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How to Correct Your Gmail Time Zone

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Mid adult man looking at laptop over breakfast
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"Your emails come from the future," they say, and "Fix that!"

At the same time, all the dates on messages you see in Gmail seem oddly off by some hours. You'd like to fix that, too.

To have the sun reach its zenith around noon everywhere, the world is divided in time zones. If your computer or Gmail think you in the wrong zone, their time and date will not correspond to what your watch says.

In Gmail, changing your time zone is easy.

I was not able to mess up my email's dates by changing the time zone—because, I presume, Gmail usually determines it correctly from your approximate location—, but it's still worth having it correct. Be sure to also check your operating system's time zone (and daylight saving time automatisms) and that the computer's clock is correct.

Correct Your Gmail Time Zone

To set your Gmail time zone:

  • Click the Settings gear near your Gmail's top right corner.
  • Select Settings from the menu that pop up below.
  • Go to the Accounts and Import tab.
  • Follow the Other Google Account settings link under Change account settings:.
  • Select Products on the left.
  • Click Sign in to Dashboard under Dashboard.
  • If prompted:
    • Type your Gmail password under Password.
    • Click Sign in.
  • Now follow the Edit personal information link under Account.
  • Select the correct time zone under Time zone (optional).
    • If you cannot find the correct city or time zone, try checking Show all timezones or, if you desire, make sure your country is selected under Country (optional).
  • Click Save.

If you use Google Chrome, note that a bug in the browser may interfere with your Gmail time zone. Do make sure you use Google Chrome's latest version (click the Chrome menu and select Update Google Chrome if available or About Google Chrome).

(Updated January 2013)

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