Synchronize time with external NTP server on Windows Server 2008/2008R2

Sep 14, 2022
IT Support

Welcome to Computer Creations, your trusted partner in high-quality website development services. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of synchronizing time with an external NTP server on Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2.


Accurate time synchronization is crucial for maintaining the integrity and performance of your Windows Server 2008/2008R2 environment. By synchronizing your server's time with an external NTP server, you can ensure that all critical operations, such as log entries, scheduled tasks, and network communication, are timestamped correctly.

Why Synchronize Time with an External NTP Server?

Windows Server 2008/2008R2 includes a built-in time synchronization mechanism called Windows Time Service (W32Time). While it is capable of synchronizing time with an internal hardware clock or a reliable Internet time server, using an external NTP (Network Time Protocol) server offers several advantages:

  • Accuracy: External NTP servers are highly accurate and provide precise time information, which is essential for time-sensitive operations and regulatory compliance.
  • Reliability: NTP servers are specifically designed for time synchronization purposes, ensuring high availability and reliable timekeeping.
  • Security: External NTP servers employ authentication mechanisms, preventing unauthorized sources from tampering with the time synchronization process.


Before proceeding with the time synchronization process, ensure that you have administrative privileges on your Windows Server 2008/2008R2 system. Additionally, make sure that your server has internet connectivity to access the external NTP server.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as Administrator

To begin, launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges. Right-click on the Start button, select "Command Prompt (Admin)" from the menu, and a new Command Prompt window will open.

Step 2: Stop the Windows Time Service

To prevent any conflicts, stop the Windows Time Service before configuring it to synchronize with an external NTP server. In the Command Prompt window, execute the following command:

net stop w32time

Step 3: Configure Time Synchronization

Next, configure the Windows Time Service to synchronize with an external NTP server. Execute the following command:

w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:"ntp_server_dns_or_ip"

Replace ntp_server_dns_or_ip with the DNS name or IP address of the desired NTP server. This configuration specifies that time synchronization will be performed manually with the specified server as the source.

Step 4: Enable Time Synchronization

Enable time synchronization by executing the following command:

w32tm /config /update

Step 5: Start the Windows Time Service

Start the Windows Time Service again to apply the changes. Execute the following command:

net start w32time

Verifying Time Synchronization

To confirm that time synchronization with the external NTP server is functioning correctly, you can use the following command:

w32tm /query /status

This command displays the current synchronization status, including the time source and the last synchronization results.


Congratulations! You have successfully synchronized time with an external NTP server on your Windows Server 2008/2008R2 system. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure accurate and reliable timekeeping for your critical operations.

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Mabel Zhuang
The importance of time synchronization is emphasized. Well done!
Nov 6, 2023
Nghia Nguyen
Your step-by-step instructions made time synchronization a breeze. Thank you!
Oct 23, 2023
Ido Moshe
My server's time is now perfectly synced. Thank you!
Oct 17, 2023
Place Holder
I successfully synced the time. Thanks for the guide.
Oct 11, 2023
Teresa Welch
The troubleshooting section was extremely helpful. Thank you!
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Thanks for simplifying this complex process. Your guide is a lifesaver.
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The NTP server setup can be daunting but this guide simplified it.
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Mar 14, 2023
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The use of external NTP servers is crucial. Thanks for highlighting it.
Mar 9, 2023
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I successfully implemented time synchronization by following your clear instructions. Thank you!
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Jan 31, 2023
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Jan 4, 2023
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Dec 31, 2022
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I never knew time synchronization was so important.
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Nov 26, 2022
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I was able to follow your instructions with ease and successfully synchronize the time. Thank you!
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Oct 28, 2022
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Oct 20, 2022
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Your instructions made it so easy to synchronize the time.
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Sep 16, 2022