I have several ExtraSmall-sized Azure VMs (PaaS / Cloud Service based) that are all experiencing drifting of the Windows clock. Research showed that this is quite common, especially in VMs with shared cores.

Unfortunately even after configuring the w32time service to sync with time.windows.com and forcing a resync (w32tm /resync), there seems to be a time difference of 2 seconds to the configured NTP server. Though Microsoft states that w32tm is not meant as a high-precision sync tool, a difference of 2 seconds is (IMO) quite a lot for server-activities/processing.

What does one have to do to get more accurate time sync?

1 Answer 1


Try using pool.ntp.org instead. It's a more accurate clock. You could also try software called NetTime which is a better tool than the built-in sync.

  • 1
    While pool.ntp.org could very well be more accurate, if w32tm /stripchart /computer:time.windows.com /dataonly still acknowledges a difference of > 2s, the timeserver can't be the reason. I don't understand why even after a forced update this difference is still present. Jul 2, 2013 at 7:31
  • After not getting anywhere with w32tm, I did indeed switch to NetTime and never looked back. It's not perfect but as of now I rarely needed more features than it has. Dec 9, 2014 at 18:31
  • w32tm is an unmaintainable piece of crap. It's only goal is to keep the clock within 5 minutes so Kerberos works. It does not even implement full NTP, just SNTP, and does a poor job at that. It's shameful.
    – MichaelGG
    Feb 11, 2015 at 9:13

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