I have been struggling with MySQL timezone issues for a while I think I finally know why. In the past 2 days my timestamps were saved 2 hours behind my actual machine time (2+ UTC Jerusalem).

I tried running these commands:

SELECT @@global.time_zone;
SELECT @@session.time_zone;

And they both return SYSTEM, which means MySQL configures it's timezone based on a .cnf/.ini file. Problem is that I have no such file. I have went through all the "default locations" MySQL is supposed to read it's configuration from and there was not one file. My machine right now is 9:15 AM (UTC +2) but for some reason MySQL timestamps save at 7:15 AM.

In a fluke I caught this piece of condemning info:

enter image description here

Apparantly the server reads it's configuration from .ini inside a 5.5 version of MySQL. But it didn't exist! Only after I used the "Options file" inside workbench for the first time it created it. Here is where:

enter image description here

Mind you I never used 5.5. I am too young for that (though I have and old installation of WAMP from the days I screwed around with wordpress). I tried to diagnose the situation by trying to find my installed version of MySQL but I got this error:

mysql: [ERROR] Found option without preceding group in config file C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 8.0\my.cnf at line 1.
mysql: [ERROR] Fatal error in defaults handling. Program aborted!

Any reason why 8 MySQL server wishes to read .ini files from a 5.5 folder that didn't even exist?

1 Answer 1


After alot of digging I found the answer.

Inside %AppData%..\MySQL I found "server_instances.xml". For some reason it listed MySQL server version as 5.5 even though workbench AND command line both showed it is 8.0, and 5.5 was never installed in my machine.

I searched for all mentions of 5.5 and swapped them for 8.0. Saved, rebooted machine (just to be sure) and opened workbench. Created a new config file via the Options File under the Administration in workbench. Everything works :)

  • You say in your answer: and 5.5 was never installed in my machine., but in the question you mention that: though I have and old installation of WAMP from the days I screwed around with wordpress. Your server_instances.xml file didn't get 5.5 in there for some random reason - there must have been some remnant of a 5.5 install somewhere. Please don't forget to mark your own answer as correct as it may help others in the future - no points though! :-) Don't hesitate to come back to us here on dba.se if you have other database issues!
    – Vérace
    Jan 4, 2020 at 10:47
  • @Vérace yeah I kind of figured that out somewhere along the rabbit hole :) Oh and thanks for being so refreshingly friendly!
    – Bar Akiva
    Jan 4, 2020 at 12:34

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