How to Change the Time on Your Chromebook When Moving Between Time Zones

Chromebooks are great devices to take with you when you travel. Most are compact and light enough to fit in your personal bag or carry-on and simple enough to use that you can be sure they’ll make whatever you need to do with them easier.

I recently took a trip that took me across time zones in the United States. After arriving at my destination, I noticed that the time on my phone had changed to match the local time zone. However, my Chromebook‘s time was still stuck in Eastern Time, which is my home country’s time zone. So I checked my Chromebook’s settings and noticed that it was using Eastern Time as its static timezone. This is of course not optimal when traveling, as it prevents the device from adopting the correct time zone for where you are at the time. Therefore, To have your Chromebook automatically change the system time when you change time zones, follow these steps:

Access your Chromebook Settings and scroll to Advanced section on the left. Click on Advanced then click “Date and time,” which should now appear just below. Then click on “Time zone,” which will then lead you to two options: “Set automatically” and “Choose from list”.

To ensure that the time changes automatically without you having to do anything manually, select the “Set automatically” option. This option has a drop-down list with two parameters: “Use your IP address to determine location,” which is the default, and “Use Wi-Fi or mobile networks to determine location.” Usually you can be confident that using the IP address method will pinpoint your location accurately, but for greater accuracy or if you are using a VPN, the best method is to have your Wi-Fi or data network find your location.

I just want the steps!

  1. Open your Chromebook settings
  2. Scroll to Advanced > Date and Time
  3. Below “Time zone,” select “Set automatically”
  4. From the drop-down menu, select “Use your IP address to determine location” Where “Use Wi-Fi or mobile networks to determine location” if you use a VPN or want greater accuracy.

Following the steps above will ensure that your Chromebook’s time stays up to date with local time. Once back home, the system time should also change accordingly, and this setting will remain enabled unless you change it again.

Featured photo by Luis Cortes on Unsplash

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