How to keep your computer's clock up to date

Using NTP you can keep you computer's clock synchronized to the atomic clock. If your computer's clock becomes out of sync, you may have problems access certain secure sites, may be late for meetings, etc.

In Microsoft Window XP, double-click on the clock on the task bar and select the Internet Time tab. Next, click automatically synchronize with an Internet time server. If you are performing these steps at your workplace, check with your system administrator to see if your network is running an NTP server; if so, enter its address in the box. If not, choose one from the list at Click on the Update Now button. Finally, click on the OK button. That's all there is to it.

If you are running linux, these instructions should help you out. Open /etc/ntp.conf with your favorite text editor (e.g. vim, emacs, joe, gedit, etc.) and add a line with a public NTP server's address (or the address of your company's NTP server). A list of public NTP servers can be found at Also, you may add more that one address - each on its own line - and if the first address becomes unavailable, NTP will try the next one in the list.

It is polite to let the maintainer of the server know that you are going to use their NTP server for synchronizing your clock, but is not mandatory.

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Last edited: 2017-09-18