1. Thanks for these clear instructions. The part about editing the Windows 10 registry to add a server to the built-in list was especially useful to me.

  2. Just want to add that the registry key change worked not only on Windows 10 but also on Windows 7 and even Windows XP. Some old devices only work with XP drivers so yes Windows XP is still in use.

  3. To set the FREQUENCY of how often to check / reset from the NTP server == >
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpClient

    Under the SpecialPollInterval KEY, modify it from the default, (1 day = 86,400), to my suggestion of 3600 (Binary) = 1 hour.

    You really need to add that option to Tweaker so folks can simply change how often to reset their clocks. The ONE DAY default is just not often enough to rely on, IMO. IF I had used it today for a call or appointment, I would have missed it since mine was 13 minutes late! I suspect gamers benefit more from this tweak, if they slow their PCs with excessive CPU usage over time.

    I had to search elsewhere, just to find this setting I’ve used in the past before. Back in the XP days, it was not unusual to have PCs that ran 5-10 minutes off PER DAY. Rather than have every PC get their own time, I set ONE server up (at that time) to reset time every 5 minutes. Then, I set the other PCs up to USE that server as its NTPserver, and check every 5 minutes. It worked well. I noticed today I must have had some app chewing up a ton of CPU on my PC to be 14 minutes behind!! I just set my PC to check NTP server every 3600 seconds / 1 hour, which for me is adequate.

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