Error changing time zone in Windows Server 2019: Use the command line or PowerShell instead

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

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

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:

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

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:

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

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13 Comments
  1. Pierluigi 1 year ago

    Hi.

    It is also possible to Enable the "User Account Control :Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account" in "Local Group Policy\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options".

    In this way, the administrator users coming from the network can act the same way as the local administrator.

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  2. Heh, I just ran into this problem today! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Cristiano Santos 1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing, buddy! Just got this issue today and you gave me the solution 🙂

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  4. Robert 1 year ago

    U can use Server Management window to set TimeZone in part LocalServer 🙂

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  5. Grumpf 9 months ago

    Thanks!

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  6. Alexander 8 months ago

    Thanks, it worked for me with timedate.cpl utility

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  7. Haroosh 8 months ago

    Thank you ! 🙂

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  8. jeferson santos 7 months ago

    thank you for solve my problem

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  9. MSP Man 6 months ago

    How convenient, the timezone setting on the top article on google is the exact one I need! (thankyou)

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  10. Jing 6 months ago

    hi  Clock Reverts to UTC Time After Computer (Server) Reboot, Could you please advise?

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    • If you successfully change the timezone as described in the post, but its change after reboot, I suggest to check Event Viewer, System events, Kerner-General source. That should tell you which process has changed the timezone.

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  11. emrah 5 months ago

    Thank you for all detailed information. It still exist.

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  12. Jamie Dyer 2 months ago

    Thank you so much! I tried countless "fixes" for this and the first method you suggested was all it took. I appreciate your time!

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