Timezone, date, and time settings are very important for several apps and websites (such as Google, Facebook, Chrome, etc.) as those don’t work properly if the date and time settings are misconfigured. Usually, just setting the Windows to detect the timezone automatically solves the problem. But, some users have reported an issue where the “Set time zone automatically” setting is greyed out on their system. Sometimes, the system administrators can block the feature by placing a group policy so that domain users can alter the settings on their own.
Fix 1 – Turn on the Location Services
Toggle the location service from Settings, as Windows set the timezone according to the system location.
1. You can open the Settings by pressing the Win key+I keys together.
2. Then, tap on the “Privacy & Security” settings on the left-hand side.
3. Next, click on “Location” to explore it
4. On the right-hand pane, set the “Location services” to “On“.
5. Next, on the same page, set the “Let apps access your location” to “On“.
Now, restart your system. Usually, this lets you control the timezone settings on your computer.
Fix 2 – Correct the Auto Time Zone Updater
The Auto Time Zone Updater works as the name suggests. Set the service to automatic mode.
1. At first, press the Win key +R keys to invoke the Run box.
2. Then, type “services.msc” here and click on “OK“.
3. When you land on the Services page, double-click on the “Auto Time Zone Updater” service.
4. Now, once it opens up, set the “Startup type:” to “Automatic” from the drop-down list.
5. Next, click “Start” to start the service.
6. After that, click “Apply” and “OK” to save the settings.
Once you have done this, try to set the timezone settings to automatic mode.
Otherwise, restart your system and try to do the same.
Fix 3 – Use the Local Group Policy
Administrators can put a group policy that prohibits any user from interfering with the time one setting.
NOTE – Only Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise users can use the Group Policy settings. So, if you are Windows 11 Home user, jump to the Registry Editor fix.
1. At first, right-click the Win key and the R keys at once.
2. Now, type this down and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
3. When you see the Local Group Policy page opens up on your screen, head on to this place –
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Location and Sensors > Windows Location Provider
4. Once you are there, look carefully on the right-hand pane and you can see the “Turn off Windows Location Provider” policy.
5. Just, double-tap the policy to modify that.
6. In the Turn off Windows Location Provider screen, set the policy to the “Not Configured” condition.
7. Later, click on “Apply” and “OK” to save and exit the policy editor.
After that, close the Local Group Policy Editor page. This modification won’t affect your system until you restart your computer.
This way, you can set the timezone to automatic setting again.
Fix 4 – Using the Registry Editor
You can just create a registry value to set the time zone automatically on your Windows machine.
1. Press the Win key+S keys together to invoke the search box. Next, type “regedit” in that search box.
2. Next, click on the “Registry Editor” in the search results.
NOTE – Changing a registry key is very risky. You should always create a registry backup before you proceed further. We request you make a backup of the registry on your computer.
Once you have opened the Registry Editor, click on “File” on the menu bar. Then, tap “Export” to create a new backup on your computer.
3. On the Registry Editor page, reach this location –
4. Look on the right-hand pane and you can find the “Start” DWORD value.
5. This is the modifier. So, double-tap that value to edit it.
6. Next, set the value to “4“. This way, you have enabled the time zone automatic settings.
7. After that, click on “OK” to save the changes.
After this modification, close the Registry Editor page. Then, reboot your system.
Once it reboots up, open the date and time settings and you shall see automatically set the timezone settings is turned ON. Check if this helps.
Additional Steps if the location settings are also greyed out –
If the location settings are also greyed out, here is a registry trick that can help you resolve the issue –
1. Open the Registry Editor, if it isn’t opened yet.
2. Once you are there, expand the left-hand keys this way –
3. Now, on the right-hand section of the screen, look for the “Value” value.
4. Then, double-click it.
5. Next, write this in the ‘Value data:’ box.
6. After that, click “OK” to save the value.
Once you have changed the value, close the Registry Editor page. A registry editor fix doesn’t take effect unless you restart the system.
Fix 5 – Boot in clean mode
Clean boot mode allows the computer to operate without the interference of any third-party apps. If any foreign apps is the reason behind this issue, clean boot the system, and try to identify and uninstall it.
1. You have to open the Run terminal. So, you can right-tap the Windows icon on your taskbar and further click on “Run“.
2. Then, type this code and hit Enter.
3. Go to the “General” area.
4. Next, select the “Selective startup” option from the other three options.
5. After that, tick these two boxes–
Load system services Load startup items
6. Go to the “Services” section and just tick–mark the “Hide all Microsoft services” option.
You can see the services except for the ones from Microsoft are checked.
7. Then, click on the “Disable all” option to disable all of these services.
8. At the next step, go to the “Startup” section.
9. Next, click on the “Open Task Manager” option to access the Task Manager utility.
10. On the Task Manager page, you can view several startup items that start up with the system.
11. Simply, right-click each app one by one and tap on “Disable” to disable it.
Close the Task Manager window and you should be back to the System Configuration page.
12. Finally, tap “Apply” and “OK” to save this modification.
13. As soon as you click on the “OK“, prompt to restart your system tap “Restart“.
Now, once your system restarts in clean mode, try to enact the “Set timezone automatically” settings once again.
If you can turn that setting ON, there is a third-party application that is causing the problem.
Fix 6 – Update the system
Some users have solved their issues just by updating their computers.
1. Open Settings.
2. Now, click on the “Windows Update” on the left-hand pane.
3. After that, tap “Check for Updates“.
This way, Windows will now download the latest update packages on your computer.
Windows will download and install the update package on your computer.
4. Once all the updates are downloaded and installed, tap “Restart now” to restart the system.
Once the device restarts, go ahead and try to set the time zone automatically.
Fix 7 – Run some scans
SFC and DISM scans can repair damaged system files and fix the issue altogether.
1. Tap the 🔍 on your taskbar and write “command“.
2. Then, right-tap the “Comand Prompt” and then, click “Run as administrator“.
2. To run the SFC scan, copy-paste the code and hit Enter.
Windows scans the entire system and repair any bad sectors.
This process may take a while.
3. Once the SFC scan completes, copy this code from here, paste it into the terminal, and hit the Enter key.
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
After that, close the Command Prompt screen. After that, restart the system.
Sambit is a Mechanical Engineer By qualification who loves to write about Windows 10 and solutions to weirdest possible problems.