It can be more than a little confusing when an email lands in your inbox, having seemingly arrived from the future or the past. Worst case scenario, whole email threads can be missed because the wrong timezone was attached and they end up buried among old messages.
It’s easy to take the fact that your operating system or email provider is set to the right timezone for granted, but it’s always a good idea to make sure. And if you discover your emails are set to the wrong timezone, it can be easily fixed.
Why You Might Want to Adjust Your Timezone
There are many reasons you might need to adjust your timezone within Gmail. It might be that you regularly travel across timezones, or that you work in a distributed team and need to occasionally tap into a colleague’s timezone.
Alternatively, you might be working from a device that’s set to the wrong timezone.
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Changing your timezone from within Gmail
Adjustments to your timezone are made in Google Calendar, although this can be accessed via Gmail.
Step 1: Log in to Gmail.
Step 2: In the upper right-hand corner, click on the Calendar icon.
Step 3: From within Calendar, click on the gear icon in the top right-hand corner.
Step 4: Click on Settings.
Step 5: In the General drop-down, choose Time zone.
Step 6: On the Time zone page, scroll through the Country drop-down menu to choose your primary timezone.
Step 7: Once you’ve clicked on your chosen timezone it will be saved and applied to Gmail.
How to Adjust Your Timezone
Important: Make sure the timezone is correct on your device
Before you change your timezone in Gmail, make sure your device is set to the right timezone.
First, log out of Gmail and close your internet browser.
1. Go to the Control Panel.
2. Click on Clock and Region.
3. Click Change time zone.
4. Click on Change time zone…
5. In the drop-down under Time Zone, choose the correct timezone.
6. Click OK.
1. Click on the date and time indicator in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
2. Select Open Date & Time Preferences (You can also open Date & Time by navigating to System Preferences in the Dock and selecting Date & Time.
3. Click on the Time Zone tab.
4. On the world map, manually click your nearest city on the map and choose the most relevant timezone. Alternatively, you can check the box to Set the time zone automatically using current location (you will need to turn on location services).
5. Click the lock to save changes.
Right Inbox Email Scheduling
If you consistently find yourself sending emails across timezones, it can be a pain to keep manually working out the time difference when scheduling messages.
Here’s where email scheduling from Right Inbox can help you. With its Send Later feature, you can not only automate the send times of your messages, but you can also select the timezone to ensure your email lands at the right time for your recipient. Here’s how:
1. Download the Right Inbox free Chrome extension here.
2. Open a new email and input the recipient, subject line, and email body.
3. Click on the Send later button at the bottom of the email.
4. Choose from one of the preset times to schedule your email to send.
5. Alternatively, set your own time by clicking on At a specific time.
6. Either input a date, time, or duration in words.
7. Alternatively, input a date, time, and timezone.
8. Click Schedule, and your message will be sent at the specified date and time.
As long as you have checked the box called Label as Send Later (located in the arrow next to the Send Later button), your scheduled messages will be saved in a “Send Later” folder in your left-hand menu in Gmail.
What To Do If Your Time Zone Is Showing Up Wrong
If your Gmail time zone is not showing up correctly, then there are a few things you should do. In a moment, we’ll explore exactly how to adjust your time zone in detail.
So that’s the most important step. Before that, though, you can check your device’s time zone to make sure that’s correct.
Furthermore, you may need to communicate to some of your contacts that your time zone has not been correct. For instance, if you were talking about meeting times, double-check your emails and messages to make sure you didn’t commit to an incorrect time.
Gmail Timezones – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you change a timezone in Google?
There are a few important things you need to know about changing your time zone. Read the blog post above for step-by-step instructions.
How do I know if my time zone is wrong?
If you’re scheduling meetings or other events and they’re off from your local time, then your time zone is not adjusted correctly.
Does Gmail automatically adjust time zones?
This can depend on your settings. Sometimes based on your device or Gmail settings, your time zone will automatically adjust. However, if you’re traveling or not in your typical city, your time zone may need to be adjusted manually using the article above.
Ensuring that your timezone is set correctly both on your operating system and from within Gmail will avoid any minor, or even serious, communication issues. Thankfully, Gmail makes it relatively easy to set your timezone from within your Google Calendar.
Even more helpful, the Right Inbox Chrome extension, has a Send Later feature that will support your communications across timezones.
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David Campbell is the editor of the Right Inbox blog. He is passionate about email productivity and getting more done in less time.