Time Zones in SharePoint and Date Time Stamp Format


So 7 readers, does anyone have the time?  I often answer SharePoint questions via email, and got a great question today that I thought was worth providing here are Sharing The Point.  This user had a SharePoint application with users in the United States and in the United Kingdom.  However, they were having a hard time determining the timestamps on their documents based on their different time zones (and to make it worse 12hr vs. 24 hr).  No worries!

Background
Every application should have a Time Zone configured for Default Time Zone for sites existing in that site collection.  This is set in the Web Application General Settings in Central Administration.

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My Settings

By default, users’ settings will follow the regional settings configured for the web application (and subsequent sites).  But they don’t have to.  Users can change their regional settings under Welcome Menu > My Settings.

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On the User Information page, the user (Ricky Hatton in our case) should then select My Regional Settings.

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Uncheck the box for: Always follow web settings.  Then the user can select which time zone they are and select the Ok button.

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Results

To show the result, we have Dan Lewis (umm, that’s me) in the GMT-05:00 Eastern Time Zone.  And we have Ricky Hatton (he’s a Boxer) in the GMT Greenwich Mean Time zone.

  • Ricky uploaded a document at 11:17pm his time (GMT).
  • Ricky (regardless of the time on his PC) will see the date time stamp of GMT (his regional setting)

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  • Dan (regardless of the time on his PC) will see the date time stamp of EST (the default site setting).

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  • Even if Dan were to make an Edit and Ricky logged back in, he would still see the time stamps appropriate to his personal setting, not the default site setting, or Dan’s time for that matter.  Groovy.

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24 Hour Twist

Well that’s just rocking, but what if Ricky was a peculiar fellow, and kept track of time in the 24 hr format (aka: Military Time)?  No worries, Ricky can select his preferred Time Format in regional settings as well.

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And then his date time stamps will display in 24 hr format.

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So there you have it, the time in SharePoint.  Speaking of time, it was about time I actually got around to writing a blog post.  Sorry 7 readers, I’ve been one busy fellow lately but I’m back at the keyboard now.  Here’s to a great summer!

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Dan,
    Great post!

    One question – do you know whether updating the Web App’s ‘Default Time Zone’ overwrites the Site collection/ subsite level Time Zone settings or not (if nothing were specified initially)? For example if a web app was created with a time zone (say Mountain
    Time) and site collection and subsites were there (with MT); if at a later date Web App Time Zone was changed to say ET…would that change the Site collections / subsites time zones to ET (if was not set to something else specifically)?

    Thanks!

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