How to Make your Computer a Time Server

A Time Server or NTP Server is used to synchronize the time across devices in a network. For example, in Windows, your time automatically get synchronized with time.windows.com. The time.windows.com is time server or NTP server created by Microsoft. Similarly, you can also make your computer a time server or NTP server. And then, you can synchronize the time of all devices in your local (LAN) network with your PC.

In this tutorial, we are going to shows you how to make your computer an NTP or Time Server. And, you don’t need to install any software for doing this. We will be using Windows’ Registry Editor for turning your computer into Time Server.

SEE ALSO: How to Make your Computer a Web Server?

Make Your Computer a Time (NTP) Server

Step 1: Open Services and Stop Windows Time Service

In order to make your computer a time server, we will need to make some changes to Windows Time Service. So, first of all we will need to stop Windows Time service in Windows services console.

Go to Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Administrative Tools > Services to open Windows Services console. Alternatively, you can type services.msc in RUN and press ENTER.

Go To Run Type Services Msc And Press Enter
Go to RUN, type services.msc and press Enter

Now, Windows Services console will open. Here, look for ‘Windows Time‘ service. After that, right-click on Windows Time service and select Stop to stop this service. But if the service is already stopped, you can move to next step.

Open Services And Stop Windows Time Service - Make your computer a time server
Stop Windows Time Service

Step 2: Open Registry Editor and Create LocalNTP DWORD

Now, open Registry Editor. Go to RUN, type regedit and press Enter button to launch Registry Editor.

Go To Run Type Regedit And Press Enter Or Click Ok
Go to RUN, type regedit and press Enter

You may see UAC Prompt, click on Yes to continue. Registry Editor will open. In Registry Editor, go to following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Parameters

If you don’t see ‘LocalNTP’ DWORD on the right side, you will have to create it to make your computer a time server. So, to create the DWORD, right-click in blank space and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Open Registry Editor And Create New Dword In Parameters
Create new DWORD

Now, type the name of new DWORD as LocalNTP (case sensitive).

Rename Dword As Localntp
Name the DWORD as LocalNTP

After creating the DWORD, double-click on it to modify it’s value. Then set the DWORD value to “1” (Hexadecimal).

Set Localntp Value To 1 Hexadecimal to create local NTP server on your computer
Set LocalNTP DOWRD’s Value to 1

Step 3: Enable NTP Server in Windows

This is one of the most important step to make your PC an NTP server. Do not close the Registry Editor yet, go to following key in the Registry Editor.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\W32Time\TimeProviders\NtpServer

Here, on the right side, you will find a DWORD named as Enabled. Right-click and select Modify to change it’s value.

Go To Ntp Server Key In Registry Editor And Modify Enabled Dword - make your computer a time server
Go to NtpServer Key in Registry Editor and Modify Enabled DWORD

Now, set the value data of Enabled DWORD to “1” (Hexadecimal).

Set Enabled Dword Value To 1 Hexadecimal
Set Enabled DWORD’s Value to 1

Step 4: Set Announce Flags

Now, go to following key in Registry Editor.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\W32Time\Config

Here, we will change the value of AnnounceFlags DWORD. So, right-click on it and select Modify.

Go To Announce Flags Dword And Modify It
Go to AnnounceFlags DWORD and Modify it

Now, set the value of AnnounceFlags DWORD to “5” (Hexadecimal). Now, you PC will advertise itseft as NTP server.

Modify Announce Flags Dword Value To 5 Hexadecimal
Set AnnounceFlags DOWRD’s Value to 5

Step 5: Start Windows Time Service

Go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services again. Now, double-click on “Windows Time” service to open it’s Properties. Here, set Startup type to Automatic, start the service and then click OK.

Set Windows Time Service To Automatic And Start It - Make your PC an NTP server
Set Windows Time service Startup type to Automatic and start the service

Now, you can use your computer as NTP server. You can now synchronize the time of other computers in your LAN/Local network with your PC.


Step 6: Synchronize Time with NTP Server

Let’s see how to synchronize the time of any other PC using this newly created NTP Server. First, you need to find the IP address of your PC. You can check your IP in Network Settings or via Command prompt using ipconfig command. In this tutorial, the IP address of our PC is 192.168.56.101. This is just an example, it may be different for you.

Use Ipconfig Command In Cmd To Get Ip Address Of Your Pc
Use ipconfig command to find IP Address of Your PC

Now, go to another computer whose time you want to synchronize. Open Control Panel and search for date time and click on Set the time and date link from search results.

Launch Control Panel And Open Set The Time And Date
Launch Control Panel and search for Time and Date settings

Date and Time settings will open. Go to Internet Time tab and click on Change Settings.

In Date And Time Settings Go To Internet Time Tab And Click On Change Settings
Go to Internet Time tab and click on Change Settings

A small Internet Time Settings window will open. Here, enter the IP address of your NTP server (192.168.56.101 in our case) in the box and click on Update Now to synchronize time. It may give you error on first attempt. Click on Update Now again and your time will be synchronized successfully. Now, you can click OK to close the time settings window.

Synchronize Time With The Time Server We Just Created Make Your Pc A Time Server
Synchronize the Time with NTP Server

Turn your PC into NTP Server without Any Software

Now, you have successfully turned your computer into an NTP or Time Server without any software. You can synchronize time of every device on your network using this NTP server. You can also synchronize time of any remote device using this NTP server by forwarding NTP port in your router. NTP port is “123” by default. Process of forwarding a port in your router depends on the type of the router you use. You can check your router’s manual for more details.

Hope you liked this tutorial. In case you have any problems, feel free to write them down in the comment section below. Feel free to subscribe to our newsletter to get latest tutorials directly into your inbox.

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7 Comments

  1. I followed the steps above but the following error appears when I try to synchronize the time
    “An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with 172.14.0.10. This operation returned because the timeout period expired”
    and sometimes
    “An error occurred while Windows was synchronizing with 172.14.0.10. The peer is unreachable.”
    I have two laptops one is configured as stated above while the second is supposed to be synched with the first. Also both laptops can ping each other as verified by command prompt.

      1. Yes. One laptop has .10 and other has .50. Laptop 1 can ping 2 and laptop 2 can ping 1.

      2. Make sure you didn’t miss any step and also start/restart windows time service in .10 laptop. You have to try multiple times to synchronise time if you are doing it for first time.

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