How to Use Alarms, Stopwatches, and Timers on Apple Watch

By Marc Saltzman

Alarms, timers, and stopwatches are great tools to have with you. And because you’re wearing Apple Watch on your wrist, you will have access to them wherever life takes you.

Alarms

Apple Watch lets you easily set an alarm, such as a 7 a.m. wakeup call, viewed in either an analog or digital display. To change between digital and analog, press firmly on the screen and then tap Customize. Swipe left until you see the alarm face you like.

To set up a new alarm on Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to go to the Home screen.

  2. Tap the Alarm app.

    This launches the Alarm app. From this screen, you can view, manage, and edit multiple alarms with your fingertip.

    To set an alarm with Siri, press and hold the Digital Crown button to activate Siri or simply raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri,” followed by “Set an alarm for ____ (date and time).” You can also say “Wake me up at ____ (time of day)” or even “Wake me up in ____ (minutes or hours).”

    Siri confirms the time and shows it to you on the watch’s screen. It’s totally fine to have multiple alarms.

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  3. To set your alarm time, twist the Digital Crown button to adjust the hours and minutes and then tap Set.

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    Your alarm is now set. You can uncheck ones you no longer need. You can also press and hold the Apple Watch screen in the Alarm app to bring up options, including alarm repeats (such as for weekdays). When the alarm goes off, you can tap Snooze or Dismiss.

Your iPhone alarms can also be synchronized with your Apple Watch. This happen automatically by default, but you can also go into your Apple Watch app on an iPhone and tap My Watch and then Settings to disable this feature.

Stopwatches

You don’t need to be an Olympian runner to appreciate a stopwatch, which measures the ascending passage of time. Whatever the reason you’d like to know how much time has elapsed, the Stopwatch app is what you need — and it’s fully customizable too.

That is, the Stopwatch app on Apple Watch lets you see information in a digital, analog, or hybrid view or even in a graph that shows a real-time average of your lap times.

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To use the Stopwatch app on Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to go to the Home screen.

  2. Tap the Stopwatch app.

    This launches the Stopwatch app. You can also raise your wrist and then say “Hey, Siri, Stopwatch” or press and hold the Digital Crown button to initiate Siri.

  3. Tap the green Start button in the lower left to start the stopwatch.

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    Whether you’re in analog, digital, or hybrid view, you should see the time scroll by.

  4. Press the red Stop button in the lower-right corner of the screen to stop the stopwatch.

    Don’t worry if you accidentally close the app without taking note of your time, as it’s still there when you open up the app again.

  5. Tap the Lap button in the lower-right corner of the app if you want to see graphed averages of lap times.

    Joggers and runners might appreciate this added historical information.

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Timers

The Timer app lets you keep track of events you want, well, timed. While the Stopwatch app measures the ascending passage of time, the Timer app offers the descending passage of time — from a preset starting point, such as 45 minutes.

As with the other time-related apps, you can choose to read a digital or analog countdown.

To use the Timer app on your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to go to the Home screen.

  2. Tap the Timer app.

    This launches the Timer app. Alternatively, you can say “Hey, Siri, Timer” or press and hold the Digital Crown button to activate Siri and then say “Timer.”

  3. Twist the Digital Crown button to select the starting time.

    You start with the hour setting, but press the Digital Crown button to go to the minute setting and then press the Digital Crown button again when you’re done. Review what you selected for a start time, such as 30 minutes or an hour and 15 minutes.

  4. Tap the green Start button on the lower-left side to initiate the timer.

    As the timer runs, an orange line moves around the dial in clockwise fashion to help give you a visual sense for how much time has passed (and how much is left).

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  5. When you’re done, press the Reset button in the lower-right corner of the Apple Watch screen.

    Pressing Reset rolls back the timer to all zeros, making it ready for next time. If you no longer need the timer, press the Digital Crown button.