How to Fix It When the Time on Your Phone Is Wrong

Troubleshooting why your phone won't keep correct time

Does your Android phone keep falling back 1 hour, or does it set itself to some other wrong time? Maybe you're missing alarms because of the incorrect time. There are a few things you can try to get it back to working order.

Why Is the Automatic Time on My Phone Wrong?

The most likely reason is that the time zone is misconfigured, either because you set it manually or incorrectly. When the wrong time zone is on your phone, even if the automatic time toggle is on and functioning, it will show the wrong time.

How to Fix It When the Time on Your Phone Is Wrong

There isn't a single reason why the time on your phone is off, so there are many things you can try to fix it.

We used a Google Pixel running Android 12 to build these troubleshooting tips. The screenshots and steps might not align precisely with what you see on your phone, but the ideas should still apply to most devices. Search your phone for the options described in the steps if you can't follow along.

  1. Restart your Android. It's often the fix for these kinds of oddities. Restarting is so easy and usually clears up issues of this nature that it's the most straightforward first step to take.

  2. Turn on Android's automatic date/time setting. Do this through Settings > System > Date & time. Select the button next to Set time automatically to trigger it.

    System, Date & Time, Set time automatically switch in Android settings

    If this is already turned on, turn it off, restart your phone, and then turn it back on.

  3. Set the time manually. It's the reverse of step 2, so return to that screen, disable Set time automatically, and manually fill out the Time field.

  4. The wrong time zone setting is a common factor that affects the time. Return to the Date & time screen and ensure Set time zone automatically is turned on.

    On the flip side, the phone might not correctly understand the actual time zone. In that case, turn off the automatic option and set the time zone manually by selecting Time zone.

    Over the years, there have been various reports where an Android phone sets itself to the wrong time zone, either all the time or at particular locations where the time zone doesn't change. These issues are likely due to cell tower hiccups, so the best solution is to set the time zone manually. Just remember to adjust it again as you travel, or try the automatic setting again.

  5. Check for an Android operating system update, and apply the update if available. Depending on the OS you're using, the update might address this bug.

  6. Take note of any new events surrounding this issue. Did you install a new app or two? Delete them, at least temporarily, to test if that's the cause.

  7. Some reports of the wrong time on an Android phone have been resolved by simply waiting. Whether it's a software update or a problem even more outside your control (like an issue with the carrier or broadcasting tower), waiting for a fix might be the only solution.

  8. You could try resetting your Android phone, but this is a drastic step that might not resolve the issue, especially if step 7 applies. If, however, the problem does lie with your phone's software—perhaps a third-party app is to blame—a total reset back to the factory defaults might be necessary.

FAQ
  • How do I change the time on my Android phone?

    To manually change the time on Android, go to Settings > System > Date & Time and disable the Set time automatically toggle. You can then tap Date and Time to set them manually.

  • How do I see how much time I spend on my Android phone?

    Use the Digital Wellbeing & parental controls on Android 10 and up to check your screen time, set app timers, and schedule bedtime mode. Go to Google Play and look for a third-party screen time app on older devices.

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