The solution is to use the command line program tzutil.exe or PowerShell. Both can be used independently of this problem on other Windows versions as well.

Normally, even standard users can change the time zone settings in Windows. However, in Server 2019, not even administrative privileges are sufficient for this action. At least, that's the impression given if you were to believe the error message.

If you try to change the time zone in the control panel, the action will fail. You will receive a notification that you do not have the permissions to perform this task and that you should contact the administrator.

Even as an administrator, you cannot change the time zone via the Control Panel

Even as an administrator, you cannot change the time zone via the Control Panel

As expected, the settings app is also unable to configure the time zone. Here, you do not even get an error message; the dialog simply resets itself to the original time zone after exiting. The latest cumulative updates do not eliminate this bug.

Changes to the time zone via the settings app simply remain ineffective

Changes to the time zone via the settings app simply remain ineffective

But if you still want to use a GUI for this task, you can circumvent the problem by starting the control panel's timedate.cpl applet directly, with administrative rights.

The direct execution of the timedate applet with administrative rights fixes the problem

The direct execution of the timedate applet with administrative rights fixes the problem

Adjusting the time zone via tzutil ^

Otherwise, you can open the command line as an alternative. The tzutil.exe utility is used to change the time zone. Its usage is relatively simple. Use

tzutil /l

to list the time zones available on the system. Change to the desired zone using the following command:

tzutil /s "W. Australia Standard Time"

In this example, you would set the time zone to Western Australia.

Changing the time zone with tzutil.exe

Changing the time zone with tzutil.exe

More Options via PowerShell ^

If you prefer PowerShell for this task, the Get-TimeZone and Set-TimeZone cmdlets serve this purpose. The former is used to display the names of the available time zones. You can filter the output to narrow the results. The following command shows all time zones for Australia:

Get-TimeZone -ListAvailable | where StandardName -like "*Austral*"

Pass the StandardName of the required time zone to Set-TimeZone:

Set-TimeZone -Name "W. Australia Standard Time"
Setting a new time zone using PowerShell

Setting a new time zone using PowerShell

However, unlike through the GUI, it is not possible to select certain cities in a time zone in this way. If you want that, then you can use the following command:

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Get-TimeZone -ListAvailable | ? DisplayName -like "*Berlin*"| Set-TimeZone

The tzutil.exe utility does not provide a solution to this problem.

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29 Comments
  1. Ryan 3 months ago

    run timedate.cpl as Admin. That different GUI will allow you to change the TimeZone as well.

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