Date format problems

$kcs_do_not_edit

When you enter dates in Sage Accounts or Sage Payroll you may experience one of the following issues:

  • Error message 'Incompatible date settings'
  • Error message 'Invalid date or incorrect date format, use DD/MM/YY, DDMMYY, DD/MM/YYYY or DDMMYYYY format.'
  • The year keeps reverting to 2000.

This is caused by incorrect date format settings on your computer. This article explains how to resolve this.

Windows 10

Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel

If the Incompatible date settings message appears, click Change settings and start from step 2.

  1. Windows key + X > Control Panel > Region.

    If the Control Panel is set to display by category, click Clock, Language and Region > Region.

  2. From the Format drop-down list, choose a different country, for example, English (Zimbabwe) > Apply > OK.
  3. Restart the computer.
  4. Windows key + X > Control Panel > Region.
  5. From the Format drop-down list, choose English (United Kingdom).
  6. Ensure the Short date format is dd/MM/yyyy > Apply > OK.
  7. Close the Control Panel > restart the computer.

If the problem persists, try Step 2.

Step 2 - Create a new international key in the registry

$Edit_Windows_registry

  1. Windows key + R > type regedit > OK.
  2. In the left-hand pane, browse to and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel - there should be a folder called International
  3. Right-click International > Rename > Rename to InternationalOLD.

    If there isn't an International folder present, proceed to the next step.

  4. Right-click Control Panel > New > Key.
  5. The New Key #1 appears, ready to be renamed - rename this to International.
  6. Close the Registry Editor, restart the PC, then repeat all of the steps in the section Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel.

Windows 8

Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel

If the Incompatible date settings message appears, click Change settings and start from step 2.
  1. Windows Key + I > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Regional and Language.
  2. From the drop-down list, choose a different country, for example, English (Zimbabwe) > OK.
  3. Restart the PC.
  4. Windows Key + I > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Regional and Language.
  5. From the drop-down list choose English (United Kingdom).
  6. Ensure the Short date format is dd/MM/yyyy > Apply > OK > OK.
  7. Close the Control Panel > restart the PC.

If the problem persists, try Step 2.

Step 2 - Create a new international key in the registry

$Edit_Windows_registry

  1. Windows key + R > type Regedit in the Open box > OK.
  2. In the left-hand pane, browse to and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel - there should be a folder called International.
  3. Right-click International > Rename > Rename to InternationalOLD.

    If there isn't an International folder present, proceed to the next step.

  4. Right-click Control Panel > New > Key.
  5. The New Key #1 appears, ready to be renamed - rename this to International.
  6. Close the Registry Editor, restart the PC, then repeat all of the steps in the section Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel.

Windows 7

Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel

If the Incompatible date settings message appears, click Change settings and start from step 2.

  1. Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Regional and Language.
  2. From the drop-down list, choose a different country, for example, English (Zimbabwe) > OK.
  3. Restart the PC.
  4. Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Regional and Language.
  5. From the drop-down list choose English (United Kingdom).
  6. Ensure the Short date format is dd/MM/yyyy > Apply > OK > OK.
  7. Close the Control Panel > restart the PC.

If the problem persists, try Step 2.

Step 2 - Create a new international key in the registry

$Edit_Windows_registry

  1. Open Start > Run > type Regedit in the Open box > OK.
  2. In the left-hand pane, browse to and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel - there should be a folder called International.
  3. Right-click International > Rename > Rename to InternationalOLD.

    If there isn't an International folder present, proceed to the next step.

  4. Right-click Control Panel > New > Key.
  5. The New Key #1 appears, ready to be renamed - rename this to International.
  6. Close the Registry Editor, restart the PC, then repeat all of the steps in the section Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel.

Windows Vista

Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel

If the Incompatible date settings message appears, click Change settings and start from step 2.

  1. Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Regional and Language Options.
  2. From the drop-down list, choose a different country, for example, English (Zimbabwe) > OK.
  3. Restart the PC.
  4. Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Regional and Language Options.
  5. From the drop-down list choose English (United Kingdom).
  6. Customize this format > Date > ensure Short date format is dd/MM/yyyy > OK > OK.
  7. Close the Control Panel > restart the PC.

If the problem persists, try Step 2.

Step 2 - Create a new International key in the registry

$Edit_Windows_registry

  1. Open Start > Run > type Regedit in the Open box > OK.
  2. In the left-hand pane, browse to and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel - there should be a folder called International.
  3. Right-click International > Rename > Rename to InternationalOLD.

    If there isn't an International folder present, proceed to the next step.

  4. Right-click Control Panel > New > Key.
  5. The New Key #1 appears, ready to be renamed - rename this to International.
  6. Close the Registry Editor, restart the PC, then repeat all of the steps in the section Step 1 - Change the regional options in Control Panel.

Windows XP

Step 1 - Change the Locale in Regional Options

If the Incompatible date settings message appears, click Change settings and start from step 2.

  1. Start > Control Panel

    If you're using the Classic Start menu: Start > Settings > Control Panel.

  2. Date, Time, Language and Regional Options > Regional and Language Options.

    If you're using the Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options.


  3. Choose English (United Kingdom) from the Standards and Formats drop-down list > Apply > OK.

    If English (United Kingdom) is already selected, choose English (United States) > Apply > change back to English (United Kingdom) > Apply > OK.

If the problem persists, try Step 2.

Step 2 - Amend the date format

  1. Start > Control Panel.

    If you're using the Classic Start menu: Start > Settings > Control Panel

  2. Date, Time, Language and Regional Options > Regional and Language Options.

    If you're using the Classic View, double-click Regional and Language Options

  3. Click Customize.
  4. Ensure the Date separator is a forward slash ( / ).
  5. The Short Date format should be either dd/MM/yyyy or dd/MM/yy.
    • If it's not dd/MM/yyyy or dd/MM/yy, choose one of these options from the drop-down list.
    • If it's dd/MM/yyyy, change it to dd/MM/yy - click in the box and delete the last two y's.
    • If it's dd/MM/yy, change it to dd/MM/yyyy - click in the box and add the last two y's.

    If the message: 'One or more of the characters you typed in this field are invalid. Try typing different characters.' appears, there's a problem with the PC registry - refer to Step 3 for details of how to correct this.

  6. Apply > click OK

If the problem persists, try Step 3.

Step 3 - Create a new International key in the Registry

$Edit_Windows_registry

  1. Open Start > Run > type Regedit in the Open box > OK.
  2. In the left-hand pane, browse to and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel - there should be a folder called International.
  3. Right-click International > Rename > Rename to InternationalOLD.

    If there isn't an International folder present, proceed to the next step.

  4. Right-click Control Panel > New > Key.
  5. The New Key #1 appears, ready to be renamed - rename this to International.
  6. Close the Registry Editor, restart the PC, then repeat all of the steps in the section Step 2 - Amend the date format.

If none of the steps resolve the issue, repeat the steps whilst logged on as the Administrator or another user to identify whether there's a problem with your user account. If this is the case, you must refer the issue to local IT admin.

Windows 2003

Step 1 - Change the country in Regional Options

If the Incompatible date settings message appears, click Change settings and start from step 2.
  1. Open Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options.
  2. From the Standards and Formats drop-down list choose English (United Kingdom).
  3. Restart the PC.

    If English (United Kingdom) is already selected, choose English (United States) > restart the PC > change back to English (United Kingdom) > restart the PC again.

If the problem persists, try Step 2.

Step 2 - Amend the date format

  1. Open Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Customize > Date tab.
  2. Ensure the Date separator is a forward slash ( / ).
  3. The Short Date format should be either dd/MM/yyyy or dd/MM/yy.
    • If it's not dd/MM/yyyy or dd/MM/yy, choose one of these options from the drop-down list.
    • If it's dd/MM/yyyy, change it to dd/MM/yy - click in the box and delete the last two ys.
    • If it's dd/MM/yy, change it to dd/MM/yyyy - click in the box and add the last two ys.

    If the following message appears: 'One or more of the characters you typed in this field are invalid. Try typing different characters.', it suggests that there's a problem with the PC registry. For information about correcting this, please refer to Step 3.

  4. After making the change > click Apply > click OK > restart the PC.

If the problem persists, try Step 3.

Step 3 - Create a new International key in the Registry

$Edit_Windows_registry

  1. Open Start > Run > type Regedit in the Open box > click OK.
  2. From the left-hand pane, browse to and expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel.

    There should be a folder called International.
  3. Right-click International > Rename > Rename to InternationalOLD.

    If there isn't an International folder present, proceed to the next step.

  4. Right-click Control Panel > New > Key.
  5. The New Key #1 appears, ready to be renamed - rename this to International.
  6. Close the Registry Editor then repeat all of the steps in the section Step 2 - Amend the date format.