How to Set Alarms and Timers in Windows 10

Are you using the computer so much that you often forget about outside events? If you’re always late for events, missing TV shows, and forgetting to do that one thing “in 30 minutes time,” why not make your PC alert you when it’s time to go?

Windows has had a solid timer and alarm app for a long time, but it often goes overlooked by users. Windows 10 has made it a lot easier to start a timer, thanks to Cortana and its more advanced Start menu. If you want a quick and easy way to set up a timer, try these tricks in Windows 10 to keep yourself on track.

Getting to the Alarms & Clock App

If you want to see everything the Alarms & Clock app has to offer, first click the “Start” button, then find “Alarms & Clock” in the menu on the right. If you can’t find it, you can also type “alarms” while the Start menu is open. When the app appears, click on it or press the Enter key.


Using Alarms


The Alarms & Clock app has several categories. “Alarm” is best for when you want an alert to happen at a specific time on specific days. You can make a new alarm by clicking the plus button at the bottom-right. Once done, you can set the time, the name, how often it repeats, the noise it makes when it goes off, and how much time to add if you hit the snooze button.


Using Timers

While Alarms go off at a selected pre-set time, Timers are basically countdowns. If you click the plus button, you can set a timer and name it. This makes it easy to set up a timer for something you do often; for example, remembering to get the laundry out after it’s done. Once it’s made, click the play button and the timer will count down. Feel free to close the app once you’ve done this; Windows 10 will remember your timer and let you know when it expires.


Shortcuts via Start Menu

If you don’t want to navigate this menu every time you want to set a timer or alarm, there are ways to speed things up a little. You can use the Start menu to set a timer without opening the app. For example, if you want to set a timer for ten minutes, press the Start button and type “set timer for 10 minutes.”


When you hit the Enter key or click the result, a timer will start for ten minutes. This is a one-off alarm that won’t repeat or be saved, which makes for a good way to create a throwaway timer.


If you don’t want to set a countdown but instead want an alarm to go off at a specific time, you can shortcut this too. If uou want to set an alarm for 6pm, type “set an alarm for 6pm” and press the Enter key.


This will create a one-time alarm for 6pm, which is very useful for occasional events. You can modify this sentence with “on Mondays” or “every day” for a repeating alarm instead.

Using Cortana

If you have Cortana active and listening, you can use her instead of the Start menu. Simply activate her and say out loud “set a timer for twenty minutes” or “set an alarm for 6pm,” and Cortana will do the rest! This makes for a convenient way to start a countdown while you’re doing other things.

Time for Timers

If the idea of your computer reminding you to do things sounds appealing, Windows 10 has a great stock app that can do just that. Even better, with the Start menu and Cortana shortcuts, you don’t even need to open the app to get the most out of it. Now you know some quick and easy ways to make timers.

Do you need timers in your daily life? Let us know below!

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.


  1. All the sounds are identical… despite selecting different ones. What the heck is going on here?

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