VirtualBox: Disable time sync between host and client

If you run VirtualBox you may eventually run into problems with the time or time sync within your VM guest. You can run this command on the host to disable time sync:

vboxmanage setextradata <vmname> “VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHostTimeDisabled” “1”

Just replace <vmname> with the name of your guest. On Windows hosts, you’ll need to change the command to “VBoxManage”.

You will most likely want to set the client to sync with a time server after this. On Windows clients, just double click on the time and go to the Internet Time tab. Check the box and choose (better reliability).

I needed to solve this because QuickBooks Pro 2000 complains about the system time being changed continuously while in multi-user mode.

I found this simple VirtualBox time sync tip in a post titled Synchronize a Virtualized Domain Controller with External Time Servers.

31 Replies to “VirtualBox: Disable time sync between host and client”

  1. Using Guest Additions for Windows,
    this GetHostTimeDisabled option is ignored.
    Isn’t it ?

    VirtualBox Ver.3.0.8 r53138
    Host WindowsXP pro SP3 / Inbox is Windows XP SP2, no network-adapter

    1. Tadanori: Not sure about a Windows host, but I’m on 3.0.8 r53138 in Ubuntu with WinXP as the guest. I haven’t had any problems with the setting, and my QuickBooks is still running without any time sync messages. It’s running Guest Additions.

  2. Hi,
    on Debian the Command is: VBoxManage

    I also had to Reboot the Windows Guest, after that the Timesync was disabled.


  3. I had to edit the entry in the machines xml file manually, because the command line approach seems to lead to special character corruption. Also do not copy/paste the line above, as most browsers will give you the wrong quotation marks and most shells are very strict.

  4. Can someone tell me how to turn on the time sync feature… I turned it off successfully with this command

    vboxmanage setextradata “VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHostTimeDisabled” “1″

    … now I’d like to turn it back on.


      1. Well I found one solution to do this.
        Go to
        C:\Documents and Settings\\.VirtualBox\Machines\
        and edit the xml file.
        –>Create a backup of this file<–
        Delete this line:

        Note: the script vboxmanage setextradata “VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHostTimeDisabled” “1″ will create one line in this xml, so if you run more then once time you’ll see more lines. Delete these also.

  5. This command is not helping me can some please give specific instructions on how to use this commands please and not just simply post a command on a blog

    1. VBoxManage setextradata vnName “VBoxInternal/TM/WarpDrivePercentage” 200

      VBoxManage is actually an .EXE script
      where you can modify the advanced configuration of VBOX.

      1) GO to Installation directory of your VirtualBox
      2) Open Command Prompt from there
      3) Type the command : VBoxManage setextradata “VBoxInternal/TM/WarpDrivePercentage”

      Ignore the braces,

      Example of actual command :
      VBoxManage setextradata WindowsXP “VBoxInternal/TM/WarpDrivePercentage” 200

      4) Hit enter

      Do read this manual :
      and this

      Do correct me if i’m wrong

  6. Actually I found it under /usr/bin .. but the command doesn’t work. Apparently new new Virtualbox it’s being set through Vboxservice on Windows. There is also Vboxsvc on Mac.

  7. Very handy. If anyone else has trouble finding the correct folder to run VBoxManage then on my Win Vista host it was:

    C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox

    For some reason the useless Windows file search didn’t find it.

  8. Try this one below(found at

    Disable GA time-sync by editing the parameters passed to the VirtualBox Guest Additions Service (on Windows guests):

    Open Registry Editor (Start menu>Run…>Type ‘regedit’ into the ‘Open:’ field>Click the OK button)
    WARNING: Incorrect editing of the registry can damage your system.
    Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VBoxService
    Double-click on ‘ImagePath’
    Change the ‘Value data:’ field, by adding ‘–disable-timesync’ at the end. It should look like:

    Code: Select all Expand view
    system32\VBoxService.exe –disable-timesync

    Click OK
    Either reboot the VM, or stop and then restart the ‘VirtualBox Guest Additions Service’

    After these steps, timesync will be disabled.
    To reenable timesync, repeat the steps but remove the –disable-timesync parameter.


    Posts: 860
    Joined: 10. Oct 2009, 06:27
    Primary OS: MS Windows 7
    VBox Version: PUEL
    Guest OSses: Windows 2000 Server; Windows XP; Windows Server 2008 R2

  9. Thank you-thank-you-thank-you! it was just what I needed.

    The command prompt approach wasn’t working for me. For some reason it could find my machine. I did it by manually editing my VirtualBox.xml file, which was just as well as people were saying that vboxmanage caused there VirtualBox.xml corruption.

    I went to my home folder (/home/YOURUSERNAME or c:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSERNAME in WinXP or c:\Users\YOURUSERNAME in Win7) and going to the .VirtualBox folder.

    From there, you edit the VirtualBox.xml file (make copies first!!!) and just stick

    right after line 11

    ie. after the part that says:


    **paste right here!****

    Don’t edit while the vbox is running.

  10. I discovered by accident that the property GetHostTimeDisabled is case sensitive. I accidentally set a property named GetHosttimeDisabled (notice “time” is not capitalized). When I did so, the VM failed to start! To fix it, I executed the following command to remove the erroneous GetHosttimeDisabled property:
    vboxmanage setextradata “VBoxInternal/Devices/VMMDev/0/Config/GetHosttimeDisabled”

    Notice that a fifth argument (i.e. the “1”) is not present. When left off, it deletes the property instead of setting a new value.

    Then I executed the command with the proper case for the property, and it worked as intended in VirtualBox 4.2.16 on a Windows 7 x64 VM running on a Windows 7 x64 host.

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