General Hacks Productivity

How to Change the Time Zone in Windows with a BAT File Script

Because I travel back and forth across the United States a lot, I frequently have to change the time zone on my work laptop. This requires several steps:

  1. Click on the Date and Time area in the System Tray.
  2. Click Change date and time settings…
  3. Click the Change time zone… button.
  4. Find my current time zone in the Time zone drop-down list and select it. This is the single most frustrating part.
  5. Click the OK button on the Time Zone Settings dialog.
  6. Click the OK button on the Date and Time dialog.

That doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re doing it a couple times a week it it get’s old. Here is what that looks like:
image

I’ve replaced this 6-click process with six BAT files that sit in a folder on my desktop. I double-click to open the folder and then double-click on the BAT file for the time zone I’m in. That’s two steps and I also don’t have to scroll through a lot of options to find the time zone I’m in. Here is what that this new process looks like:
image

 

The script code in each BAT file is very simple too. Here’s the code to switch to the Eastern Time Zone:
TZUTIL /s "Eastern Standard Time"

That’s it. That’s all. Just a single line in a a text file named TimeZone-1-Eastern.bat.

The only thing you have to know is the internal name Windows uses for the time zone. Here are the scripts for all the time zones in the United States:

TimeZone-1-Eastern.bat

TZUTIL /s "Eastern Standard Time"

TimeZone-2-Eastern-Indiana.bat

TZUTIL /s "US Eastern Standard Time"

TimeZone-3-Central.bat

TZUTIL /s "Central Standard Time"

TimeZone-4-Mountain.bat

TZUTIL /s "Mountain Standard Time"

TimeZone-5-Mountain-Arizona.bat

TZUTIL /s "US Mountain Standard Time"

TimeZone-6-Pacific.bat

TZUTIL /s "Pacific Standard Time"

If you need to figure out more of the time zone names, you can use the TZUTIL /l command and switch from a Command Prompt. You may also want to read the TechNet page for TZUTIL.

Happy travels!

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