When SpecialPollInterval is used as a polling interval, the Windows Time service does not correct the time if the service gets into Spike state

This article provides a resolution for the issue that Windows Time service does not correct the time if the service gets into Spike state.

Applies to:   Windows 10, version 1511, Windows 10 Pro released in July 2015, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista
Original KB number:   2638243


An NTP client computer that is running Windows Server editions or Windows Client editions may not correct the time if the following conditions are true:

  • The NTP client syncs its time with the manually specified NTP server.
  • The NTP client uses SpecialPollInterval as a polling interval.
  • The time offset between the NTP client and the NTP server is greater than the LargePhaseOffset as configured in the NTP client.

In this situation, the NTP client cannot correct its time even after waiting for SpikeWatchPeriod to pass.


This problem occurs because the NTP client gets into SPIKE state every time the client polls the time sample to the NTP server. The Time service manages its internal status, and if the client gets into SPIKE state, the client does not sync its time.


To work around this issue so that the NTP client is enabled to sync with the NTP server after a SPIKE state, configure Windows Time to use the MinPollInterval/MaxPollInterval as the polling interval.

To configure Windows Time to use the MinPollInterval/MaxPollInterval as the polling interval, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.


    In Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, press the Windows logo Key+R to open the Run box, type cmd in the Run box, and then press ENTER.

  2. At the command prompt, type the following command. After you type the command, press ENTER.

        w32tm /config /update /manualpeerlist:NTP_server_IP_Address,0x8 /syncfromflags:MANUAL  


    When you use the 0x1 flag with the /manualpeerlist switch, you specify use of SpecialPollInterval . To work around this problem, do not use the 0x1 flag.


If you want to use "SpecialPollinterval", you should change the following registry:
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time\Config
Value: MinPollInterval

To avoid this issue, the registry key should apply conditional expression as follows:
Conditional expression:
Domain member computer has default values:

  • MinPollInterval=10
  • HoldPeriod=5


If you set Windows Time Service's settings by Group Policy or Local Group Policy, this workaround does not work and you have to delete Policy settings.


Microsoft has confirmed that it is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More information

The polling interval that Windows Time uses is set by the following registry subkey:

If the value of the NtpServer entry in this subkey contains 0x1, Windows Time uses SpecialPollInterval as the polling interval. Otherwise, Windows Time uses MinPollInterval/MaxPollInterval. For additional Information about the Windows Time Service and registry values, visit the following Microsoft Web site: