How to Fix Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma

Time is one of the most valuable resources in our lives and accurate timekeeping is one of the most important skills to achieve success in life. But what if your Mac computer suddenly starts to show you the correct time? This issue has been happening with a lot of MacOS Sonoma users who then raised the issue in several online forums and communities regarding Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma issue. Today in this guide, we will help you understand the reasons behind this issue and give you some troubleshooting methods to Fix Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma.

Accurate timekeeping is fundamental to the seamless functioning of any operating system, and macOS Sonoma is no exception. However, oftentimes, users might encounter issues where the system time on their Mac deviates from the actual time, causing inconvenience and potential synchronization problems. This can lead to missed meetings, missed flights, and other important events. Whether it’s due to Daylight Saving Time changes, incorrect time zone settings, or other anomalies, addressing these time-related discrepancies is crucial for a smooth user experience.

How to Fix Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma

How to Fix Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma

The fourteenth iteration of macOS introduces compelling features such as interactive widgets on the desktop, a secure private browsing mode, the inclusion of web apps in the Dock, Game Mode, access to iPhone Widgets, Aerial Wallpapers, and much more. Despite the array of appealing features, the latest OS release is not without its challenges, and the persistent time display discrepancy is one such concern for users.

Automatic date and time is wrong
byu/Rezorrose inMacOS

Users have reported a notable issue – the inaccurate display of time. This problem manifests itself in various locations, including widgets, the top right corner of the screen, and other areas, consistently showing incorrect time.

wrong time on macOS Sonoma
byu/texxor inThunderbird


In some cases the item time is correct, but many cross-functioning apps such as Firefox or Google Chrome may show you the incorrect time. While some people say the issue is causing irregularities in time in multiple other apps as well.

Method 1: Set BIOS Hardware Clock

BIOS stands for Basic Input and Output System and is responsible for maintaining a set of instructions that helps to run your Mac OS machine. BIOS also maintains the system time by its internal clock system. Oftentimes when the BIOS clock is not set accurately, it may result in Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma. In order to fix this, you have to make sure the BIOS time and timezone settings are correct. Here are the steps to do so:

  • First, shut down your Mac OS Sonoma machine.
  • Now, press the power button and hold down the Command and Option keys and the letters O and F.
  • Once you hear the start chime sound, release the buttons. The Mac will now boot into BIOS mode.
  • Now navigate to Utility and select terminal.
  • Here you have to type the below commands to set the correct time.
sudo systemsetup -setusingnetworktime off
  • This will disable your computer to detect time from your connected networks. Once the above command is successful type the below command.
systemsetup -listtimezones
  • This command will give you different time zone options. Select and copy the timezone which you wish and type the command below.
sudo systemsetup -settimezone [Your chosen timezone here]
  • Once done, you have to manually set the correct time in the terminal. To do this, you have to enter the time and date in the following format – date -u {month}{day}{hour}{minute}{year} and type it in the terminal. For eg-
date -u 1126071823
  • The above command will set the time and date to November 2023 – 26th, 07 hours, 18 Minutes.
  • Once all the commands are successfully done, exit the terminate and reboot your Mac to take effect.

Method 2: Set Auto Date and Time

It could be possible that due to some mistake, you accidentally disabled the auto date & time settings on your Mac OS. These settings are responsible for keeping the correct time as per your timezone. To set this preference to auto, follow the below steps.

  • Open system preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time option.
  • Here enable the toggle next to Set Time and Date Automatically.

  • If the option is already enabled by default, then you may disable it and then enable it again to see the effect.
  • Check if the Incorrect Time issue is resolved

Method 3: Manually Set Date and Time

In case you are outside of your home country and traveling, then the auto time setup will pick the country region where you are traveling. In case this is an issue, you may also manually set the date and time as follows:

  • Open system preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time option.
  • Here disable the toggle next to Set Time and Date Automatically.

  • Now scroll down and find the option for setting up a manual date and time on your Mac.

  • Save the time settings as per your local current time and see if this resolves the issue.

Method 4: Manually Set Time Zone

Oftentimes when we set the custom date and time, we need to also set the time zone as well. This is because there are multiple time zones for different countries and regions, and your Mac needs this info to keep track of accurate time zones. Here is how you can do that:

  • Open system preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time option.
  • Here disable the toggle next to Set Time and Date Automatically.

  • Scroll down and disable the option that says Set Time Zone Automatically via the current location.

  • Now select the appropriate time zone that you wish your Mac to adhere to.
  • Save the settings and see if this resolves your issue.

Method 5: Change Time Source

You would be surprised to know that there are multiple time sources where your computer picks the correct time from. On Mac OS, the default time server is from Apple, and sometimes it may not work correctly hence causing the incorrect time issue. But you can change it to others which may help you resolve the issue.

  • Open system preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time option.
  • Here enable the toggle next to Set Time and Date Automatically.

Change Time Source

  • Click on the set button below the toggle.
  • Here, delete the current entry and enter a new time server for Google.

  • Save the settings and check if this resolves the issue.

Method 6: Remove Aerial Wallpapers

Many users from the official Apple community have suggested that changing the Aerial wallpapers to different wallpapers resolves this issue. We currently do not know the actual logic behind this method, but it seems to work for the majority of people. In order to chnage or remove your current Aerial wallpaper, open system preferences and navigate to the Wallpapers section. Here you can either remove or choose a different set of wallpapers. Hopefully this will resolve the issue of Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma.

Method 7: Force Reset Timezone via Terminal

If you have little developer knowledge and are familiar with the working of Terminal or console commands, then this method will help you to flush out any existing issues with system time and set it again using several commands.

  • Open the Terminal app on your Mac and type the below command.
sudo sntp -sS
  • Now the system time is reset. Now type the below command to set the new time.
sudo systemsetup -setusingnetworktime on
  • This command will pick the correct timezone and time values from the connected network and the issue of the wrong time on your Mac will be solved.

Method 8: Remove Time Preference File

According to several developers on Apple forums, the issue of Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma is due to a corrupted date time preference file. Whenever your MacOS restarts, the preference for data and time is read from this preference file. If this is corrupted, then the time on your machine will obviously be incorrect. To fix this, we have to remove this file so the system can create a new fresh preference file on its own. Here are the steps to do so:

  • First, open Mac preferences and navigate to General > date & time section.
  • Here disable the “set time and date automatically” option.
  • Open the Terminal app on your Mac and type the below command.
/var/db/timed/ ~/Destop ; sudo reboot
  • Once done, the system will ask you to reboot. You might also see a warning that the command did not complete, you may ignore that message.
  • Once rebooted, you have to go to the date and time settings and set it to automatic again.

This will re-configure a fresh time preference file and hopefully, the issue will be resolved.

In case the above said command does not work, then you may also use the below command which will help you remove the time preference file.

sudo rm /var/db/timed/

Method 9: Check Virus or Malware

Many users suggest that the incorrect time and date could be the result of infected files and viruses on your system. The cases of virus and malware on Mac OS system is increasing day by day and there are many such instances that these virus and malware are responsible for altering date and time settings on your Mac. So we advise you to scan your Mac with a reliable anti-malware and anti-virus program to be on the safe side.

Method 10: Check App Bug Report

Many users in the Apple community and other forums online have expressed that the issue is not with the macOS itself but with certain apps including Google Chrome, Firefox, Slack, and other web-based apps and services. If this is the case, then you either need to update the concerned app with the latest version or see any bug reports that confirms the incorrect time issue.

Method 11: Downgrade MacOS

This seems a little counterintuitive but many users are reporting the same issue, which suggests that the issue is with the OS itself. In most cases, you can fix the time and date manually, but this is not an ideal way to use your Mac computer. If the latest features of Mac OS Sonoma aren’t of much great significance to you, then I suggest downgrading to macOS Ventura which doesn’t have any time clock related issues.

Method 12: Replace PRAM Battery

Oftentimes, the issue might be hardware-related as the internal PRAM battery which is supposed to keep track of time on your computer isn’t functioning properly. This issue is more common as your think, as PRAM battery life is roughly 2-3 years and may even degrade early in harsh conditions. So I advise you to get the PRAM battery chanced which might help you fix Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma issue.

Method 13: Contact Apple Care

If none of the above methods help you out, then it’s best to connect with Apple care professionals. Either they will fix any software or hardware related issues with your Mac that might be causing the incorrect time, or they will help you to downgrade to another version of MacOS that doesn’t have this issue in the first place.


This brings us to the end of this guide for How to Fix Incorrect Time in macOS Sonoma. Apple’s commitment to user experience extends to ensuring that the system time is not only accurate but also automatically synchronized with global time standards. Despite these efforts, Many MacOS Sonoma users are facing such scenarios where the displayed time does not align with real-world time. I hope the above guide will help you to understand the fix-the-date problems easily.

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