How to Set a Timer on the iPhone (Updated for iOS 14)

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Having a timer with you that you can use at a moment's notice 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 my iPhone 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 

What's in This Article:

How to Set a Timer on Your iPhone

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

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

  4. Tap When Timer Ends to select an alert sound.
  5. 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.
  6. After selecting a sound you like, tap Set to finish.

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

  9. When the timer reaches zero, you'll hear the alert and see a Timer notification pop up.
  10. 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.)

How to Pause, Restart & Cancel a Timer on iPhone

Start from an active timer and follow these instructions to pause, resume, restart, and cancel a timer in your iPhone's Timer app.

  1. From an active timer, you can tap Pause to stop the timer at any time.
  2. Tap Resume to start the timer where it left off.

  3. Tap Cancel to stop the timer before the time has run out.
  4. The timer settings won't change, so you can easily tap Cancel and then Start to restart the timer with the same time period you initially set it for.

How to Use Siri to Set a Timer on iPhone

Fortunately, setting a timer with Siri on your iPhone is extremely simple, but you'll have to be okay with using whatever timer sound settings you already have, and you have to have Siri enabled.

  1. Wake up Siri by pressing the Home or Side button or saying "Hey Siri."
  2. Ask Siri to set a timer for your desired length. For example. "Hey Siri, set a timer for 10 minutes."

    Hey Siri, set a timer for 10 minutesSiri set a timer for 10 minutes
  3. Siri will set the timer and immediately start it. You will only see the timer screen when the phone is unlocked and the Clock app is open to the Timer tab.
  4. You can give Siri the command to pause, resume, or cancel your timer at any time. For example, "Hey Siri, cancel the timer."

    Timer screenSiri will confirm when the timer is cancelled

The Clock app's Timer is a simple thing you can use to help boost productivity or keep your dinner from burning and forcing you to order takeout. Next, learn how to set a timer on your Apple Watch!

* 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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Author Details

Hallei Halter's picture

Author Details

Hallei Halter

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.