Troubleshoot time zones

Three factors affect the scheduling of a meeting in Microsoft Outlook:

  • The clock setting (time) of the computer.
  • The local time zone setting of the computer.
  • The daylight saving time adjustment setting of the computer.

All three factors must be set correctly on both the meeting organizer's computer and on each attendee's computer to ensure meetings display at the correct times.

ShowAn instance of an attendee's recurring meeting moves by one hour on the Outlook Calendar even though nothing has changed, and the attendee didn't receive a meeting update.

This happens when the meeting organizer is in a time zone with daylight saving time and the attendee is in a different time zone that does not have daylight saving time. After the change to or from daylight saving time in the meeting organizer's time zone, the meeting moves by one hour relative to Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) to keep the meeting at a constant time for the organizer before and after the change. As a result, the attendee's meeting moves by one hour in the local time. This is by design. The meeting organizer's time zone controls the UTC of the meeting, and all people in other time zones will see the meetings at the same UTC (but a different local time if in another time zone).

In order to have the meeting time display correctly, meeting organizers may need to create and send meeting requests themselves rather than by having a delegate send them. For example, a delegate located in the main office in New York City, New York, manages the calendars for four regional vice presidents, one of whom has an office in Phoenix, Arizona. (Phoenix does not observe daylight savings time.) The delegate books a monthly teleconference for Tuesdays at 2:00 P.M. (Phoenix time) for this vice president. After the change to or from daylight saving time in New York, the meeting in Phoenix will move forward or backward by one hour because the delegate's time zone (in this instance, New York City), is considered to be the meeting organizer's time zone. If the Phoenix vice president wants the meeting to always occur at the same time, then the Phoenix vice president and not the delegate should create the meeting.

The person for whom the meeting time should not move should be the one who organizes the meeting.

ShowYou are traveling through two or more time zones and need to display the local time for each appointment in Calendar.

If you are a salesperson in New York City, New York who has a breakfast meeting at 8:00 A.M., then flies to Chicago, Illinois for a 1:00 P.M. meeting, and then flies to Las Vegas, Nevada and has a dinner reservation at 6:00 P.M., Outlook displays all of these appointments relative to the time zone you were in when you entered the appointments in Calendar. Therefore, in New York City when you look at the Calendar, breakfast is at 8:00 A.M., the Chicago meeting is at 1:00 P.M., and the Las Vegas dinner is at 6:00 P.M. However, when you look at the Calendar in Chicago, the breakfast is at 9:00 A.M., the local (Chicago) meeting is at 2:00 P.M., and the dinner is at 7:00 P.M.

The user should not change their original time zone and should use the additional time zone feature to display the local time. You can only display one additional time zone, so you may need to change the second time zone each time you change time zones.

ShowRecurring meetings that include Sunday at 2:00 A.M. and span more than one time zone will be displayed incorrectly on the day of the daylight saving change.

When you create an appointment or meeting with recurrences, Outlook creates a single item that has a start and end time in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). Outlook then changes that single item into a series. The series has single start and end times that apply to every instance of the series that isn't an exception. When a series is expanded for display in your Calendar, each instance has the same start and end time in UTC.

If you change time zones, all instances, including exceptions, move to reflect the new time zone. Exceptions to a series are still identified as part of the series for most actions; however, each exception has its own start and end times.

If the series crosses a daylight saving time (DST) change, the instances of the series continue to be displayed at the same time but are one hour ahead or back relative to UTC.

This problem fixes itself at midnight of the next day (Monday), except if the recurrence starts exactly at 2:00 A.M. or if you have a reminder set for 2:00 A.M. In this case, you should change your computer's time to the organizer's time zone, delete the single instance that spans the DST change, and then change back to your own time zone.

ShowWhen you have all-day events on your Calendar and then change the time zone, the all-day events span two days instead of one.

Outlook treats anniversaries, holidays, and birthdays as all-day events (an all-day event is defined from midnight to midnight in the local time zone). When the time zones change, all-day events move. Therefore, when you change the computer's time zone, the all-day event moves to display in the new time zone. An event, such as a holiday or birthday, will appear in the Calendar on two consecutive days. For example, a birthday could appear from 6 A.M. one day to 6 A.M. the next day.

You can do one of the following:

  • Use the additional time zone feature in Outlook to display the local time zone and do not change the operating system time zone.
  • Correct each all-day event for the current time zone setting.
  • Change the time zone back to the one used when the items were created.

ShowYou experience display problems when working with time zones with offsets of less than 30 minutes.

Some time zones use a 15-minute offset instead of a 30-minute offset. The 15-minute offset causes display problems because Outlook can only display Calendar items in 30-minute time blocks.

The time bar in the Calendar window can only display offsets in 30-minute time blocks. Therefore, when time zones that use a 15-minute offset, such as Katmandu (GMT+5:45), are displayed, Calendar items appear incorrectly.

If you are in this type of time zone, you should rely on the meeting information and not on the time side bar in the Calendar window.

ShowThe meeting organizer is unable to accept a counter proposal from an attendee in a different time zone for one occurrence of a recurring meeting.

Outlook does not store the time zone property on recurrence exceptions and the counter-propose message sent by the attendee who is in a different time zone is not recognized by the organizer's e-mail program. When the meeting organizer opens the counter-propose message and clicks Accept Proposal or View All Proposals, the following message appears: "This meeting is not in the Calendar; it may have been moved or deleted. Because this meeting cannot be found, the proposal cannot be accepted."

This problem does not occur when you work with single meetings or with the entire series of a recurring meeting — it affects only single instances of a recurrence. To work around this, the organizer needs to accept the counter proposal by updating the meeting time manually. Open the meeting occurrence that the attendee has counter proposed and change the time, and then send the updated meeting request. This problem may also occur if Outlook is not set to adjust for daylight saving time.

ShowYou need appointments to be at fixed times no matter what time zone you are in.

You want an appointment to show on the Calendar at a fixed time no matter what the time zone is. For example, you want to be reminded to take your medication at the same absolute time regardless of the time zone you are in. However, when you change time zones, the appointment changes to reflect the new time zone.

Outlook can't force an appointment to remain fixed when the time zone changes. If you need the appointment to stay at a fixed time, you should not change your current time zone. You can add the additional time zone to track the other time zone times. To change the time zone setting in Outlook without changing the times for each of your appointments, you must export the data from your Calendar folder, change the time zone setting, and then import the data into Outlook.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003