Fixing the incorrect auto date and time on the iPhone 4

If you are having problems with your iPhone 4 displaying the incorrect date and time when using the “Set Automatic” option, there are a number of possible solutions that could fix the problem.

The issue in my case seemed to be caused by the the phone shutting down automatically due to an empty battery, although there may be other causes.

Having searched the web for a solution, there are a number of possible ways to fix the issue, with many appearing to work in some cases but not others:

  • Simply turning “Set Automatically” to OFF then back ON.
  • Going to Utilities > Clock and removing the World clocks, then switch the phone off and on again.
  • Hard rebooting the phone by holding down the home and on / off button at the same time (until the Apple logo appears).

For me the problem was solved by carrying out the following actions:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time.
  2. Turn the “Set Automatically” option to OFF
  3. Plug the phone into your computer and sync it using iTunes.
  4. Go back to the Date & Time options page and switch “Set Automatically” back to ON.

You may have to try a combination of the methods listed above, or if you have an alternative solution to the problem then let us all know.

67 Replies to “Fixing the incorrect auto date and time on the iPhone 4”

  1. Many thanks!

    For me, removing the World Clocks and then switching phone off and on again fixed it.

    This had been driving me nuts as I am a Time Lord.

  2. Thank you for that. I have tried so many different “fool proof’ ways none of which worked but finally have my iphone in sync with the general time after trying the ‘itunes sync’ way. Again – thank you.

  3. It seems like I was too quick to say all was fixed because the synced time didn’t last and I’m still 4 minutes behind on my iPhone 4. I’m finding it hard to believe that Apple can’t get this right as I’ve never had this time problem with any of my other phones.

  4. i’ve tried both ways and even to combine it one way another… still doesn’t work… any suggestions please? this is killing me… :((

  5. Tried the sync with iTunes but that didn’t work. Then noticed that the time on my windows 7 PC was also out. Changes the ‘time server’ to a .gov choice and then synced my iPhone again. Fixed!

  6. Thank you sooooo much. I tried all of the options but it was following the same process as you did that worked for me.
    Much appreciated… amazing how little things like that can drive you to distraction.

  7. I have got my iPhone replaced for this problem once. Got my phone’s firmware upgraded once, right now I am using 4.3.5[8 L1] but it’s not helping. I have even tried the methods listed above but none them worked please help…:-(

  8. Step1) Connect your phone to iTunes
    Step2) On your iPhone — Goto Setting — Date & Time — change the setting “Set Automatically” to Off
    Step3) Disconnect from iTunes and remove the USB cable out
    Step4) On your computer make sure you have the right time zone, date and time.
    Step5) Connect iPhone back to iTunes and Sync

    You should now have the time and date as per your computer….Worked for me !!!

  9. Had this problem after letting my laptop battery die while it was turned on then plugging it in to charge and syncing my iphone 4. Set time on my laptop to the right time and synced, (at least 4 times), but I was still 4 days behind on my iphone.

    I tried the below option but when I had my iphone connected to my laptop via USB lead:
    “Simply turning “Set Automatically” to OFF then back ON.
    Going to Utilities > Clock and removing the World clocks, then switch the phone off and on again.
    Hard rebooting the phone by holding down the home and on / off button at the same time (until the Apple logo appears).”

    Worked straight away! Thanks so much for your help as it was driving me mental!

    -David’s comment about being a time lord made me lol

          1. Whoever said to change it to Gregorian is a GENIUS!!!! Thank YOU Thank YOU Thank YOU!!! It totally worked for me!!!

          2. Ur so smart!!!! Lol I remember now changing it to Buddhism months ago lol too funny thanx lots

  10. I have a somewhat different problem with my time and date. My time and date is not set on Automatic because it never seems to get the time perfectly right, its always about 5 minutes out. From the time I got the phone I changed the “Set Automatic” to OFF because I couldn’t stand that my phone gave the wrong time. I then started to get instances where the date of my phone changed to the next day and the time loosing a few minutes. This initially only happened maybe once a month so I fixed it without a bother. I since then updated my phone twice (hoping it would fix the problem) with the new software but lately it got much worse. A now have to change the date almost every second day and its driving me nuts! I miss appoinments that is saved on my calender which is really a major pain. My friend has the exact same phone and software version (4.3.3) but he does experience anything like this, infact it has never happened to him. Is there somebody who can help me with this because I’m on the verge of smashing my phone to pieces and buying an Andriod phone.

    1. I also experience it same as u and it really gives me headache…i switch never to my auto lock coz if my phone locks the time also change…so if im sleeping i just leave my phone open so i can hear my alarm when i wake up…in order for me not to be late on my work…

  11. “For me the problem was solved by carrying out the following actions: [etc.]”
    For me too! Thank you thank you thank you! This was really bugging me.

  12. I live in Italy, CEST timezone, and in my case everytime I try to switch in automatic mode, the clock shifts forward 2 hours. I’ve tried all the previous methods, none worked so I choose to..

    Simply turning the option “Set automatically” from ON to OFF.
    Changing “Timezone” from Rome to UTC.
    Turning back “Set automatically” from OFF to ON.

    Problem solved.

    1. Hi I’m also in Italy and i can’t fix this problem… can you please expleain me how did you make it works? Thank you very much!!

  13. iPhone 4s initially had correct time automatically after the change from daylight savings time to standard time, however sometime during the day the time switched back to DST. If I switched the time and date setting from automatic to manual the time was correct, but it didn’t stay when I switched back to automatic.

    I switched to manual, rebooted, then switched to automatic, and the time is now correct.

  14. That happened to me too today. I got to work an hour earlier since my phone changed the time back to the normal time. I reset the network connections, the phone restarted and the time was back in the correct time again.

  15. UUUrrrgghh.. I had my date set on automatic and it was in year 2554 BE, I then tried to set it manually, but it would not let me scroll to 2011. I finally worked out how to fix it. Yippee! Go to Settings then International then choose Gregorian, (not japanese or buddhist) and you will be able to set it to the correct year at least! Phew.. how annoying was that!

  16. I just had the 2554 BE problem too, and I tried everything EXCEPT the “International.” I finally set it back to Gregorian!! Thanks a LOT!!

  17. Deleting world clock did work for me……I woke up this morning to find out that my clock was running 2 and half hours ahead of my time zone. It scared shit out of me to see I was running late by an hr for my office.

  18. My problem is a bit different in that cruising to the Caribbean, I set my time zone to Bridgetown, Barbados while we were there. Now it will not change back in Calendar. Whenever I enter an appointment, change the time zone from Bridgetown to London, and enter the right time, it looks fine until it comes up in the calendar, then it is always 4 hours behind. I then go back and check I have put in the right time – which I have. I have tried changing time zone location in general settings, but it still comes up in the calendar with the default of Bridgetown! I tried the apple shop and they turned it off and on again but nothing changed, so they told me to restore the phone which I have done twice to no effect! Has anyone any ideas?

  19. I tried all the suggestions (I assumed by removing world clocks it is meant that you make sure no countries are entered into world clocks, as I assume you cant remove world clocks completely). I have turned the ‘set automatically’ off and on endlessly, set the time zone to London, and hard booted the phone, but nothing seems to work. The problem is that the time on the phone is right, it is just when you go into calendar that it changes it!! It looks alright when you set it, but the reminder is 4 hours late even though every time I enter something, I have to change the timezone in calendars from Bridgetown to London!!

    1. I eventually went into the apple shop & 2nd chap knew immediately-there is a place in calendars where u can enter other time zones so he deleted that & my appts hav gone back to correct times.

    If your running iOS 5.0.1, go to Settings, Locations Services, System Services and make sure Setting Time Zone is switched on.
    Then go back to Settings, General, Date & time and Turn it off and on (or just on if it was off) and there it is, it’ll find your location and will set your correct time zone.

    1. Dude. Thank you a million times. I’d tried all the other suggestions with no luck and starting to despair but am glad I kept scrolling down and found this. You rock!

  21. I have had a similar issue.

    I live near London, but last week flew to California for work, via Atlanta.

    On the journey out, the phone correctly adjusted the time when I arrived in Atlanta, and then again in California.

    On the journey home, it correctly adjusted ack from CA to Atlanta, but on arriving home in London, the phone was insisting I was in New York (which would have been nice if it were true!).

    To get this working, I did a bit of a combination of some of the above.

    I turned the Time/Date option ON in Location Services, then switched the time from Manual (where I had set it to London) to ON. It switched back to New York, but after switching the phone off and on again, all was OK.

  22. In Settings – Location Services – System Services, make sure your “Setting Time Zone” is ON that will change it instantly, no syncing or turning off restarting required

  23. I just had the 2554 BE problem too, and I tried everything EXCEPT to set it back to Gregorian from Bodhist, It worked. Thanks a LOT!!

  24. For two days I have been trying to figure out how to fix the date that showed November 6, 2555 BE – I went to Settings, General, International, switched to Gregorian instead of Buddhist, and lo and behold, it worked!!

  25. things like this crack me up…. I’ve been looking for a solution to this (and other) iPhone issues online and it’s funny how such basic functionality does not work on this phone and most people just accept that as ok

  26. Hi all I had tried all of these and more but none worked for my iPhone 4!!! The fix that worked for me is set auto time off, manually enter the correct time then open up the back of the iPhone and disconnect the battery and wait 30sec and reassemble for power up, turn auto time on then the time remained the same!!

  27. Finally fixed after months of the phone showing I’m still in Istanbul
    Go to settings-location services-system services and turn setting time zone to ON

    Notice if in IOS 5 or later the service is constantly monitoring your location as this is a new feature

  28. my iphone is showing the wrong time and when i take set automaticley off and set it myself it wont let me get on any apps like twitter and facebook and it wont even let me text but when i put it back on set automaticley it still have the wrong time :(( can someone pleasee help

  29. I am completely Stuck when it comes to resetting the time and date on my IPhone
    4. I’ve set it and hard shut off the phone and this is what happens: I can set the time and then I go to the date and the
    time reverts to 12 AM. Or I set the date first and then when I go to the time the date locks up and goes back to December
    I have tried iTunes, but I’m not very good at it and have lost a lot of information.
    I have synced my iPhone on the computer and I lost 4 months of pictures and information and wad never able to find it again.
    Anyone reading this who cares to leave a response, would be most appreciated thank you. April

  30. None of the fixes worked for me and it was driving me mad. Finally I tried altering the date (went one year forward) and then when I put the correct date in the time auto corrected and it’s been fine since. Hope this helps someone.

  31. Tried those things for a friend but never worked but found that in INTERNATIONAL settings her Callander was set to Buddhist instead of Georgian so changed it and it now back to normal

  32. After turning the ‘set automatically’ to ‘off’ and then to ‘on’ corrects the time but after some time it again goes all wrong
    iPhone 4

  33. I’ve tried ever suggestion here. I even updated my computer to make sure *it* had the right time and date. Why can’t I access it?

  34. Sprint iPhone 4s iOS 6.1.3. Has been working fine for 1.5 years on “Set Automatically.” All of a sudden, the time zone shifts to Metlakatla, which is one hour behind me. If I turn “Set Automatically” off and enter the correct time zone, all is good. But as soon as I toggle back to on, the time zone changes back to Metlakatla. I cannot keep it in the right time zone.

    I have location privacy>location services>system services>time zone setting on.

    For now, I’ll just have to keep “set automatically” turned off until there is a fix.

  35. I had The Same Problem So I turned my iPhone off then turned it back on to find out my 24-hours time button was on 0.0 boy I felt dumb so turning it off put & fixed my whole time settings back to the way I needed it (:

  36. The problem with my iPhone was that it miraculeously was adjusted to the Boedhistic calendar. I myself never touched these buttons before. Putting it back to the Gregorian one did the job for me…..Hallelujah, Praise some Lord

  37. I have been having the same problem and after trying your suggestions, I stumbled across a wee discovery, that if you go into settings-general-international, there are a few settings for calendar. For some reason mine was set to Buddhist and the date was something ridiculous like 2556 BE. I changed it to gregorian and it is now the correct date. Thanks for your help and I hope this helps others also, it was really starting to do my head in.

  38. I dropped my phone and when it turned back on, the date was set to May 16 1971?! don’t know why it reset that far back. I’ve tried turning it off and on over and over to reset it and that’s not working. I also tried turning the automatic time zone off then on again. I’m going to try the solutions listed above, but if those do not work, what should I do? any suggestions? Thanks.

  39. Hi guys, my iphone4 year is super crazy! Please help. The date and time are all correct it just the year as 2557 BE? What is that “2557 BE” is that really the year or what is it? I did try making it go back to 2014 is possible but it couldn’t go any farther and stop on 2520 BE at 6:pm . Please help!

  40. Fix the problem in a minute thanks to the suggestion to check the “Set Automatically” setting. Mine was turned off (although set to the correct city). When I turned it on, the time immediately fixed itself.

    Previously, it would start out correctly, and then speed up over time. It was up to 6 minutes ahead. Reloading the phone would fix it, but what a pain, and it would gradually speed up anyway.

    It would do the same thing on my previous 4S, although not when I originally got it – I guess the setting got changed somehow on the 4S and then carried over to the 5S.

  41. mine was set to Buddhist and the date was something ridiculous like 2556 BE. I changed it to gregorian and off and on the set automatically now the correct date. Thanks for your help and I hope this helps others too.

  42. I had the same issue with an iPhone 4.

    After trying everything I noticed that I was connected to a Wifi network. I disabled the Wifi, Turn the “Set Automatically” option to OFF, Turn the “Set Automatically” option to ON and it worked.

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