This is a quick post, yet it’s still an important one. We’re using more and more Office 365 Group -based SharePoint sites these days. Even when you know you aren’t going to use some of the goodies you end up with, this type of site is making more and more sense.
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Several people have asked me in other forums the basic question: “So what?” If all dates and times are stored in UTC, does it really matter what the site’s Regional Settings are? Frankly, that’s got me a little bit stumped.
It certainly feels wrong that the site’s settings don’t match its primary locus, but since team members can span the globe, what’s the impact?
I know I struggle as a developer to show everyone things in the right date/time based on their settings, and it feels like the platform doesn’t give us great tools for this. What other issues does it raise? Please add your thoughts and issues in the comments. I’m interested in things other than the usual “The people in Redmond don’t realize that we’re not all in their timezone” stuff – which is basically all I’ve pointed out here.
BUT, there’s a simple problem that can have longer-term ramifications. The default time zone for every new Group-based site we create is PDT, also known as UTC-08:00. You have to go into Site Settings to change it manually for every site you create this way. Since a lot of my clients are in EDT, this is tedious.
I’m guessing no one in Redmond even notices this, because PDT is their time zone. I spot it every time I create a new Group-based site during a migration because Sharegate warns me the time zones of the source and destination sites are different when I start to copy content across. (Yay, Sharegate!)
If you happen to be a non-US person, then ALL of the regional settings are likely to be wrong for you. I’ve checked, and there is no way to change the default here – unless it’s a VERY recent change.
Here are some Office 365 UserVoice suggestions you can run off to vote for:
- Tenant-wide time zone setting for SharePoint (at least) – Hey, I posted this one! In 2014! No worries, though. They have been “Thinking About It” since July 08, 2015.
- Time Zone settings for Office 365 groups
- change locale settings for Office 365 group files
- and more…