Windows Domain Time Issues

Symptom: When logging into a computer that is on a domain, or if you try to access a computer that is on a domain, you get one of the following error messages:

There is a time difference between the client and server.

Causes: The clock on the machine that you are trying to log into is reporting a different time from what the domain controller has.

Solution: You need to synchronize your clocks. For the following examples, replace %DOMAIN% with your domain name and %WORKSTATION% with the name of any computer on the domain. %USERNAME% refers to your network logon user id.

  1. Log in as a local administrator. If you don't have access to a local administrator account, you can try the following:
    • Unplug the network cable and try to login as you normally would. The client likely has your credentials cached.
    • You can download the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor floppy or CD image and use it to blank the admin password.
  2. Obtain a command shell with one of these methods:
    • Start → Run → command
    • Start → Run → cmd
  3. Sync the time with this command: net time /domain:%DOMAIN% /set
    • If that does not work, open a remote computer by start \\%WORKSTATION%
    • Log in with the username %DOMAIN%\%USERNAME% and your domain password.
    • Go back to the command prompt and type in net time \\%WORKSTATION% /set
    • Type in exit to leave the command shell.
    • At this point, your time will be synchronized with the domain. Log out and try to log into the domain normall again.


  1. Microsoft Knowledge Base article that uses "net time" to fix the problem.
  2. Microsoft Help and Support page that illustrates how to use regedit to fix a very similar problem.
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