How to Change Date And Time on Mac

The date and time on your Mac are usually synced automatically by apple servers. However, if this issue arises, you can change and switch to other servers to get the correct time and date. 

To change date and time on Mac, you can open System Preferences and click on the Date & Time option. Here, tap on the small lock icon to make get permission to make the changes. Enter the password of your Mac. Next, you need to check the box beside the Set date and time Automatically option. If you want to set the date and time manually, you can uncheck the box and make changes.

This article details the various methods you can use to change the date and time on your mac. 

How to Change Date And Time on Mac

Here are some ways you can try to change the date and time on Mac. Let us look at all the methods below.

1. Using System Preferences

This is the most straightforward method to change the date and time on your system. Read the steps given below.

  • Log in to your mac and open System Preferences. You can access it from the Menu bar by clicking on the Apple logo or using the shortcut on the dock. 
  • Head over to the Date & Time tab.
Change Date And Time on Mac
change date and time mac apple
  • Click on the small lock icon at the bottom left corner of the window.
How to Change Date And Time on Mac
change date and time macos
  • Enter the password to your Mac to allow further changes. 
  • Now, check the box next to the Set date and time automatically option and change the servers if you think the one you’re currently using isn’t showing the accurate date & time.
how to change date and time on mac without admin
change date and time macos
  • It is essential to be connected to the internet during this process. However, if you do not have access to an internet connection at the moment, you can also set the date & time manually by clicking the Time Zone tab. 
  • Now, uncheck the box next to the Set time zone automatically using the current location option. 
  • Choose the timezone you want to use from the map given below.  
  • If you get an error message that the mac cannot determine your location, you need to enable location services from System Preferences
  • Go to the System Preferences main page and select the Security & Privacy tab. 
  • Head over to the Privacy pane and select Enable location services
  • From the applications list, scroll down till you find System Services, then select the Details button. 
  • Now check the box next to the Time Zone option, and you’re done. 

2. Using terminal

You can also change the date and time using the Terminal in mac. This method is not used as much, but it is there if you want to use it. Refer to the following details to see how it is done.

  • First, shut down Mac completely if you do not know how to enter the recovery mode. Then as soon as you see the Apple logo, press Command-R till you see an Apple logo or a spinning globe. 
  • Once you’re in recovery mode, cancel the installation process. 
  • Head over to the Utilities section and open the Terminal application. 
  • Type in “date” to see the current date. 
  • If you notice that the current date and time are not up to date, use the command, “ date {month}{day}{hour}{minute}{year}” without quotation marks. 
  • Make sure to enter the right date and time into the appropriate brackets. For example, January 6th, 2022, 13:45 will be written as “ date 0106134522 “. 
  • Click the return key, and the new date and time will be set. 

3. Without Admin Password

If you do not remember the admin password for your Mac, changing the date and time can be quite troublesome. However, there is a way to do it, it is a bit longwinded, but it is there if you need it.

You need to create a new administrator account using the setup assistant to change the date and time. Refer to the instructions provided below.

  • First, shut your Mac down and boot into single-user mode. To do this, ensure your Mac is completely shut down, press the power button, and hold down the Command-S keys until a black screen is displayed with white font. 
  • Use the command “/sbin/fsck -fy” to check your hard drive and repair it. 
  • Now, you need to mount the hard disk again as a read-write device. Use the “  /sbin/mount -uw / “ command to do so. 
  • Now, type “ /var/db/.AppleSetupDone “ and hit return. This will remove the Apple Setup wizard. 
  • Type “reboot,” hit enter, and wait for your system to restart. 
  • You will be met with a new setup screen, create a new admin account, and now you can change the date and time of the system using System Preferences. 
  • You need to ensure that all the spaces are entered as mentioned in the command line.  

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to enter recovery mode on Mac?

To access the recovery mode, you must first shut down your Mac completely. After that, press the power button and press Command-R or Shift-Option-R during the boot to force Mac into recovery mode over the internet. 

2. How to enter single-user mode on Mac to ​​Change Date And Time?

To enter the single-user mode, reboot your Mac and hold down the Command-S keys till you see a black screen with white lettering. However, this process is different for Macs on the Silicon M1 chips. Shut down your Mac and hold the power button until you see the Apple loading screen or a spinning globe. Head over to the Utilities tab and open the terminal application.

3. Why can’t I change the date and time on my Mac?

You cannot change the date and time on Mac or any other system you are working on because the settings are made in a way where the date and time are automatically set based on the time zone. You can reverse the settings by simply unchecking the box beside Set date and time Automatically under System Preferences.


That’s about it for this article; as far as Mac is concerned, these are the only methods to change the date and time on Mac. We recommend using System Preferences for altering the date and time as it is the easiest method.

Using the terminal can get confusing if you do not understand the proper syntax. Additionally, you can try changing the server if you think the default apple server is not transmitting the proper date and time.

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