by Madalina Dinita 13 Comments
Incorrect date and time settings may prevent you from accessing your favorite online platforms and web pages. When you send a connection request to a web page, the server checks your PC’s date and time settings for security reasons. If your Windows computer isn’t syncing with a time server properly, try these steps.
Unfortunately, your Windows computer may sometimes fail to sync with Internet time. When that happens, the following error message usually pops on the screen: “An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with time.windows.com. This operation returned because the timeout period expired.” As a result, you need to manually update your date and time settings every time you start your machine. Then, use the troubleshooting methods below to fix the problem.
What to Do If Windows Won’t Sync with the time.windows.com
Sync Date and Time Settings to time.nist.gov
First of all, go to Settings, select Time and language, and make sure Windows is allowed to set the date and time settings automatically.
After that, check if you can reach the time.nist.gov server and sync your date and time settings.
- Go back to Date and timesettings andselect Add clocks for different time zones.
- Then click on the Internet time tab.
- Hit the Change settings button.
- Use the drop-down menu and select the time.nist.gov time server.
Restart the Windows Time Service
- Press the Windows and R keys to open a new Run window.
- Type services.msc and hit Enter.
- Scroll down to Windows Time.
- Please right-click on the Windows Time service and stop it.
- Then, double-click on the Time service again and go to Startup Type.
- Set the Startup Type to Automatic.
- Save the changes and restart your computer.
- Check if you can sync your PC’s date and time settings with the time.windows.com server.
Connect to NTP.org Time Servers
If the time.windows.com server is unreachable, or your computer fails to connect to it, use the NTP.org time servers.
- Type cmd in the Windows search bar and right-click on Command Prompt.
- Select Run as administrator.
- Then run the commands below to sync your computer’s date and time settings with the NTP.org time servers.
sc start W32Time
w32tm /config /update /manualpeerlist:”pool.ntp.org”
Add More Time Servers
Did you know that you can manually add additional time servers by tweaking your Registry? To do that, launch the Registry Editor and go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers. Then, right-click in an empty area in the right pane, select Newand then click on String Value.
Add one of the servers below:
Repeat the steps above for each of the time servers you want to add. Then, go back to Internet Time settings and connect to one of the servers you manually added to the list. Check if the error is gone.
If your computer is unable to sync with properly with a time server, restart the Windows Time service. Then, try to connect to an alternative time server, such as the NTP.org time servers. You can manually add additional time servers by tweaking your Registry Editor settings. Hit the comments below and let us know which of these solutions worked for you.
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After switching to using the pool.ntp.org server, the time is now being synchronized.
BTW. The instruction on how to add more servers to the drop-down list is slightly wrong. When adding an entry in the registry:
– Name should be “3”, “4”, etc.
– Data should be the name of the server. I.e. “pool.ntp.org”, or equivalent.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction on how to solve this annoying issue.
Lucifer Morningstar says
Some router firmware(including Fresh Tomato, DD-WRT) by default may have NTP (Network Time Protocol) intercept turned on or have it blocked in its firewall. I discovered that today after noticing that my time has not synced since July 2015…which is about the time I bought a router which I flashed then with Fresh Tomato. I replaced that router and reflashed it with Fresh Tomato last year, noticed an issue with certain apps and wrong time stamps and then went through the windows and router settings today and it was set by default to intercept time requests. Fresh Tomato has the ability to talk to an external time server and act as a “proxy” by which you can synchronize all your LAN machines, if you wish. So, i just set it to my router’s IP and that was that…all synced up now. Otherwise, your problem may be that you need to allow the traffic through your firewall(my external gateway actually has its own firewall block setting for that) or you need to turn off NTP intercept.
Hello! Thanks for the help.
I tried to sync it with time.nist.gov, time.windows.com, north-america.pool.ntp.org, and pool.ntp.org.
For some reason pool.ntp.org worked for me.
Before that I also verified my Microsoft accound which was unverified (don’t know it that is related though.
Good look everyone and thanks for the help.
Is there any chance to use a proxy to connect to a time server? For my system this would be the only way to do it…
Although this article is for Windows 10, I noticed it because I’m an XP user, having the exact same issue as of recently and it is preventing the Chrome browser from reaching most websites and the fixes you mention can be done on my machine. Some commenters feel that this problem is due to a Windows 10 update, but I no longer get Windows updates so leads me to suspect that this issue is not due to a Windows 10 update but something else. Also my machine automatically gets synced to NIST time. I get the “your computer’s time is ahead” message. When I attempt to sync to Windows time I get “An error occurred while Windows was syncronizing with time.windows.com. The timeout period expired.” I’m wondering if Microsoft has decided that now only one time service, time.windows.com, is going to be accepted by their operating systems. I could not be more frustrated with Microsoft.
Theodore Hall says
As the previous commentor wrote, none of this has worked, including reinstalling completely. It started with a windows 1o update and has persisted through an “upgrade” to windows 11. This is a systemic issue in windows due to a faulty update that has not been addressed. Avoid updating if at all possible.
Microsoft is useless, they took control of my PC after I told them the 7 steps I took to try to fix this issue. They clicked the “Sync now” button 3 times and then told me to report the issue to the Feedback Hub. I truly fking hate them
I have this problem on a new computer with Windows 10 installed and updated. None of these fixes worked.
After executing the command line procedure ending with “w32tm /resync” I get “The computer did not resync because no time data was available.”
When I try synchronizing from “Internet Time settings:” I get “An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with time.nist.gov. The operation returned because the timeout period expired.”
It does this also for time.windows.com, north-america.pool.ntp.org, and pool.ntp.org
Happened both on my Windows 10 PC and on my new Windows 11 laptop, and none of the fixes worked. Starting to think I’m either possessed by the time demon or this issue is somehow linked to my Microsoft account.
Thank you, had to update the server as you mentioned above to time.nist.gov from google.com
Yes, this fixed it for me. Thank you
As per the comments from t. Dayton, the instructions in this post does not fix the issue.
By the way it only happened after I applied the windows updates that were due.
T. Dayton says
I have this issue with Win 11 and I tried all of your fixes and it still hasn’t corrected. The advice from Microsoft is to reload windows BUT that would mean another day or so reloading programs and MSFS2020 is a 150+ GB download and it takes forever, so that’s not a good option for something that should be fixable.
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