Full Fix: Windows time service not running on Windows 10, 8.1, 7

By: Madeleine Dean
7 minute read

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The Windows Time Service (W32Time) is a Microsoft service that provides clock synchronization for computers. The tool is implemented in the W32Time.dll file.

The Windows Time Service recently broke down, sending wrong times to computers across the world. Fortunately, Microsoft quickly fixed this problem, and your computer should now display the correct time.

Should the Windows Time Service break down again, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to list a series of workarounds that you can use to set the correct time on your computer.

How to fix Windows time service issues

Windows Time service can sometimes lead to certain issues if it’s not running properly. Speaking of this service, here are some similar issues that users reported:

  • Windows 10 time service not starting, access denied, not working, not found, not showing – There are various issues that can occur with Windows Time service on Windows 10, but you should be able to fix most of them by using one of our solutions.
  • Windows Time service keeps stopping – According to users, sometimes this service keeps stopping on your PC. To fix this problem, be sure to run both SFC and DISM scans and check if that solves the issue.
  • Windows Time service missing, not installed – If this service is missing or if it’s not installed, be sure to reregister the service and check if that solves the problem.
  • Windows Time service not starting error 1792, 1290, 1079 – There are various errors that can prevent this service from running, and if you encounter any of these issues, be sure to try some of our solutions.
  • Windows Time service could not be started – This is another common problem with Windows Time service. If this issue occurs, you might have to change the Startup type of Windows Time service.
  • Windows Time not syncing – This is another common problem caused by Windows Time service. However, you can fix it by checking your scheduled tasks.

Solution 1 – Perform SFC and DISM scans

If Windows Time service isn’t running, the problem might be your file corruption. Sometimes your system files can get corrupted and that can lead to this and many other errors. To fix the problem, you need to perform an SFC scan. This is quite simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now choose Command Prompt (Admin) or Powershell (Admin) from the menu.
    Windows Time service keeps stopping
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter to run it.
    Windows 10 time service not starting
  3. SFC scan will now start. This scan can take up to 15 minutes, so don’t interfere with it and don’t interrupt it.

Once the SFC scan is finished, check if the problem is still there. If the issue is still present, your next step would be to run DISM scan. To do that, start Command Prompt as administrator and run DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.
Windows Time service could not be started

Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem still persists. If the issue is still present, repeat the SFC scan and check if that solves the issue.


Solution 2 – Set the Windows Time Service to automatic

If you have issues with Windows Time service, you need to make sure that Startup type of the service is set to Automatic. You can easily change that by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R > type services.msc > hit Enter.
    Windows 10 time service not starting
  2. Scroll down to Windows Time > double-click it.
    Windows Time service not installed
  3. Change the startup type to Automatic > click on Apply >OK.
    Windows Time service not starting error 1290

After you change the Startup type, the service should automatically start with Windows and your problem should be resolved.


Solution 3 – Make sure that the Local System account starts the Windows Time service

According to users, sometimes issues Windows Time service can occur if it’s not being started properly. However, you can easily change that by doing the following:

  1. Open the Services window.
  2. Scroll down to Windows Time > double-click it.
  3. Select the Log On tab > check the Local System account >click Apply > OK.
    Windows Time not syncing

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After making these changes, the problem should be resolved completely.


Solution 4 –  Register the W32Time file again

Sometimes this issue can occur if there’s a problem with W32Time service. To fix the issue, it’s important that you stop the services and unregister it. This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Run the following commands:
  • net stop w32time
  • w32tm /unregister
  • w32tm /register

Solution 5 – Check the Windows Time Service in the Task Scheduler

In order for Windows Time Service to work properly, certain scheduled tasks need to be running. If there’s an issue with one of these tasks, you might encounter some problems. However, you can fix the issue by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Search menu > type Task Scheduler > select the first result
  2. In the left hand pane > expand the Task Scheduler Library tree > go to Microsoft > Windows > locate the Time Synchronization feature
  3. Left click the option > make sure it is enabled. To enable Time synchronization> right click the center pane > select Enable.
  4. Still in the center pane, check the settings from the Triggers tab > set the service to run automatically at startup.

Solution 6 – Use a different time server

In some cases, problems with Windows Time service can occur if there’s an issue with the time server. However, you can always change your time server manually by following these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Date and Time.
  2. Go to Internet Time > click the Change settings button.
    Windows Time service missing
  3. Select time.nist.gov as the Server > click the Update now button. Also, try using pool.ntp.org as the server, some users reported that this fixed the issue. Click OK to save the changes.
    Windows Time service not starting error 1792

After changing the time server, check if the issue is still there.

You can also add more servers to the list. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/DateTime/Servers key in the left pane.
  2. In the right-hand pane, you’ll see your current list of servers. To add a new time server, right-click the empty space and choose New > String Value.
  3. Enter the appropriate number >  double click it > in the Value data field enter the server’s address. Here are some server examples:
  • time-a.nist.gov
  • time-b.nist.gov
  • 128.105.37.11
  • europe.pool.ntp.org
  • clock.isc.org
  • north-america.pool.ntp.org
  • time.windows.com
  • time.nist.gov

4. After you add servers to the registry, simply go to Time and Date settings and choose any of the servers that you added.


Solution 7 – Force Windows to sync the time

According to users, sometimes you might be able to solve this problem simply by forcing Windows to start the service and sync the time. To do that, you’ll need to run a couple of commands by following these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Now run the following commands:
  • net stop w32time
  • w32tm /unregister
  • w32tm /register
  • net start w32time
  • w32tm /resync

After doing that, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 8 – Use sc triggerinfo command

According to users, sometimes Windows Time service isn’t triggered properly, and if that’s the case, the service won’t start at all. However, you can fix the problem simply by running a single command in Command Prompt. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Now run the sc triggerinfo w32time start/networkon stop/networkoff command.

After the command is executed, Windows Time service should be fixed and start automatically with your PC in the future.


Solution 9 – Check your motherboard battery

Sometimes issues with time and date can occur due to your motherboard battery. Your battery provides the power to your PC allowing it to keep the correct time. If your clock isn’t correct, that might be caused by a faulty motherboard battery.

However, you can fix that problem simply by replacing the battery. To do that, power down your PC and disconnect all cables. Now open your computer case, and look for the battery on your motherboard. Gently remove the battery and replace it with a new one.

After replacing the battery, the issues with your clock and Windows Time service should be resolved. Keep in mind that opening your computer case might void your warranty, so it might be better to take your PC to the official repair center if its still under warranty.

There you go, we hope one of these solutions helped you to synchronize your Windows 10 clock. As always, if you’ve come across other workarounds to fix various Windows Time Service bugs, feel free to list the troubleshooting steps in the comment section below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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