There are many reasons to change your Nintendo Switch’s system clock. Maybe you play with friends in another timezone and don’t want to do the mental maths when scheduling multiplayer sessions, or you take the handheld console with you while travelling and need to adjust the clock as you globetrot.
But the most likely reason people want to change their Switch’s clock is to pull off “time travel” exploits in-game. Many titles, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, include date- or time-specific events tied to your date, time, or timezone. Adjusting your clock will let you see that content even if you happen to miss it on the day, or see what your island will turn into months or years into the future. In some cases, it will even let you circumvent in-game timers so you can skip waiting periods, fast-forward to unlock new stuff, or even just modify small details — such as the day or time you capture a Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
(Note: If you’re changing your Switch’s clock to try and unlock eShop games early, it probably won’t work. However, you can buy games from another country’s eShop and play them early if its release date is sooner than in your part of the world.)
The “time travel” exploit won’t work in every game, mind you, but it’s common enough that it might be worth checking to see if it does. It’s also pretty easy to pull off:
- From the Home screen, go to Settings > System > Date and Time.
- Set the date, time, and timezone manually.
- Select “OK” to save your changes.
To restore your Switch’s clock back to your local time:
- Head back to System Settings > System > Date and Time
- Select “Synchronise Clock via the Internet.”
What to do if Parental Controls won’t let you change the clock
You can’t disable the Nintendo Switch’s “Synchronise Clock via the Internet” option while your Switch is linked to the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls mobile app. You can remove your console from the app if you really want to change the clock — just note that you will lose the remote controls and features the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app offer until your devices are linked again. Here’s how to do that:
- From the Switch’s Home screen, go to System Settings > Parental Controls. Select “Unregister App,” then follow the onscreen prompts to complete the process.
- You can also unlink the app from your console in the mobile app. Open the app, tap the “+” then tap “Info” next to the console you want to unlink. Select “Unregister” and follow the onscreen instructions.
Once the app is unlinked, you will be able to manually change your Nintendo Switch’s date, time, and timezone using the steps above.