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Windows 7 - Using the Windows Date and Time Settings

Windows 7 provides an advanced and highly customizable system clock. Not only can you change your time zone with just a couple of clicks – you can also add additional clocks for different time zones and synchronize these times online to ensure that they are always accurate to a fraction of a second.

To access the Date and Time settings, click on the clock in the bottom-right corner of your screen and click "Change date and time settings." Before you do anything else, ensure that the time is synchronized correctly with the Internet. Click the "Internet Time" tab. By default, the time should be set to automatically synchronize on a scheduled basis. If it is not, click the "Change settings" button. Ensure that the box "Synchronize with an Internet time server" is checked. Choose a server from the dropdown box below or just leave it on the default setting. They all do the same thing. Click "Update now" and click "OK" to exit.

Return to the Date and Time tab. Ensure that your current time zone is selected. If it isn't, click "Change time zone" and choose your current time zone from the dropdown box. It's also a good idea to check the box "Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time." Not all countries use this, but Windows knows whether or not to change the time automatically by the time zone and city you just chose. Whenever you take your computer to a new time zone, you will need to manually change the time if you want Windows to always display the local time in the system clock.

You can also add additional clocks which you will be able to see either by moving the mouse pointer over the system clock or by clicking on it. This is useful if, for example, you have friends or relatives abroad and you want to always know what their local time is.

To add additional clocks, click on the "Additional Clocks" tab. You can add up to two additional clocks. Check the box above the first one and choose the time zone and city that you want to display the clock for. You can enter a display name in the box below, such as the name of your friend or relative abroad. This way, you'll easily be able to identify it. Click on "OK" when done.

From now on, you'll see your additional clocks when you move the mouse over the system time. If you click on the clock, you'll see the analogue versions of the primary clock and any additional clocks.

If you want all of your digital clocks to display the 12-hour format rather than the 24-hour one, open up the Control Panel from the start menu. Click "Clock, Language and Region" and, under "Region and Language," click "Change the date, time, or number format."

Under the "Formats" tab, choose "h:mm tt" from the dropdown box beside "Short time" and "h:mm:ss tt" beside "Long time." If you want to know more about the notations used in the date and time formats, click on the link "What does the notation mean?" Finally, click "OK" and close the control panel to finish.


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