Windows 10: The Sands of time

Windows 10: The Sands of time

This short blog will be about some Windows 10 time sync issues and how to deal with them.

It’s summertime again, time to set your clock one hour forward. Windows 10 has a built-in mechanism to configure the clock/time automatically for you.

I will divide this blog into multiple parts

  1. Time changing privileges
  2. When does it sync?
  3. Solutions to start time syncing

1.Time Changing Privileges

If everything is working as it should, it’s great but yesterday some customers called. Their Windows 10 device did not automatically change the system time!

When you do have admin privileges (why???) you can manually sync the time, but you don’t have this luxury if you’re a user without admin privileges.

2. When does it sync?

Okay, when we want to change the time by ourselves we need admin permissions.. does it also happen automatically? Yes, it does… By default the Windows Time service checks time about every 9 hours (2 to the 15th power = 32,768 seconds) That really could take some time?

So we need to come up with a simple solution. We have a lot of options to choose from, let’s look at some of them

3. Solutions to Start time Syncing!

Option 1:

  • We could simply ask the customer to have some patience? But that’s not really user friendly I guess.

Option 2:

  • Changing the maxpollinterval/minpollinterval to change the 15th power or creating a specialpollinterval

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config\MaxPollInterval = 15 (default)


Option 3:

  • Creating a Powershell script in Intune to configure the Windows time service to start automatically instead of manual?

Set-Service W32time -startup-type automatic

Start-Service W32time

Option 4:

  • Another possibility would be giving the user the privileges to change the time themselves if Windows 10 won’t do it for you. You could create a CSP



 As shown above I am using the SID instead of the group name, because it could differ with each language.

Please note, giving the user the privileges to change the time, will not give them the possibility to start the time sync but they can change the clock the old school way.

Option 5:

  • Another option would be to create a Powershell Script which creates a scheduled task to trigger the time sync each hour.

schtasks /Create /F /RU SYSTEM /RL HIGHEST /SC HOURLY /TN Timesync /TR “cmd /c w32tm /resync”

schtasks /run /I /TN timesync

Option 6:

When configuring / solving the time sync issues.. please pretty please with sugar on top, don’t forget to configure the network time protocol 🙂


You don’t have to choose only 1 solution, you could combine them? We configured the w32 time service to start automatically and we created the CSP, so users could change the time themselves if needed.

Summer GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY | Summer gif, Summer, Summer time

Changing the system clock without the need to be an admin is yet another reason why users really don’t need to have admin privileges. The list of what you can do without admin privileges is becoming very large.

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