How to Change Computer Time and Dates Using the Command Prompt

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The MS-DOS operating system was replaced with Microsoft Windows years ago, so most users are no longer familiar with MS-DOS commands. However, you might want to use the command prompt to set the computer's date and time.

Changing the Date

  • From the "Start" button, choose "Run" and enter "cmd.exe" in the text box. A window will open and the cursor will be at the command prompt.

  • Type "date." The computer will respond with the current date setting and invite you to set a new date. It will also show you the format for entering the date.

  • Change the date by typing mm-dd-yy. For example, to change the date to February 28, 2008, type "02-29-08." Press "Enter," and the computer will respond with the new date setting.

  • Press "Enter" to accept the date displayed. Close the window.

Changing the Time

  • From the "Start" button, choose "Run" and enter "cmd.exe" in the text box. A window will open and the cursor will be at the command prompt.

  • Type "time." The computer will respond with the current time setting and invite you to set a new time.

  • Change the time by entering it in the same format as the time setting you were shown. For example, to change the time to 2:00 p.m., type "14:00:00. It's not necessary to enter fractions of a second. Press "Enter," and the computer will respond with the new time setting.

  • Press "Enter" to accept the time displayed. Close the window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Computers use the 24-hour time format in which hours between noon and midnight are indicated by numbers larger than 12.
  • Be cautious when entering commands from the command prompt. It's possible to make changes to your computer that will cause it to quit working.
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