Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Do I need to do something about the upcoming change to Daylight Savings Time?

I was forwarded some email that said the dates for Daylight Saving Time are
changing, and that I need to take steps to make sure that my computer’s clock
would be set correctly. The links went to the Microsoft web site, but I
couldn’t figure out what I need to do, if anything.

What do I need to do?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the United States will be extended by four
weeks, beginning this year. It’ll start three weeks earlier and end one week later
than it would have by the old rules.

So the question boils down to: how will your computer find out about the new
rules?

As is so often the case … it depends.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

The good news is that for many of you, nothing is required.

Microsoft Windows

If you’re already running Windows Vista, you’re done. Vista already
incorporates the necessary change. Nothing to see here.

If you’re running Windows XP SP2, and you have Automatic Updates
turned on (as I feel you should), you’re done. Your copy of Windows either has
been, or will be, updated in time for the new DST rules.

If you’re running SP2 but don’t have Automatic Updates enabled, then visit
Windows Update sometime before March
11, 2007 to manually pick up the DST update.

If you’re running Windows XP without SP2, you need to first install SP2 (as
I feel you should), by visiting Windows
Update
. After the SP2 install, continue with subsequent updates, and you’ll
get the DST update as part of the bargain.

If you’re running versions of Windows older than XP with SP2 … Microsoft appears to
provide no help. Personally, I’d visit Windows Update anyway, particularly if you’re running Windows
2000. Support for Windows 9x is certainly over, but Windows 2000 still has a
large corporate installed base, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a fix were made
available.

“If you’re running Windows XP SP2, and you have
Automatic Updates turned on (as I feel you should), you’re done.”

For those older versions, or if you elect not to take the available
update(s), you’ll need to do things manually, twice a year. You should first
turn off “Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes” and then
update your clock by hand on the second Sunday in March and on the first Sunday
in November.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is also affected by this change. (You should first update
Windows.)

If you’re running Office 2007, you’re done. Office 2007 is already up to
date with respect to this change.

If you’re running older versions of Office, and if you use the
calendar or reminders features of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft has provided a
Time Zone Data Update Tool for
Microsoft Office Outlook
.

Other Software

Most operating systems are affected one way or another, so if you’re not
running Windows, you’ll want to check with your OS vendor. For example Apple’s
Mac OS X included updates for this issue in their 10.4.5 update. Other OS’s that
include an automatic update feature will typically also have handled this
already.

Applications are more difficult to predict. Most will rely on the operating
system to handle everything and will not be affected. Others, like Microsoft
Office Outlook which have special calendaring and related features may
be impacted and may need to be updated. Check with the specific application
vendor if you’re not sure.

Regardless:

Keep an eye out.

I would pay particular attention to your computer’s clock on the following
dates:

  • March 11, 2007 – the new start of DST. Your clock
    should “spring forward” one hour on this day. If you’ve applied the appropriate
    patches and have automatic adjustment enabled, it should do so
    automatically.

  • April 1, 2007 – the old start of DST. Your clock
    should not change on this day. If you failed to update, it might.

  • October 28, 2007 – the old end of DST. Your clock
    should not change on this day.

  • November 4, 2007 – the new end of DST. Your clock
    should “fall back” one our on this day.

And naturally, keep an eye on your other programs, particularly calendaring
and scheduling applications to make sure that they’re all following the new
rules as well.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips & a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

NOW: name your own price! You decide how much to pay -- and yes, that means you can get this report completely free if you so choose. Get your copy now!

8 comments on “Do I need to do something about the upcoming change to Daylight Savings Time?”

  1. I plan to run one or both of two venerable programs on my legacy Windows systems to reset their system clocks for daylight saving time. The programs are D4 and About time. These programs also set the DST flag. I also intend to turn off the automatic update DST flag on these systems as well.

    It would behoove anyone using Outlook, Exchange and/or Exchange Server and several calandering applications to visit the Microsoft DST help and support site–a link immediately follows Leo’s article.

    Carl

    Reply
  2. I plan to run one or both of two venerable programs on my legacy Windows systems to reset their system clocks for daylight saving time. The programs are D4 and About time. These programs also set the DST flag. I also intend to turn off the automatic update DST flag on these systems as well.

    It would behoove anyone using Outlook, Exchange and/or Exchange Server and several calandering applications to visit the Microsoft DST help and support site–a link immediately follows Leo’s article.

    Carl

    Reply
  3. Leo
    You might want to recommend that users check MICROSOFT UPDATE rather than WINDOWS UPDATE so that they can receive all of the Microsoft patches for all of their software. Usually, folks forget about the other Microsoft products on their machines (such as WORD or OFFICE) and miss critical patches for that software.

    Reply
  4. I have XP/SP2, with all current updates. I even manually applied the DST patch from Microsoft (it said I didn’t need it). But my system is STILL running one hour behind today.

    Not everyone who simply trusts MS is “done”…

    Reply
  5. Apparently my Vista x64 attempted to change to DST time zone but didn’t work. I keep getting a pop-up that says “You seem to have outdated time zone information. Please run Windows Update.” Windows update did nothing for me. The Time Zone button in the “Date and Time” dialog box doesn’t work. I have tried turning off UAC and Defender. HELP!

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.