How to Set a Timer on a Mac

Alarms and timers can be a great help when trying to stick to a daily schedule. They’ll wake you up, remind me of a meeting that’s about to start, and can even be used to remind you to take your medication. Unlike the iPhone and the iPad, the macOS clock app doesn’t have a dedicated timer feature. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t set a timer on your MacBook. This tutorial will show you different methods you can use to do just that.

How to Set a Timer on a Mac

Keep reading to find a technique that works for you.

How to Set a Timer on Mac Using Calendar

MacBook comes with several pre-installed apps. One of these apps is Calendar, a tool you can use to set a timer on your computer.

Aside from setting a one-time alarm, the app also has various other useful features. One of these is automatically syncing your Apple calendar with your other Apple devices. This ensures that you’ll still get the alert even if you’re not using the computer when the alarm goes off. Here’s how to use Calendar to set a timer on Mac.

  1. Head to Launchpad and search for Calendar using the search tool.
  2. Pick the date you want to execute the alert.
  3. Select the time by right-clicking on the date slot you prefer.
  4. Press “New Event” and enter the name for your timed event.
  5. Tap the date and time section and enter the time you would like the alarm to go off.
  6. Hit “None” next to “Alert” if you don’t want a reminder beforehand.
  7. In the pop-up menu, click “Custom,” “Message,” and then “Message with sound” to pick the sound you would like for your alarm.

Your timer is now set and will automatically sync with your other Apple devices. To remove the alert, right-click on the event and tap “Delete.”

How to Set a Timer on Mac Using Siri

Siri is a great digital assistant. This little feature can help with many tasks, including setting a timer on Mac. The steps outlined here will show you how to set a timer using Siri.

  1. Open “System Preference,” “Siri,” then tick “Enable Ask Siri.”
  2. With Siri set up, say “Hey Siri” to set the timer.
  3. Tell Siri, “Set a timer for X time,” indicating the time you want the alert to go off.

That’s it. Siri will chime with your preferred alarm tone once the timer runs out.

How to Set a Timer Using Third-Party Apps

Although Apple’s built-in alarm options are helpful, they are also quite limited. If you’re looking for something more versatile, you can try the array of third-party apps that support setting alarms and timers on Mac. These applications come in several categories, including Pomodoro timers, task timers, and countdown timers. Let’s take a look at some of them here.

Focus Booster

Focus Booster is a user-friendly Pomodoro timer app for Mac. You can customize this app by setting your preferred session lengths and break durations. Focus Booster will also sync your data across your Apple and Android devices.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have a menu-bar icon, and you will have to open it to see how much time you have left. Also, it doesn’t allow you to add multiple tasks simultaneously. However, it does provide analytics on how you’ve been spending your time, a feature that increases productivity.

Focus Booster has a free version that you can try. However, it has limitations and will not give the same range of features that you would get from a subscription account.


The Pomotodo app combines a Pomodoro timer with a task-management system. Add tasks on the app and set your timer to use this program. Unfortunately, you can’t put a timer for a specific job, but you can mark the task as complete when the timer is still running.

Pomotodo comes with analytics, goal-setting capabilities, and user history. These statistics can help you better understand how you spend your time and where you can make improvements. The app is customizable and can be synced across devices.

Waiting List

Waiting List is a visually-appealing countdown timer. This app works a little differently from other timers as it’s an interactive program. It’s designed to make setting and completing tasks more exciting. You can create highly customized timers that will be placed in the menu bar for easy access. With Waiting List, you get to choose the style and background of the timer and set reminders for upcoming events. It even has an iCloud feature.

Timer for Mac

Timer for Mac can be used for various timing needs. It has a clock with the current time displayed, a regular timer, a stopwatch timer, and an alarm feature.

The program’s free version lets you set reminders, but the pro version gives you many more features. With the pro version, the app gives you the option to manage your computer. You can log out, shut down, restart your device, open files and carry out many more activities. Timer for Mac provides a platform that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Time Out

It’s essential that you take breaks during your work to recharge and improve your productivity. With Time Out for Mac, you can set a timer, and it will automatically remind you when it’s time to step away from your computer.

This app centers on customization. You get to decide on every aspect of your schedule, including how long you want your breaks to be and how alert messages are displayed. If you spend a lot of time on your computer, this is a great timer app because it helps you incorporate breaks into your work schedule for better productivity. Best of all, it’s free.

Cooking Timer

It can be very frustrating to prepare a meal, only to be met with the smell of burning lasagna an hour later. If you constantly forget food on the stove, then Cooking Timer is the app that you need in your kitchen. It lets you run three timers simultaneously to keep track of different dishes.

Cooking Timer also has a stopwatch function. The single-tap feature makes it easy to manage the app while stirring the pot. The Cooking Timer app offers a free solution to your cooking problem.


The Timing app is an excellent product for freelancers. Unlike regular timers, you don’t need to hit the start or stop for this timer to work. The program automatically tracks and analyzes your time on your computer.

At the end of your working day, the app compiles a report of how you spent your time. You can then use this data to prepare an invoice for your client. Customizing this process is possible by setting the rules to determine the data collection sets. While this app can’t be used as a regular countdown timer, it’s an amazing time-tracking tool for those who need to tabulate the hours they have worked.

Minding Your Time

Timers are great at keeping us on schedule. Although Mac comes with a clock app feature, it doesn’t have a dedicated timer the way the iPhone and iPad do. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use a timer on your computer. This guide details the different methods to set a timer on Mac, including some fantastic third-party apps that can improve productivity.

Have you set a timer on Mac? What method did you use? Let us know in the comments below.

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