Microsoft warns of bugs after nation pushes back DST switchover

Some of the hardest things in programming: Handling times and dates

The decision last month by Chilean leaders to delay a switch to Daylight Savings Time (DST) by a week could cause headaches for some Windows users if they don't implement the workaround outlined by Microsoft.

The Chilean government on August 9 announced it was moving the start of DST by a week, from September 4 to September 11, on the basis that citizens were voting on a new constitution on the fourth. For the record, almost 62 percent of the voters came out against the progressive new constitution, ending two years of writing and promoting it.

For users of Windows 7 through 11, the time change this coming Sunday could be a problem. Windows devices could report incorrect times in the OS and applications, scheduled tasks may not run when expected, and timestamps on transactions, files, and logs will be off by an hour.

In its alert to users, Microsoft also said that apps and cloud services like Teams and Outlook that use the date and time for key functions also may be thrown off by 60 minutes. Operations that rely on time-dependent protocols could also see authentication failures when trying to log onto devices or access resources.

And the problems may spill beyond Chile's borders.

"Windows devices and apps outside of Chile might also be affected if they are connecting to servers or devices in Chile or if they are scheduling or attending meetings taking place in Chile from another location or time zone," Microsoft said, adding that "Windows devices outside of Chile should not use the workaround, as it would change their local time on the device."

The software giant said engineers are working on an update to resolve the issue in the next release, but were unsure there was enough time to build, test, and release an update before the time change takes effect. Given that, it urged users to use the workaround instead.

According to Microsoft's experts, there are two series of steps users can take after September 4 and then undoing them on September 11. The first involves selecting the Windows logo key, type "date and time," and selecting "date and time settings." From the date and time settings page, they should toggle to off the "adjust for daylight saving time automatically."

Alternatively, they can go to Control Panel > Clock and Region > Date and Time > Change time zone and uncheck the option for automatically adjust the close for DST.

Microsoft also laid out steps for users in the Santiago and Easter Island time zones.

The client OSes affected by the DST change are: Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2016; Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB; Windows 8.1; and Windows 7 SP1.

For servers, the impacted platforms are: Windows Server 2022; Windows Server 2019; Windows Server 2016; Windows Server 2012 R2; Windows Server 2012; Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1; and Windows Server 2008 SP2.

Chile hasn't made it easy on Microsoft over the years. Since 1987 the country has shifted the time changes more than a dozen times for a range of reasons; from a visit by Pope John Paul II that year, a drought in 1999 and an earthquake in 2010, to hydrological conditions to a decision in 2015 to keep the summer time all year. That decision was reversed a year later.

That said, Chile isn't the only country to make their time-change shifts. America already is challenging given the decision by Arizona and Hawaii not to recognize DST and the growing momentum in some states to get rid of the biannual time changes altogether and make DST year-round. The US also extended DST in 1986 and 2007. ®

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