How to Set a Timer on the iPhone

Having a timer with you at all times is incredibly handy. Setting a timer on your iPhone can prevent a cooking mishap or get you motivated if you're trying a time management style like the Pomodoro Technique. I often use the Timer when I have about 30 minutes before I need to leave the house, so I can catch up on dishes without being late. Here's how to set a timer on your iPhone. 

Related: How to Go to Sleep on Time with Bedtime, iPhone’s Sleep Cycle & Alarm Clock App

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To set a timer on your iPhone:

  • Open the Clock app.
  • Tap the Timer tab in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  • Scroll the clock wheels to set the timer length by the hour, minute, and second.

  • Tap When Timer Ends to select an alert sound.
  • Tapping on the name of an alert sound will play a sample of that sound.
  • If you choose Stop Playing instead of an alert sound, whatever music or other media you are listening to will stop when the timer ends. Learn more about this feature here.
  • After selecting a sound you like, tap Set to finish.

  • Now that you've set the timer duration and chosen an alert sound, you're ready to set a timer.
  • Tap Start to begin the countdown.

  • You can tap Pause for the timer at any time.
  • Tap Resume to start the timer where it left off.

  • Tap Cancel to stop the timer before the time has run out.
  • The timer settings won't change, so you could tap Cancel and then Start to restart the timer.

  • When the timer reaches zero, you'll hear the alert and see a Timer notification pop up.
  • 3D Touch the alert if your iPhone has 3D Touch, or swipe down on the notification if it doesn't, and select whether you want the timer to stop or repeat. (Find out if your iPhone has 3D Touch here.)

The Clock app's Timer is a simple thing you can use to help boost productivity or keep your dinner from becoming takeout.

* The following iPhones have 3D Touch: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max.

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Hallei Halter's picture

Hallei is a 2018 graduate of Maharishi University of Management with a BFA in Creative & Professional Writing. She's currently working on a novel about people using witchcraft to clean their houses.