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Yesterday morning, I was sipping on a nice cup of coffee and catching up on RSS feeds on my iPad at Antidote Coffee, a new favorite of mine, when I realized I had to pick up my wife about fifteen minutes later, after her class ended at noon. I hurried to put my iPad away, poured the rest of my coffee into the reusable to-go cup she got me, gave the coffee-shop nod of thanks to the barista, and was on my way.
I got into the car and had driven for about two minutes before I realized it was barely 11:30 — I was disoriented for a good while before I realized it was because my iPad’s clock had driften about twenty minutes away from true time.
This had been a growing issue for me since I left China few months ago and stopped paying for my 3G service there. I have my iPad’s clock to “set time automatically”, which I wrongly assumed would use my tethered computer’s clock if it’s not on 3G. It appears the iPad needs the cellular network to set the time, or I need to set it manually.
The fix for this is easy, and does not require paying for a cellular data plan.
To get the clock back to normal, just go into Settings / General / Reset, and select “Reset Network Settings”. This will, unfortunately, reset your saved WiFi network passwords, but it set my clock back to the right time almost instantly.