I’ve been testing a number of tablets, notebooks, and other computers that can dual-boot Android and Windows recently. And I’ve noticed that many of them have the same problem: set the time in Windows, reboot into Android, and when you reboot into Windows again the time will be off by several hours.

It turns out that this is a long-running issue with computers that dual-boot Windows and alternate operating systems. And there’s a pretty simple fix.

date time

Background

Windows uses your local time zone to set the time, but most other operating systems including OS X, Android, and many Linux distributions use Universal Time, or GMT to keep track of time and then convert that into your local time zone.

You could theoretically change set some of those operating systems to use LocalTime… but it’s easier to set Windows to Universal Time.

Note that the steps outlined below only work reliably if you’re using Windows 7 or later. But really, you should be. Windows XP is no longer officially supported, and Windows Vista is best forgotten altogether.

I’ve been playing with dual-boot configurations for over a decade, but hadn’t really noticed this problem until recently, when I started using a series of dual-boot Android/Windows tablets from China or when I tried installing Remix OS (a custom version of Android) on my PC.

It turns out that’s because most of the dual-boot solutions I’d tried involved Ubuntu… which automatically detects if Windows is installed on a computer when you’re installing the operating system, and uses LocalTime if it is.

But the problem has been around for a long time… as has a solution.

How to set the Windows clock to Universal Time

All we need to do is change one small registry setting:

1. Open the Start Menu (or Start Screen, depending on the version of Windows you’re using.

2. Type “regedit.exe” into the search box and hit enter.

3. When the registry editor opens, navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation

hkey_01

4. Right-click in the pane on the right and select New.

5. Choose DWORD (32-bit Value)

hkey_02

6. Name that new DWORD “RealTimeIsUniversal” (without the quotes).

7. Doubleclick RealTimeIsUniversal and change the Value from 0 to 1.

hkey_04

8. Reboot your computer into the non-Windows operating system.

Now the next time you boot into Windows, the time should be correct.

Alternate solution

Move to London, where the local time and Universal Time are always the same the same during at least part of the year.

via Lifehacker and ArchLinux Wiki

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16 replies on “Fix the time problem on dual-boot computers (Windows and Linux or Android)”

  1. Thank you!!! I use f.lux to adjust the warmth of the screen so it’s important to have it be at the right time. See problems like this are why Windows sucks. Linux doesn’t have random errors like this and never made me go into obscure settings like that.

  2. hello.. i have installed ubuntu with windows but at boot time ubuntu is directly started and
    i can’t access windows.

  3. This long ago fixed my problem with my Hackintosh, but I suspect that the Linux I’m using on the same box CommedoreOSVision is using Local time. It’s a minor annoyance that requires me to run the clock control panel when I boot back to windows.

  4. Does this tweak enable Windows to automatically adjust clock to current time zone when traveling?

  5. Previously, I thought that it was simpler to just boot linux and edit /etc/default/rcS to:
    Set UTC=no

    …but when added Remix to the mix I found that there is no such file to edit in the Android file system, so I had to resort to this dirty old hack.

    The simplest solution is probably to move to an equatorial country with a UTC offset of zero, which allows you to skirt the whole daylight savings time issue. I have heard lots of good things about Burkina Faso.

  6. I don’t think I have seen this issue since I used Corel Linux. I don’t remember it using PCLOS, Red Hat, or Linux Mint. These days I rarely boot Windows and all but one of my computers run Linux exclusively.

  7. Are there any phones that can dual boot windows and android? Could snapdragon 820 do it?

    1. As Zdnet said recently, the best advice about getting a Windows Phone is….. don’t.

  8. i always just leave the windows boxen at GMT. Works for win7. I hope win10 or whatever doesn’t “fix” that.

  9. >Alternate solution

    >Move to London, where the local time and Universal Time are always the same.

    They are not! London runs on BST in the summer.

      1. But I already packed my suitcase and gave the land lord and boss my notice and everything…
        😀

Comments are closed.