Fix Windows and Linux Showing Different Time When Dual Booting

Dual-booting Windows and Linux with the wrong time? Here’s how to fix Windows and Linux showing a different time when dual booting.

If you are dual-booting Windows and Linux, you might have seen a strange issue with Windows and Linux showing different times. Even if you set the time correctly in either Linux or Windows, you might see a different time when you boot into the other operating system. Though this is not a big problem, it is very frustrating to fix the time each time manually. Not to mention, wrong time can sometimes interfere with some applications and may disrupt your internet connection.

Why Does Windows and Linux Show Different Time When Dual Booting?

Generally, the current time is stored in your motherboard, and every time you boot into either Windows or Linux, they will make use of the time stored in the motherboard. However, the issue lies in how Windows and Linux interpret the time from the motherboard.

Windows: It assumes that whatever time is on the motherboard, it is your local time. Windows will not make any corrections or UTC (Greenwich Mean Time) off-sets. It just displays the time as is.

Linux: It assumes that whatever time is in the motherboard, it is the UTC (Greenwich Mean Time). As such, Linux off-sets the motherboard time according to your location to show the actual local time.

As you can guess, both methods are excellent when they are used independently. But when you are dual booting, these methods will cause time sync issues and show different times in Windows and Linux.

Don’t worry; though the issue seems complicated, it is straightforward to fix Windows and Linux showing the different time when dual booting. Just follow the below steps, and you should be good.

The method works in Windows 7 and 8 too.

Fix Different Time in Windows and Linux

To make Windows and Linux show the same time, you can either fix Linux to use the local time or fix Windows to use UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). I’m going to show how to resolve the issue from within Windows. It is much easier; all you have to do is create a single Registry key.

Note: Before proceeding, please create Registry backup before making any changes to it. The backup will help you restore the Registry when you want to reset or if anything goes wrong while editing.

You need to stop Windows from resetting the changes we are about to make every time you restart your system.

1. Open the Windows 10 Settings app by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win + I.

2. Navigate to “Time and Language > Date and Time.” On the right-hand side, toggle the button under “Set time automatically” to “Off.”

Turn off "Set time automatically" option

You can now proceed to Registry changes.

3. Open Windows Registry Editor by searching for “regedit” in the start menu.

4. Now, copy the below path, paste it into the address bar, and press Enter to navigate to the target key instantly. In Windows 7 and 8, you have to navigate to the required key manually.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation
Fix Windows and Linux showing different times - Navigate to key

5. Once you are here, right-click on the right panel and select “New > DWORD Value.” Type the name as “RealTimeIsUniversal” and press Enter to save changes.

Fix Windows Linux Time Difference - Create Realtimeisuniversal Value

6. After creating the value, double-click on it, enter “1” in the Value Data field, and click on the “Ok” button to save the changes.

Change Value Data To 1

That’s it. From this point forward, Windows and Linux will show the same time when dual booting. No more different times in Windows and Linux issue, and you can enjoy both operating systems without manually changing the time every time.

Undo Changes

In the future, if you want to undo the changes you just made, either delete the “RealTimeIsUniversal” value or change the Value Data from “1” to”0.” Also, turn on the “Set time automatically” option in the Settings app.

Comment below, sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to fix Windows and Linux showing different times when dual booting.

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