How to Fix Wrong Time and Date Displayed on Mac

It’s rare for a Mac to display the wrong time and date. However, this can happen on a Mac that has been idle for a long time or not connected to the internet. Luckily, in most cases, it’s easy to fix the clock on a Mac that’s showing an incorrect time and date.

Fix Mac Displaying Incorrect Time and Date

In general, Macs are set to automatically update their clocks by connecting to Apple’s trusted time service (time.apple.com) via an Internet connection. This explains why a Mac that hasn’t been connected to the internet for a long time can end up displaying an incorrect date and time.

That being said, there can be other reasons why your Mac is showing the wrong time, from a time zone change (while traveling) to minor software bugs that can prevent a Mac from updating its clock.

Let’s take a look at How to fix a Mac that’s showing the wrong time and date.

Restart your Mac

The simple act of restarting a computer has the ability to fix minor software bugs and fix problems. Hence, you should never shy away from this simple step of restarting your Mac to see if it can fix the wrong time and date issue on your Mac.

1. Click on that Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and then click Start anew from the drop down menu.

Reboot Mac

Check the date and time settings on Mac

Follow these steps to ensure your Mac is indeed configured to set its time automatically by connecting to Apple’s time service.

1. Click on that Apple icon in the top menu bar on your Mac and then click the system settings option in the drop down menu.

Apple icon and tab

2. On the System Settings screen, click appointment time Possibility.

Date and time option on Mac

3. On the next screen, make sure the option to Set date and time automatically is activated (see image below)

Set date and time automatically option on Mac

4. Activate the option for Set date and time automaticallyif it is not activated on your device.

Note: You must be logged into your admin account to enable or disable the “Set date and time automatically” option.

Manually correct date and time on Mac.

As mentioned above, your Mac can end up showing incorrect time when you cross a time zone while traveling and also due to minor software bugs on your Mac. In such a case, you can manually correct the clock on your Mac by following the steps below.

1. Click on that Apple icon in the top menu bar on your Mac and then click the system settings option in the drop down menu.

Apple icon and tab

2. On the System Settings screen, click appointment time Possibility.

Date and time option on Mac

3. On the Date & Time screen, first uncheck the option to Set date and time automatically and then correct the date and time manually as needed (see image below).

Manually correct date and time on Mac

Allow Mac to set the time zone automatically

If you travel frequently, you can configure your Mac to set the time zone automatically by using location services. This option is suitable if you travel frequently and have no problem turning on location services on your device.

1. Click on that Apple icon in the top menu bar on your Mac and then click the system settings option in the drop down menu.

Apple icon and tab

2. On the System Settings screen, click appointment time Possibility.

Date and time option on Mac

3. On the Date & Time screen, click first time zone tab and then activate Set time zone automatically option (see image below).

Set Time Zone Automatically option on Mac

4. Next, you will see a popup informing you that location services are not enabled on your device. Click on Open privacy settings… Button.

Open the Privacy Settings tab on Mac

5. First on the security and privacy screen Enable location services and then click the Details… Button next to System Services (see screenshot below).

tab

6. On the next screen, enable the option for Set time zone and tap Finished.

Allow System Services to set the time zone on Mac

This setting allows your Mac to update the date and time based on your device’s location. Whenever you cross time zones, your Mac uses location services to track your location and uses an appropriate time zone to adjust the date and time on your Mac.

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