How to Quickly Set a Timer on Your iPhone or iPad

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To set a timer on your iPhone or iPad, you might usually use the Clock app. But there are two quicker ways to set a timer on your Apple device, and we’ll show you how to do it.


Table of Contents:

How to Quickly Set a Timer Using Control Center

Control Center on the iPhone or iPad gives you quick access to many toggles and features. You can find a Timer icon in Control Center on the iPhone (but not on the iPad) by default. If you can’t find the Timer button in Control Center, you can add it using the Settings app.

First, open the “Settings” on your iPhone or iPad.

Open Settings App on your iPhone

In Settings, tap “Control Center,” and then scroll down and tap the plus button (“+”) next to the “Timer” option. This will add the Timer button to the bottom of Control Center.

Add Timer Control to Control Center on iPad

To change the order of the Control Center icons, tap and drag the Menu icon (three-line icon) next to them.

Move Timer Control in Control Center

Now that the Timer control has been added to the Control Center, it’s time to use it.

On your iPhone or iPad, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. If you’re using an older iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.

Related: How to Use Control Center on Your iPhone or iPad

How to Launch Control Center on an iPhone

Now, press and hold the Timer button. (Simply tapping the Timer icon will open the Timer section in the Clock app.)

Timer Control with Timer Started

You’ll see a pop-up with a vertical gauge covering the screen. Using your finger, you can swipe up and down to set a timer interval. This pop-up doesn’t let you set custom timers. You can only choose between 1-4-minute, 5-minute, 10-minute, 15-minute, 20-minute, 30-minute, 45-minute, 1-hour, or 2-hour intervals.

After choosing your desired time, tap the “Start” button.

Start Timer in Control Center

As the timer ticks down, you’ll see the remaining time at the top of the screen.

Timer Started in Control Center

If you want to leave this pop-up screen, tap the blurry area around the slider, and your timer will continue to run in the background. If you want to return to it later, reopen Control Center and tap and hold the animated yellow Timer icon.

Timer Control with Timer Started

If you like, you can pause the timer by tapping the “Pause” button.

Pause Timer from Control Center

Then tap “Resume” to get it going again. When the timer ends, you can set another using the same method.

How to Quickly Set a Timer Using Siri

While Control Center lets you quickly set a timer, you can only choose from one of the preset options. What if you want to set a 12-minute pasta timer? Well, one way to do this is by asking Siri.

On your iPhone or iPad, bring up Siri. If you already have the Hey Siri feature enabled, all you have to do is say “Hey Siri.” You can also press and hold the Side button on your iPhone or iPad (which is the same button that you use to wake your iPhone or iPad).

Related: How to Set Up and Use Siri on an iPhone

Press Side Button on iPhone

When Siri is ready, just say, “Set a 12-minute timer.” Siri will give you an audio confirmation, and you will see the timer countdown at the top of the screen.

Timer Running in Siri

To monitor your timer, say, “Show my timer” to Siri. To cancel a timer, just say, “Cancel my timer.”

Timer Cancelled in Siri

Sadly, the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch limit you to one timer at a time. If you want to set multiple timers at the same time, you’ll have to use the HomePodĀ or another smart speaker system likeĀ Amazon Echo.

Related: 16 Apple HomePod Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

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