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Master Your iPhone: Easy Steps to Changing Your iPhone's Time & More

Discover how to change the time on your iPhone with our comprehensive guide. Learn how to auto-adjust the time based on location or manually set it yourself, for precise scheduling and time-sensitive tasks. Additionally, find troubleshooting tips for common time zone and clock issues, including step-by-step instructions on updating iOS software.

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Published Jan 27, 2024

Ever glanced at your iPhone only to realize the time's all wrong? Don't fret! Changing the time on your iPhone is a simple task you can master in a few quick steps. Whether it's for daylight savings, traveling to a new time zone, or just because it's off, we've got you covered.

Why is the time wrong on my iPhone?

Isn't it perplexing when your iPhone presents you with incorrect time? Of course, it's nothing more than a simple, harmless issue, but when the clock on your phone doesn't align with the real-world time, it can throw off your entire schedule.

  • Daylight Savings Time: When daylight saving begins or ends, it's possible that your iPhone might not automatically adjust the time settings. This could be because your settings for "Set Automatically" are turned off.
  • Different Time Zones: Another common cause is travel where you're hopping between different time zones. If your settings aren't set correctly, the iPhone might not update the time zone accordingly.
  • Manual Adjustments: If you've manually changed the time on your iPhone and forgotten to switch back to automatic settings, your iPhone might show the wrong time.

You may think, "It's just the time, it's not a big deal." But, if you're reliant on your iPhone for important tasks and scheduling, even a small discrepancy in time can lead to chaos. For instance, imagine missing an important meeting or forgetting a cherished one's birthday because of an incorrect time display!

Steps to change the time on your iPhone

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When dealing with time discrepancies on your iPhone, it's essential to know the steps to correct it. Making the right adjustments is pretty straightforward, but you need to follow the approach correctly. Here's a step-by-step guide that's easy to follow:

1. Open Settings:
You'll first have to navigate to your iPhone's settings. This is the grey icon with the gear symbol that is usually found on your home screen.

2. Go to 'General':
After you're in settings, you are going to want to scroll down till you see 'General'. It's usually located in the third group of options.

3. Enter 'Date & Time':
Under 'General', you will see an option labeled 'Date & Time'. Tap on it to open the next set of choices.

When you reach this step, you have two choices. You can set your iPhone to automatically adjust the time depending on your location, or you can choose to set the time manually.

4. Enabling 'Set Automatically':
To let your iPhone update the time automatically, make sure the switch next to 'Set Automatically' is green. If it's not, tap the switch and it will turn green, indicating that the feature is now activated.

5. Manually Adjusting Time:
To manually adjust the time, first make sure the 'Set Automatically' switch is off (not green). Then, tap on the date or the time displayed below to shift them as per your needs.

Knowing how to change the time on your iPhone can help you prevent inconsistencies that may disrupt your schedule. Remember, never underestimate the importance of accurate time keeping when you're running on a tight schedule.

Option 1: Automatically set the date and time

Picture this: you've just landed at a new destination, the bustling heart of New York City or perhaps the tranquil countryside of Tuscany. You're excited, but there's one issue - your iPhone's still stuck in your home timezone. But don't sweat it, your iPhone's got you covered with an automatic timezone feature.

This function lets the device adjust its time based on your location. So, regardless of whether you're a business person regularly hopping time zones, a travel enthusiast exploring the world, or simply a homebody, this feature would be quite useful to you.

It's easy to let your iPhone do the work. To turn on automatic date and time settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on General.
  3. You'll see an option called Date & Time. Tap on it.
  4. Look for Set Automatically and turn this setting on.

Doing so will let your iPhone fetch the current time zone and adjust the time accordingly. It's key to note that this requires mobile data or Wi-Fi connection to operate properly.

The beauty of using this feature is that you can focus on the task at hand whether it's a meeting you're headed to, or enjoying a magnificent sunset, knowing that your iPhone will take care of the time changes. This frees up your attention to do what matters most, without worrying about manually syncing your phone to local time.

While most folks find the auto set feature to be a huge time saver, it might not be your cup of tea. Maybe you prefer manual control over these things? If so, your iPhone also allows you to set the time yourself - but that's a conversation for another part of this tutorial.

Option 2: Manually set the date and time

Having the option to manually set the date and time on your iPhone is a feature some people cannot do without. It gives you the ability to control when your iPhone ticks over to a new day. Whether you're traveling and the automatic update isn't catching up, or you just prefer to be in charge, this feature is there to help.

So, how do you manually set the date and time on your iPhone?

First things first, you have to locate the Settings app on your device. Once you're in the settings, navigate down to the "General" section. It's typically nearer the top of the list. Go ahead and tap on it. From here, you'll see an option titled "Date & Time". That's where you want to be.

In the "Date & Time" section, there's an option labeled "Set Automatically". This is usually toggled ‘On’ if you've been using the automatic time setting. You'll need to tap on the switch to turn this off. After that, the date and time options will become available for you to adjust manually.

Easy, right? One tap lets you manually adjust the date. A scroll wheel will appear allowing you to select the correct date. Then moving onto the hour, minute, and even the 'AM/PM' designation.

Do remember, however, that maintaining accurate timekeeping on your iPhone manually can be a bit more hands-on. When traveling across time zones, unlike your phone's automatic setting, you'll have to remember to adjust the time yourself. But that's a small price to pay for the Manual setting lovers. Freedom of control outweighs the convenience for some.

Just knowing that your iPhone's functionalities are capable of catering to everyone's preferences, allows for a more personalized user experience. And the manual setup of date and time is just one testament to that.

Naturally, there are other aspects of your iPhone's settings that are equally customizable, key amongst them is the ability to control how your display appears, how your notifications are sorted, and even how Siri interacts with you. Let's dive into the deep end of those waters in the following sections.

Tips for troubleshooting common time issues on iPhone

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Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the time on your iPhone just seems to have a mind of its own. Maybe it's showing the incorrect time zone or the clock is noticeably off. Don't fret - Unlike many tech problems that require a pro-level solution, this one's usually an easy fix.

First off, make sure that your device is updated to the latest iOS software. The iPhone software gets regular updates and bug fixes. It's not uncommon for issues like incorrect timestamp or timezone settings to be resolved with a simple update. To check for updates, head to Settings > General > Software Update. If there are any updates available, you'll see the notification here.

Next, check whether your iPhone is set to update its clock automatically. If the 'Set Automatically' option is enabled, your iPhone will try to update its clock according to your current location. Sometimes, this may misfire if location services aren't working properly. To verify this, navigate to Settings > General > Date & Time.

You should also ensure that your iPhone is set to the correct time zone. Simply go to Settings > General > Date & Time > Time Zone and input the correct settings. Despite your phone's best efforts, it may occasionally misjudge your exact geographical location, so it's important to double-check.

If all else fails, try restarting your iPhone. This final troubleshooting tip isn't just for time issues. Giving your device a quick reset may resolve many minor snags. To do this, hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the slider. Then swipe it to turn off your phone. After a few seconds, hold the same button to turn the phone back on.

By following these steps, you'll have the best chance of getting your iPhone clock back on track. But remember, if you're still having issues, it might be time to contact Apple Support.

Heading into the next section, we'll cover some other customizable aspects of your iPhone's settings, such as its display appearance, notification sorting, and Siri interaction. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on optimizing your iPhone usage and getting the most out of your device.


Now you're equipped with the knowledge to manage your iPhone's time settings like a pro. Whether it's setting the time automatically or adjusting it manually, you've got it covered. Remember, accurate timekeeping is crucial for managing your daily tasks effectively. If you face any time-related issues, don't hesitate to try the troubleshooting tips we've discussed. And if all else fails, Apple Support is always there to help. As you've seen, your iPhone is a highly customizable device. Explore its settings further to personalize your experience. Stay tuned for more insightful articles on tweaking your iPhone's settings to suit your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to set the time to automatically adjust on iPhone?

Users can enable the "Set Automatically" option in their iPhone settings. This option updates the time and date according to the current location of the iPhone.

What to do if the iPhone shows the incorrect time zone?

If the iPhone is displaying an incorrect time zone, ensure that the right time zone is set in the settings. If the issue persists even after doing this, try updating the iOS software or you may need to restart your iPhone.

Are there troubleshooting options if the time is incorrect on the iPhone?

Yes, the article suggests multiple troubleshooting steps such as updating the iOS software, enabling the "Set Automatically" option, ensuring the right time zone is set, and restarting the iPhone.

If the time issue persists on the iPhone, what is the next step?

If these steps do not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to contact Apple Support for further assistance.

Are there other customizable settings on the iPhone besides time?

Yes, there are other customizable settings including display appearance, notification sorting, and Siri interaction, which are explored in following sections of the article.

This article was originally published on 27 Jan 2024 but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.
Kyle Crisp
Kyle has been using Apple products for over 25 years. He loves helping people learn how to use their Apple devices.
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