Daylight Saving Time: Will Your Computer or Smartphone Fall Back?


Home / Daylight Saving Time: Will Your Computer or Smartphone Fall Back?

Is it better having an analogue clock to know the time? Photo by Deux-Chi

The clocks are supposed to Fall Back on November 4, 2012 at 2am – are your electronics ready?

Technology causes a problem for many during Daylight Saving Time – some turn back or forward automatically, and some don’t.

If you live in Arizona or Hawaii, you don’t want any time change at all!

Will My Smartphone Fall Back?

Smartphones, newer computers, tablets, and some digital watches will fall back automatically – in most cases.

The iPhone is one device that will turn back automatically, as long as the setting for observing DST is on.

If you live in an area that does not observe Daylight Saving Time, you can switch the automatic change off by going into Settings > General > Date & Time and then turn the ‘Set Automatically’ option to ‘Off.’ Follow the reverse procedure to make sure that the clock will reset for you automatically, if you live anywhere that observes the time change.

It’s not just the iPhone – the majority of smartphones offer the same option, usually in the Date & Time setting area. If you are in doubt, check your manual or look at the user guide online for your specific device. If you use a Windows phone or a Blackberry, you will most likely need to update your software to receive the patch that ensures your phone will change automatically.

Older Devices May Not Change Automatically

Many electronic devices have software to ensure that the clocks go back and forward at the right times, but some older electronics do not. The first thing to check is when the device was manufactured, and whether there have been any recent software updates. Some devices date back to pre-2005, which was before the current Energy Policy Act of 2005, so without a software update, these devices will change on the wrong date.

Newer products, including iPhones, iPods, and computers, with updated software, will turn back at the right time; as long as technology bugs don’t become an issue!

Windows Computers and the Change

Stop your laptop from automatically changing the date. Photo by Rob Pearce

If you still run on an older version of Windows (earlier than Windows 95) you will need to change the clock back yourself. Windows 7 changes automatically, but you can change this setting in the Date and Time settings, which you can access by clicking on the clock in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.If you click on the tab labeled, ‘Date and Time,’ you will see an option to ‘Change Time Zone.’ Under this option, there is a check box to automatically change for Daylight Saving Time. Check this to signify your preference – not having the tick will mean that the clock will not automatically change. Click OK to go back to the main screen.You can also set your computer to notify you that the clock will turn back. The check box for that option is right underneath the ‘Change Time Zone’ setting.

Fall Back: Are You On The Right Time?

Due to the confusion between devices, many people spend the first couple of hours of Fall Back making sure all the clocks have the right time. If in doubt, one of the best places to check is, which will always show the current time and date for your time zone and area, including whether Daylight Saving Time has taken place.


Choney, S. Ready Your Devices for Daylight Saving. (2007). NBC News. Accessed on November 1, 2012.

Apple. Archived – iPhone: About General Settings. Accessed on November 1, 2012

Windows. Set the Clock. Accessed November 1, 2012.

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