Wrong Suggested Date

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 9, 2016)


Andy writes proposals that, naturally, include the current date. He's recently noticed that if he starts to type today's date, he gets an AutoText tip above his typing that shows yesterdays date, not today's. This occurs even though the Windows system date and time are correct. When Andy chooses Insert | Date and Time, Word gives the correct date, but if he chooses Tools | AutoCorrect and selects the AutoText tab, uncheck Show AutoComplete Tip for AutoText and Dates, selects OK then goes back and re-checks it, the correct date will appear when he starts typing.

The behavior being noticed by Andy is due to the way that Word sets its dates. When you first start the program, Word retrieves the system date from Windows and then stores that date in the AutoText/AutoComplete area. This is the date that appears when you start to type a date into your document. The date is only fetched from Windows once--at the start of your Word session--and then stored internally for use. If you leave Word open on your system, past midnight, then the AutoText/AutoComplete date will be incorrect; it still reflects the date when Word session started.

Andy actually noticed a couple of exceptions to this. First, when you use Insert | Date and Time, Word gives the correct date because this command actually goes and fetches the Windows date and time every time it is used. Further, when you turn off the Show AutoComplete Tip for AutoText and Dates checkbox, close the AutoCorrect Options dialog box, and then go back in and again choose the checkbox, you are forcing Word to again fetch the date from Windows--this is why it works properly after going through this process.

An easier approach is to simply exit and restart Word whenever you notice that the AutoText/AutoComplete date is incorrect.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (335) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is nine more than 6?

2019-01-08 11:08:23

Megan F.

You're a GENIUS! . . . Okay, I may be a bit overly excited, but I've always been annoyed with Word for doing this and never took the time to actually try to or research how to fix it. It makes sense that I rarely am prompted with the correct date since I rarely shut off my laptop, let alone Word. But, anyhow, THANK YOU!

2017-01-03 10:24:11

Navin Jain

I am having the same problem as others have noted, using Word for Mac (Office 2016 subscription). I am now seeing the current month and the two-digit current year, even though my system settings are to show the full four-digit year for dates.

Turning off "Show Autocomplete tip for AutoText and dates" in Preferences, restarting Word, and then turning on the setting doesn't help. Neither does restarting. (I haven't trashed my prefs yet, but will try that next).

2016-10-26 08:59:14


There was a recent update to Word for Mac (2016), which I hoped would take care of the problem, but it isn't fixed (yet). However, I have noticed that if I go ahead and type the first numeral of the actual date, then the correct date does show up as an auto-complete option. So, when I type the first four letters of the date, the correct month shows up, when I enter a space, the "16" still appears, but if I go ahead and type "2" (first number of today's date, the 26th), then the rest of the correct date "26, 2016" does appear and I can enter to accept it. This is only slightly better than having to type the entire date.

2016-10-25 12:54:30


Add me to the list of those fighting the 16th issue. The correct date (October 25,2016) is shown in the Insert Date/Time window. I've OK'd changing that to the default and clicked "automatic update", but still get October 16th.
I've restored Word (2016 for Mac version),but that has not worked either.

2016-10-03 08:38:57


Closing Word, shutting down my computer, and bringing everything back up again does not make a difference with this problem.

This morning, instead of September 16, which was the date suggested all last month, it is now suggesting October 16. The month is correct, but it is stuck somehow always putting 16 in the field for the day. I thought at first that it was some sort of error with the shortened date of the year (16) being inputted in the field for the day of the month, but this isn't even the format I had chosen for the date; I had chosen, for example, October 16, 2016.

This is a new Mac OS X El Capitan, new version of Word, all updates installed, date and time are correct everywhere else. Just the suggestion for auto-text seems to be wrong, and always on 16.

2016-09-30 02:26:10


The easier approach you suggest, to simply exit and restart Word, takes FAR longer than correcting the incorrect date.
Unless it's only my Word for Mac 2016 that is so slow to exit & restart?

2016-09-26 18:19:40


I am having the same issue on MS Word 2016 for MAC. MS Word Stuck on September 16th. Is this a programmers joke or something? No matter how my date and time is set in my OS, it still types the 16th. I have tried re-loading, latest updates installed. I have turned it off, re-set it and nothing changes. Almost as frustrating as Apple updates!

2016-09-22 10:59:48


I am having the same problem. It's showing up September 16 for me. What's up with the 16th?

Date on computer clock is correct. Insert--> Date & Time--> shows correct date and will insert correct date. But the date that comes up when typing is always the 16th.

I'm taking messages hundreds of times a day at a doctor's office. Having to type the date in by hand or go back and correct it is a pain! Previous version of Word for Mac worked great!

2016-04-27 06:42:14


I am having the same problem- the date always comes up "April 16" no matter the date and what fixes I try- very frustrating!

2016-04-26 08:12:55


I am also having the same issue with it showing up "April 16" regardless of the date. Any suggestions on how to fix??

2016-04-08 10:25:22


I am having the same problem as Elle, no matter the month it always suggests 16 as the date. I don't understand! Nothing I have tried helps. The date on my computer is correct and and when I 'insert the date' it is correct but when I type it always suggests 16 which is annoying!

2016-03-08 08:55:42


In the prior version of Word (before this HORRIBLE new one), the autocomplete date function worked fine. Now, the "screen tip" ALWAYS displays the 16th of the month. That is, after I type "March," the screen tip shows "March 16." This is happening regardless of the actual date, and the fact that my system is set for the correct date and time. I have tried all of the Help tips, none of which work. How to solve this?

2013-08-22 13:49:28


I cannot get Word to format the auto text date correctly. It leaves off the 20 from 2013...

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