Calendar Time Zone Settings, and My Regional Settings


One of those little things I often see forgotten about when planning national, or international deployments of SharePoint is the communication of how users can specify their own regional settings.

If you have users interacting across multiple time zones using calendar’s, task lists, and other SharePoint features then it’s also important that the times are accurate otherwise communication issues could arise and user experience will decrease.

The solution is fairly simple, each user has a responsibility to specify their regional settings in SharePoint. Communicate how to do this to your users and have them follow the steps outlined below.

Change the regional settings for a site

Do the following on each SharePoint site on which you want to configure personal regional settings:

  1. Open the site on which you want to configure your personal regional settings.
  2. At the top of the site, click the arrow next to Welcome User name, and then click My Settings.
  3. On the User Information page, click My Regional Settings.
  4. On the Regional Settings page, in the Follow Web Settings section, clear the Always follow web settings check box.
  5. Select the settings that you want for this site, and then click OK

Explanation of regional settings:

  1. Follow Web Settings
    If this is checked the user’s regional settings will always use the default regional settings that were set by the site owner.
  2. Locale
    This setting controls how locale-specific information, such as numbers, dates, time, and calendar settings, will be displayed on the site. The default values for all of the other regional settings (listed below) are based on the locale that you choose. When you change the locale setting for a site, all other regional settings are set to the default settings for the new locale. After selecting the locale that you want, you can then change these other settings as you want.
  3. Time Zone
    This setting controls the time zone for the Web site.
  4. Set Your Calendar
    This setting specifies the type of calendar that you want as your primary calendar. You can also choose whether to display the week of the year, where 1 represents the first week of the year and 52 represents the last week of the year.
  5. Enable An Alternate Calendar
    This setting enables the settings of an optional calendar to be added to the calendar that you set for your site.
  6. Define Your Work Week
    This setting specifies which days of the week make up your work week, the first day of each work week, and the first week of the year. You can also specify the start and end time of work days. This can also help when you start viewing schedules with information like who is on call, and is not on call as it helps simplify/reduce the information being presented to you.
  7. Time Format
    This setting specifies whether to display the time in 12-hour or 24-hour format.

For more information about regional settings in SharePoint please see the Microsoft article here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/HA101774731033.aspx

Important Permission Requirement: The user requires “Edit Personal User Information – Allows a user to change his or her own user information, such as adding a picture.Site Permission for the site in order to change regional settings for that site.

Limitation/Development Note: This does have limitations such as the fact it effects one site at a time, but you can also set this programmatically  by updating the SPUser.RegionalSettings of selected or specified users. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.spuser.regionalsettings.aspx and http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.spregionalsettings.aspx) There have been a few issues with this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944106 but as described it can be worked around.

Hope this helps someone,
Richard Harbridge

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7 Comments on “Calendar Time Zone Settings, and My Regional Settings”

  1. Gretchen Says:

    This was very helpful! Thank you!

  2. Stewart Says:

    Thanks for the post. I love when I can solve a users question by just Googling and have them fix it themselves.


  3. […] The User’s Time Zone December 14, 2009 | Posted by stewart The Sharepoint Knowledge Base blog has a great post about setting the user‚Äôs Time Zone and other locale […]

  4. Paul Says:

    A good little article found under the first result returned by Google. My Singapore teams will now not need to minus 7 or 8 hours depending on BST/GMT when planning releases

  5. Barry Weeks Says:

    What should the underlying Windows OS timezones by set to?

    • rharbridge Says:

      Whatever makes sense from a server perspective. It’s important more from a scheduling of automated tasks, backups etc than it is from an impact to the user in my opinion.

  6. Deep Says:

    Perfect response. Just what I was looking for.


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