Windows Domain Time Issues

Solving the login error, `There is a time difference between the client and server`.

While working on a Windows Domain, there were some computers that didn't behave well. In particular, they didn't keep their time correctly. When I attempted to log in with my domain credentials, a message would show up and I would not be allowed access. This particular problem makes it very hard to log into a computer and fix the problem.


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.


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


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.

  • 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.
  • Obtain a command shell with one of these methods:
    • Start -> Run -> command
    • Start -> Run -> cmd
  • 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 normally again.

Problem solved.