How to Change Time Zone on multiple workstations using Windows registry, batch files and Group Policies

Posted: July 11, 2011 in Systems Administration

I’ve recently have had an issue at my workplace were some workstations have a different time zone. Being this an Enterprise Level Company that has several sites in different parts of the world, changing the time server was not enough. I remembered and old class I took on Windows Registry and decided to give it a try. WARNING! The registry is the heart and soul of Windows, do not be careless, remember to always backup you registry before you engage in any changes.

1.  Log on to a workstation and set the correct timezone

2. Reboot the workstation

3. Login again and go to Registry Editor ( RUN + regedit)

4. Find “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation”

5. Right Click it and select EXPORT

6. Select a proper name for the Registry File you are exporting and Save it.

7. Close the Registry Editor

8. Open notepad

9. Copy the following command: “%windir%\system32\regedt32.exe /s \\MyServer\Scripts\TimeZone.reg” where MYServer wil be the name of the server where you will save the file and TimeZone.reg will the name of the exported registry.

10. Save your text file and change the extension to “.bat” by this it will be changed to a batch file (remember to confirm the change from .txt to .bat).

11. The you must uploaded to your server (probably your domain controller where you keep you scripts)

12. Create a New Group Policy Object, load you .bat file under startup scripts and let the change begin.

Remember to reboot all workstation in order for the change to take place after you have executed the group Policy, you have made a change in the registry and in order for the change to be active you must reboot. If there are any question feel free to post them here.

  1. RWEmerson says:

    If the change is made via the GUI, it takes effect immediately. Making the change via the Registry, it requires a reboot. Is there a way to make the Registry change take effect immediately?

    • ayalaaii says:

      On the first quote:
      – YES, you can do it via “GUI”, except on a Mid and Enterprise Level (more than 500 workstations), where you need an efficient way to perform this task.

      On the second quote:
      – Either reboot or logoff/logon depends on the type of registry change you performed. Now remembering that the registry is similar to a database when you logoff/logon or reboot the changes are “committed”.

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