Fix: Time Zone Settings Grayed out in Windows 11

When you open the Date & time settings to change the time zone, the Time zone settings may be fully grayed out or missing on your Windows 11 computer. Let’s see how to resolve the issue.

time zone settings grayed out

In some cases, the “Set time zone automatically” option may be enabled, but enabling the toggle button causes the following error:

Your privacy settings blocked access to your location.

If you want to change these settings, go to Settings, Privacy, App permissions, Location.

time zone settings grayed out

The above issue occurs if the Location services are disabled.

Solution

To restore the time zone options in Settings, follow one of these methods:

Method 1: Turn on Location services

  1. Open Settings → Privacy & security → Location.
  2. Enable the “Location Services” toggle switch.
  3. Enable the “Let apps access your location” toggle switch.
  4. Enable the toggle button for “Host process for Windows Services.”
    time zone settings grayed out
  5. Now, open the Time zone settings page. The options should now be available.

If you think turning on Location services might breach your privacy, follow Method 2 or 3 below. Methods 2 & 3 don’t require the Location services to be enabled.


Method 2: Disable the “Auto Time Zone Updater” service

If you don’t want the automatic time zone updates on your device and you want to set the time zone manually, here’s an option.

  1. Right-click Start, and click Run.
  2. Type services.msc and click OK.
  3. Double-click the “Auto Time Zone Updater” service
  4. Set the service start type to “Disabled.”
  5. Exit the Services console.

The “Auto Time Zone Updater” (tzautoupdate) service, when disabled, the manual time zone dropdown control is enabled automatically.

time zone settings grayed out



That’s it! You can have the Location services disabled but have the time zone manual selection dropdown box enabled.

Note: You can also use the tzutil.exe console tool to set the time zone. Type tzutil /? in the Command Prompt to learn more about this tool.


Method 3: Use the Classic Control Panel

As a workaround, you can use the classic “Date and Time” applet Control Panel applet.

You can launch it via Control Panel or run timedate.cpl via the Run dialog.

time zone settings grayed out

The classic applet works regardless of your Location privacy settings and “Auto Time Zone Updater” service status.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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