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 time settings and select 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 New and 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.