Intune: Automatically set timezone on new device build

In Michael Niehaus’ recent blog on Configuring Windows 10 defaults via Windows Autopilot using an MSI he talked about the ability to set the Time Zone of the device based on a variable in the Config.xml file. One of the comments on the blog asked whether it would be possible to set the time zone based on where the device was at the time of setup rather than based on an attribute in the file.

Whilst Windows 10 has a feature to detect the time zone automatically I have found on occasion with devices that this doesn’t always work out of the box and the time zone remains in a region that is not accurate for where the device is. This should be relatively simple to automate if we can geo-locate the public IP address and match those coordinates to a valid time zone. For this I am using two web services:

  1. https://ipstack.com – this will map the public IP address to a geo-location including coordinates, you get access to 10,000 queries a month for free
  2. Bing Maps API – this will return the correct time zone in a valid Windows format that can be used in the script to set the time zone on the device, there is a free tier here that also gives you 10,000 queries per month without charge

The Script

The script will execute the following in sequence:

  1. Attempt to get the coordinates of the IP address you are using via the IPStack API
  2. If successful, attempt to find the time zone from the Bing Maps API
  3. Compare the value of the current time zone on the machine with the response from the Bing Maps API
  4. Change the time zone on the machine

The only variable you should need to change in the script are the two lines that will contain your API keys helpfully called ipStackAPIKey and bingMapsAPIKey.

You can choose now to either save the file as a script to run once in Intune, or, incorporate this into Michael’s MSI. If you wanted the script to run every time the machine starts up, you could adapt the Logon script from my recent post on Mapping legacy files shares for Azure AD joined devices.

The script will output to a folder in %PROGRAMDATA% called Intune-PowerShell-Logs.

Hopefully you will find this useful to configure time zone information on your Modern Workplace machines.

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