iPhone/iPad Has Wrong Timezone When Date/Time is Set Automatically

Here is a fix to a problem that’s been annoying me ever since we were away travelling for the winter.

iOS 7 Update: After upgrading to iOS 7 the timezone had reverted to Cupertino time. The instructions below we’re not necessary, just go to Settings > General > Date & Time and turn off Set Automatically. Manually set your timezone, the reenable automatic.

Despite having the iPhone clock settings configured to ‘Set Automatically’ it would show the wrong timezone, and so the clock would be out. Regardless of my physical location in the UK, France or Spain, it would show Barcelona as the time zone location. Whilst in France or Spain this was actually OK as the time zone is common across those countries, but back home in the UK it was wrong.

I’ve just sat down to figure it out, and it appears to be a common problem, either with the timezone or with the Daylight Savings setting (DST) which is different in certain timezones. The fix on the other hand seems to be random, so here is what I tried and what works for me:

  1. Make sure Settings > Date/Time > Set Automatically is enabled

  2. Full shutdown and restart of the phone (hold power button down until prompted to shutdown, then again until the Apple logo appears) – this didn’t work for me.

  3. Toggle Settings > Airplane Mode – this didn’t work for me

  4. Reset Location Warnings in Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location Warnings – this worked for me, but took a minute or two before the clock corrected itself. I toggled Airplane Mode after this setting and the clock changed at the same time, but not sure Airplane Mode toggle was necessary or coincidental. Patience might have been the trick, but the toggle might have bumped it sooner.

Another setting to check for is Settings > Location Services > System Services > Setting Time Zone to make sure this is enabled.

If you have this problem and the above doesn’t work for you, let me know in the comments, especially if you have an alternative fix.

52 thoughts on “iPhone/iPad Has Wrong Timezone When Date/Time is Set Automatically

  1. David

    Very helpful. Thank you. I was very frustrated by the same problem, and hadn’t spotted the location services>system services>setting time zone. Thanks!

  2. Pamela

    The “reset location warnings” worked like a Champ… Thank you so much… I was getting so frustrated trying to figure this out… I did NOT have to toggle the airplane mode after the reset… Now my map has me back in MN instead of Costa Rica somewhere… YAY :)

    1. Guillauime

      thanks, second time it screwed my appointments up between london and paris. Was 1 hour early in London. which was fine. But the second time I was 1 hour late min Paris. bloody hell. Ruined my day . furious @ apple!!!! thanks very much for the “Reset Location Warnings” : it worked for me !!!

      PS: no need to toggle airplane mode.

      thanks again!

  3. Vida

    I live in Micronesia. There is no time zone to match up. Guam is close but a few hours different. In attempting to set the time the only way my iPad wiill work for messaging or FaceTime is if I have time set in U.S. like Hono or L.A. Ithey will not work if I manually correct date and time.mugh so frustrating! Any ideas?

  4. Karsten

    Thank you. I was very frustrated by the same problem, and hadn’t spotted the location services>system services>setting time zone>reset. Thanks!

  5. Sharon Pitzer

    none of this worked for me. I’m not sure when this problem began. Today is September 4, EST. However, my phone calendar believes it is Friday, August 31 — yet the calendar entries are correct for today.

    Interestingly, if I use SnapCal, all dates and times are correct…

    Thanks for any help you might be able to provide!

  6. Sharon Pitzer

    PS to my previous post. Most likely unrelated, but this weekend my iPad time zone ALSO went haywire, and thought I was in Shanghai. Neither of the devices had been synched for a while. I was able to fix the iPad location and subsequent time by setting my location manually.

    Since then I resynched both devices — and now the problem with the phone calendar. Date & Time on the phone itself appear correctly.

  7. Dharmaboopathy

    No,it’s not working for me.once I went via DOHA and used wifi,but now time zone not changing only showing DOHA,I don’t know how to correct?

  8. RB

    The article states that you have to reset Location Warnings in Settings > Reset > Reset Location Warnings.

    The location of this is on my iPhone 4S with iOS 5.1.1 Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location Warnings

  9. Norma

    Thanks so much for the “fix”. It worked to correct the time. I live in the central time zone, Houston. My phone allows me to select Houston, but it reverts back to Chicago, which is also in the CTZ. Is this just the way it works?

    1. Dave Post author

      I’m not sure what its expected to do normally. Mine says ‘London’, which happens to be the capital city of the UK, but is some 150 miles to the east of my location. It’s possible that it uses the cell tower location, which might be set to a single location for all cells within a timezone, depending on the operator. It probably doesn’t use GPS to determine the location. Assuming that its got you in the right timezone, that ought to be sufficient.

      1. Wayne

        Having just got back from Jamaica yesterday my iPad (latest model) is set on “Kingston” and won’t auto detect that immback in the UK. I can manually change it but when I turn bam on auto detect, it appears back to Kingston…help

  10. Andy

    Thanks for posting this – number 4 worked for me too. Bravo. The toggling of airplane mode on/off will cause a GPRS detach / attach cycle – if things work the way I think they do, the phone gets a time sync from attaching to the network for data services.

    I couldn’t figure out why on earth it was convinced I was in barcelona… weird.

  11. Wolfgang

    Great help, using rest location warnings. To note: while the automatic setting was wrongly locating me in Bangkok, also the Google map was centered there, without action from me

  12. Saeed Karimi

    For my iPhone 4S, this worked timidity: Settings > privacy >Location Services >System Services > Setting Time Zone ” ON “

  13. Deborah

    Location warnings worked for me too – and none of the others did. The phone was telling me I moved from Dallas to Denver as I slept. I don’t THINK so! Thanks Dave!

  14. Joy

    None of these work. :/ my phone keeps insisting that im in GMT time zone when im really in PST. i dont know where the GMT is located but i’m in california. My clock is way off, and none of these fix it :/ i really dont want to have to restore the phone because my computer wont let me back it up. Also when i manually change the time, i go to the world clock and all of those are incorrect. What should i do??!

  15. Kevin

    My iPad was set to ‘automatic’ and started showing the wrong time zone. Your “reset location warnings” fix worked for me. Thanks!

    1. Sheryl

      I am new to Iphone IOS7 . Just want to know what settings I should use to adjust to Daylight Savings time and also when traveling to different time zones. Setting Time zone is set to on in Location services. In Date and Time set automatically is set to off. Thanks!

      1. Dave Post author

        There is only one setting, in Settings > General > Date & Time > Set Automatically – If you have this turned on then it gets its time from the internet (so you need to have internet connection periodically) and it determines the timezone (which includes daylight savings adjustment) based on the location. If you have a wifi only phone or iPad and do not connect to the internet when you arrive in a new timezone, it will likely not be able to determine location.

        1. Sandi

          None of these have worked so far. My iPad is correct but my iPhone is wrong. #4 doesn’t work for me. As soon as I get home, the time switches to Central and I am Eastern. One thing to note: I have an internal cell tower in my house because the signal is so weak. It goes out over my internet connection to the cell network somewhere. I think maybe the system is picking up the location of the cell network, wherever that is on the network. The iPad doesn’t have that problem because it’s connecting to the internet locally via my cable internet connection. Is there any way to fix it so it doesn’t use the cell tower location, but uses the GPS location instead? It shows me in the right place geographically! Thanks!

          1. Dave Post author

            It’s possible that your pico cell is confusing it, your phone operator may be supplying their central location. One thing to try there is that the operator probably has a record of your location – the pico cells are supposed to have a registered location so that if you call emergency services they know where you are. You might check with your phone company that the pico cell has the correct registered location. Other than that, you might need to turn off auto time, and set it manually, which would be a bit of pain, but I find thats more reliable here in Europe.

  16. Seanio

    I came across this problem but you don’t have to mess about with all that stuff. All you have to do is enable. Your location services and you time will update to the location you are at

  17. Lee

    THANKYOU – ‘location services>system services>setting time zone’ was the solution. Worked instantly, no rebooting or anything else needed. Having browsed the internet for an answer to this for ages before coming across your post, I would say that there are a lot of users who are unaware of that setting!

  18. Tammy

    I had to go into the location services, system services, and enable the time feature.

    Thanks for the info!!!

  19. Erin Macaluso

    I’ve tried all of the above, but none of them work. My challenge is that time and date show up normally everywhere….except in calendar entries where it goes to GMT timezone. I’m in EST. Even if I change the location manually as I enter the appointment … it still shows up under GMT. Any other ideas?

    1. Dave Post author

      I read somewhere else the other day that there is some GMT bug in iOS 8, you might want to research about that to see if it’s relevant. Sorry, I don’t have the link.

  20. Bireshwar

    I have use all the methods you mentioned but my iPhone does not select correct time zone automatically and neither it allows me to set their me zone manually. Please help and how to do it. I am using 4S and iOS 8 latest version

    1. Charlene Fong

      Turn off your iPhone or iPad completely. Wait a minute or two then turn on the device. The correct time zone should appear as mine did.

  21. kelly chaney

    purchased iPhone off ebay activated just fine with page plus problem..time is correct on phone but when receive a text the time shown for text message is 3 hours off…can anyone help thank you!

  22. Harry

    I tried all of the above – to no avail. Finally resolved the problem when I turned on “Bluetooth”! “location accuracy and nearby services are improved when Bluetooth is turned on.”

    All working now. Thanks Harry

  23. Dulce

    Wow! Super helpful. I am getting really frustrated after learning my time zone doesn’t chnage automatically even it was all set to automatic. I didn’t notice this because my home country and the place I am currently based have the same time zones. Now, traveling to other country made me realized this problem. I had to manually set it but it annoys me so I kept searching and searching for an answer. That system services under location services was a spot on. I tried many other ways but to no avail. Thanks so much for this helpful and useful tip.

  24. Charlene Fong

    Very easy. To correct this problem all I did was completely turn OFF my iPad, wait a couple minutes then turn it on again. The correct time zone appeared!

  25. Bill

    I live in Australia and travel to Hong Kong frequently. Haven’t had this problem previously, but when I arrived in Hong Kong yesterday the display time still showed Sydney, even though my set time zone automatically setting was correctly configured and showed Hong Kong. Tried some of the above fixes with no success. As a last resort I changed the region to Hong Kong (Settings>General>Region) and this fixed it. However, not sure what impact changing the region will have on other apps- and it’s troublesome to change it when the time zone should be updating automatically anyway.


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