Nick Grattan's Blog

About Microsoft SharePoint, .NET, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Date Format Incorrect in Email Task Alerts

with 7 comments

Users can create alerts and receive emails when an item, for example, is added to a list. This is often used to send alerts when new tasks have been added for a user.

You may find that the date format for the email message is incorrect and does not follow the regional settings for your site. For example, on a server configured for “UK” regional settings the date format may use the US format:


To correct this you need to change the default (system) locale of the Windows 2003 server.  You can check the current locale by running MSInfo.Exe located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\MSInfo.

Note that this will change the date format for all emails sent to users by SharePoint and may upset our American friends and this may impact other services!

To do this follow these instructions (a server restart will be required and you may need the Windows 2003 CD to complete the change):

  • Run the Control Panel
  • Select Regional and Language Options
  • Select the Advanced tab


  • Select “English (United Kingdom)” or your own particular locale for Language for non-Unicode programs.
  • Click OK.
  • Set the Regional Settings for the SharePoint site to UK.

Your alert messages should now display with the correct date format:


Written by Nick Grattan

January 24, 2008 at 1:50 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Following some further research it appears once the system locale has been set to UK in Windows 2003 the site regional settings are then followed for the date format.

    For example, if the Windows 2003 system locale is returned to US and the site settings remain at UK the emails will use UK format.



    January 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm

  2. Similarly, I have a problem with the SharePoint out of the box workflow emails, the server and the sharepoint regional settings are in AUS format for us however the workflow emails’ dates come from SharePoint are in US format. I have had a look around but couldn’t find a solution. Anyone knows about this issue?


    February 15, 2008 at 6:16 am

  3. Hi,

    I’ve tried this and it doesn’t appear to work . . .

    Any clues why this might be ?!


    Chris White

    March 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm

  4. We have the same problem. Both our server and MOSS regional setting in AUS format, but email date formats are still in US locale. Clues any one?

    Andy - Syd

    May 6, 2008 at 7:14 am

  5. Yeah have the same thing – US dates on out of the box approval workflow histories. Do we have to alter each page individually through SPD or can we set thsi centrally for the workflow?

    Any progress on this guys?


    July 30, 2009 at 11:13 am

  6. […] Date Format Incorrect in Email Task Alerts […]

  7. I think this has been corrected in a hotfix , Dec 08 and later cumulative updates and SP2


    October 12, 2009 at 9:27 pm

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