Timekeeping is a fundamental aspect of our daily lives, and accurate time synchronization is essential for seamless operation on any operating system, including macOS Sonoma. However, many users have reported instances where their Mac computers running macOS Sonoma display incorrect time. This issue can manifest itself in various locations, such as widgets, the top right corner of the screen, or other areas where time is displayed. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the reasons behind this problem and provide practical troubleshooting methods to fix the incorrect time in macOS Sonoma.

Understanding the Issue

Before delving into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand the underlying causes of the incorrect time display in macOS Sonoma. Several factors could contribute to this problem, including incorrect time zone settings, issues with automatic time synchronization, corrupted preference files, hardware-related issues, or even malware infections. By identifying the root cause, we can apply the appropriate solution to rectify the incorrect time display.

Method 1: Set BIOS Hardware Clock

One possible reason for the incorrect time in macOS Sonoma is a misconfigured BIOS hardware clock. The Basic Input and Output System (BIOS) is responsible for maintaining system time. To ensure the BIOS clock is accurately set, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your Mac running macOS Sonoma.
  2. Press the power button and simultaneously hold down the Command, Option, O, and F keys.
  3. Release the keys when you hear the startup chime. Your Mac will now boot into BIOS mode.
  4. Navigate to the Utility menu and select Terminal.
  5. In the Terminal, enter the following command to disable network time detection:
sudo systemsetup -setusingnetworktime off
  1. Next, list the available time zones by entering the command:
systemsetup -listtimezones
  1. Choose your desired time zone and set it using the command (replace[Your chosen timezone here] with your selection):
sudo systemsetup -settimezone [Your chosen timezone here]
  1. Manually set the correct date and time by entering the command in the following format:
date -u [month][day][hour][minute][year]

For example, if the current date is November 26, 2023, at 07:18, the command would be:

date -u 1126071823
  1. Exit the Terminal and reboot your Mac to apply the changes.

Method 2: Set Auto Date and Time

Sometimes, the incorrect time display in macOS Sonoma can be resolved by toggling the auto date and time settings. This feature ensures that your Mac’s time is synchronized with the correct time source. Follow these steps to enable auto date and time:

  1. Open System Preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time.
  2. Enable the toggle next to “Set Time and Date Automatically.”
  3. If the option is already enabled, disable it and then re-enable it to refresh the settings.
  4. Check if the incorrect time issue is resolved.

Method 3: Manually Set Date and Time

If the automatic time synchronization fails to correct the incorrect time display, manually setting the date and time on your Mac can be an effective solution. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open System Preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time.
  2. Disable the toggle next to “Set Time and Date Automatically.”
  3. Scroll down to the manual date and time settings section.
  4. Set the date and time according to your local current time.
  5. Save the settings and check if the incorrect time is now displayed correctly.

Method 4: Manually Set Time Zone

Incorrect time zone settings can also cause the incorrect time display in macOS Sonoma. By manually setting the correct time zone, you can ensure accurate time synchronization. Follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time.
  2. Disable the toggle next to “Set Time and Date Automatically.”
  3. Scroll down and disable the option for “Set Time Zone Automatically.”
  4. Select the appropriate time zone for your location from the available options.
  5. Save the settings and check if the incorrect time issue is resolved.

Method 5: Change Time Source

The default time source on macOS Sonoma is usually set to Apple’s server. However, changing the time source to a different server can help resolve the incorrect time display issue. Follow these steps to change the time source:

  1. Open System Preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time.
  2. Enable the toggle next to “Set Time and Date Automatically.”
  3. Click on the “Set” button below the toggle.
  4. Replace the current time server with a new one, such as Google’s time server.
  5. Save the settings and check if the incorrect time is now displayed correctly.

Method 6: Remove Aerial Wallpapers

Some users have reported that changing the Aerial wallpapers to different ones can resolve the issue of incorrect time display in macOS Sonoma. To change or remove the current Aerial wallpaper, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences and navigate to the Wallpapers section.
  2. Choose a different set of wallpapers or remove the Aerial wallpapers altogether.
  3. Check if this resolves the issue of incorrect time display.

Method 7: Force Reset Timezone via Terminal

For users familiar with Terminal or console commands, a force reset of the timezone can help resolve the incorrect time issue. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal app on your Mac.
  2. Enter the following command to reset the system time:
sudo sntp -sS time.apple.com
  1. Next, enter the command to enable network time synchronization:
sudo systemsetup -setusingnetworktime on
  1. Check if the incorrect time is now displayed correctly.

Method 8: Remove Time Preference File

A corrupted time preference file can sometimes cause the incorrect time display in macOS Sonoma. By removing this file, a fresh preference file will be created, potentially resolving the issue. Follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences and navigate to General > Date & Time.
  2. Disable the “Set Time and Date Automatically” option.
  3. Open the Terminal app on your Mac.
  4. Enter the following command to remove the time preference file:
/var/db/timed/com.apple.timed.plist ~/Desktop ; sudo reboot
  1. If the above command doesn’t work, use the following command instead:
sudo rm /var/db/timed/com.apple.timed.plist
  1. Reboot your Mac and set the time and date preferences again.

Method 9: Check for Virus or Malware

In some cases, malware or viruses on your Mac can alter the date and time settings, leading to incorrect time display. To ensure your system is free of malware, scan your Mac using reliable anti-malware and antivirus software.

Method 10: Check App Bug Reports

Certain apps, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Slack, may have bug reports related to the incorrect time display issue. Check for updates or bug reports specific to these apps to see if they are causing the problem. Updating the apps to the latest versions can help resolve the issue.

Method 11: Downgrade macOS

If the incorrect time display persists and the latest features of macOS Sonoma are not crucial for your needs, consider downgrading to a previous version of macOS, such as macOS Ventura, which may not have the time clock-related issues.

Method 12: Replace PRAM Battery

Hardware-related issues, such as a faulty PRAM battery, can also cause incorrect time display. Consider replacing the PRAM battery if it has exceeded its lifespan or if you suspect it is causing the problem. A new PRAM battery can help resolve the incorrect time issue.

Method 13: Contact Apple Care

If none of the above methods resolve the incorrect time display issue, it’s advisable to reach out to Apple Care for professional assistance. They can help troubleshoot any software or hardware-related issues or guide you through the process of downgrading to a different macOS version.

Conclusion

Accurate timekeeping is crucial for a smooth user experience on macOS Sonoma. If you encounter the issue of incorrect time display, try the troubleshooting methods mentioned in this guide. By setting the correct time and date, ensuring accurate time zone settings, and addressing any underlying software or hardware issues, you can resolve the problem and have your Mac displaying the correct time once again.

Remember, always keep your operating system and apps updated to the latest versions to avoid potential time-related issues. If you have any further queries or need additional assistance, feel free to reach out to Apple Care or consult the official Apple community for further guidance.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks. Was on the phone with Apple Care, and after a complete re-install of Sonoma, the date issue was still there. I saw this article, and tried method:
    Method 8: Remove Time Preference File
    using the terminal command, and everything is fixed!

    Thanks, Thanks, Thanks.

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