How can I manually sync the time of a client computer with the Active Directory domain?

You might need to manually synchronize the time of a client computer within a domain. Note that this need should be the exception rather than the rule; Windows 2000 (Win2K) and later computers in a domain should automatically synchronize time with a domain controller. Manually synchronizing the time will not resolve the underlying time sync issue, but might temporarily resolve any other problems that arise from a lack of proper time sync (such as user and computer logon issues). See the sidebar "Manual Sync as a Troubleshooting Step" for more information about manually synchronizing the time.

Manual Sync as a Troubleshooting Step

One common reason to manually synchronize a computer's time is as a troubleshooting step. For example, if you notice System event log entries from the W32Time service, which indicate that time synchronization failed, you might attempt to manually sync the time as a troubleshooting step.

Typically, failed time synchronization is the result of the computer being unable to contact a domain controller, and you should troubleshoot that problem directly. Once the W32Time service fails to locate a domain controller, it will reduce its activity to location attempts every 16 hours until restarted. You'll see System event log messages to this effect, with Event ID 64, whenever the service is unable to locate a domain controller for a long period of time.

To manually synchronize time, open a command-line window, and run

net stop w32time


w32time –update


net start w32time

Manually verify the synchronization between the client computer and a domain controller. Also check the System event log to ensure that the W32Time service has not logged additional error messages.