How to Change Date and Time on the iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the date and time on your iPhone is a simple process that can be done in a few taps. First, open your Settings app. Next, scroll down and tap on “General.” Then, select “Date & Time.” Here, you can toggle the “Set Automatically” option, which will use your location to determine the correct time. If you prefer to set the date and time manually, turn this option off and make your adjustments.

After you’ve made your changes, your iPhone will display the updated date and time. This can help ensure that your alarms, calendar events, and time-stamped messages are accurate.


Have you ever found yourself in a different time zone, only to realize that all your appointments and alarms are now out of whack? Or maybe you’ve been a victim of the daylight saving time change and missed an important event because your iPhone didn’t update automatically. Whatever the case may be, knowing how to manually change the date and time on your iPhone is a handy skill that can save you from these little inconveniences.

It’s relevant to anyone who travels, moves to a new area with a different time zone, or experiences issues with their iPhone’s automatic time setting feature. Plus, there are those of us who like to be a bit ahead of time—literally—setting our clocks a few minutes fast to ensure we’re never late. No matter the reason, getting the hang of adjusting your iPhone’s date and time settings is a quick and easy process that can make your life a little smoother. In the upcoming sections, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to do just that.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Change Date and Time on the iPhone

Before diving into the steps, it’s worth knowing that adjusting the date and time on your iPhone can also affect other functions on your device, such as calendar events, alarms, and even the timestamps on your messages. Let’s go through the process.

Step 1

Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

By tapping the Settings icon, you access a myriad of customizable options for your device, including the Date & Time settings.

Step 2

Scroll down and tap “General.”

This section houses the basic functionalities of your iPhone that you can manipulate to better fit your personal preferences and needs.

Step 3

Select “Date & Time.”

In this submenu, you’ll find options to adjust your time settings manually or set them to update automatically based on your location data.

Step 4

Toggle the “Set Automatically” option.

If you’re looking to have your iPhone update the time based on your current location and time zone, this is the option to enable. If it’s already on but the time is incorrect, you might want to toggle it off and on again to refresh the setting.

Step 5

Manually set the date and time, if necessary.

If you’ve chosen to adjust the settings manually, you can now use the date and time wheels to select the accurate time and date for your current location or preferred time zone.


Ensures accuracy of alarms and eventsBy setting the date and time correctly, you can rest assured that your alarms will go off at the right time and your calendar events will be scheduled correctly.
Helps with time zone changesFor frequent travelers, being able to quickly adjust the time zone ensures that you’re always on local time, avoiding any potential confusion or missed appointments.
Personal preference for time settingSome people prefer their clocks to be set a few minutes fast to encourage punctuality. Manual setting allows for this personal adjustment.


Can be overridden by location servicesIf you’re in an area with poor location services, your iPhone might struggle to set the correct automatic time, leading to potential inaccuracies.
May affect scheduled featuresChanging the time might affect scheduled Do Not Disturb modes, Night Shift settings, or any other time-based features on your device.
Requires manual adjustment for daylight savingIf the automatic setting is off, you will need to remember to manually adjust the time for daylight saving changes, which could lead to confusion.

Additional Information

When changing the date and time on your iPhone, it’s also worth noting that certain apps and functions might be dependent on accurate time settings. For example, iMessage timestamps will reflect the date and time set on your device, which could lead to confusion in your message history if set incorrectly.

Moreover, if you’re managing family devices or have restrictions in place, you may need to enter a passcode to change the date and time settings. This feature is designed to prevent children from bypassing time limits set on app usage or screen time.

Additionally, if you ever notice that your iPhone’s time is consistently incorrect, it may be worth checking if there’s a software update available, as this can sometimes resolve the issue. And if you use an Apple Watch, remember that it pulls the time from your iPhone, so keeping your phone’s time accurate will ensure your watch is accurate as well.

Lastly, keep in mind that while changing the date and time can be helpful, it’s generally best to use the automatic setting when possible to maintain consistency across your devices and services.


  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on “General.”
  3. Select “Date & Time.”
  4. Toggle “Set Automatically” or manually set the date and time.
  5. Adjust time wheels if setting manually.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my iPhone’s time is still wrong after setting it manually?

Make sure “Set Automatically” is off and try setting the time again. If it persists, check for a software update or consider restarting your iPhone.

Can changing the date and time affect my other apps?

Yes, apps that rely on accurate timestamps, like messaging or email, may display incorrect information if the date and time are set incorrectly.

Why should I set my time manually?

Setting the time manually can be useful if you’re in an area with poor location services or if you prefer your clock to be a bit fast for punctuality’s sake.

Will changing the time on my iPhone adjust the time on my Apple Watch?

Yes, your Apple Watch synchronizes the time from your iPhone, so the adjustments will reflect on your watch as well.

What happens if I travel to a different time zone?

If “Set Automatically” is enabled, your iPhone should adjust to the new time zone automatically. If not, you’ll need to set it manually.


Mastering the ability to change the date and time on your iPhone can save you from the headache of missed alarms or appointments, especially when daylight saving rolls around or you’re hopping between time zones. It’s an easy process that can be quickly learned and applied whenever necessary.

Just remember to weigh the pros and cons of using automatic versus manual settings, and consider how it might affect other services on your device. As we become more reliant on technology to manage our schedules, ensuring our devices display the correct time is crucial. Keep this guide handy, and you’ll never have to worry about time-related mishaps again.