How to quickly set up a timer on your iPhone and Apple Watch


Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

When I’m cooking, I often put something on the boil and forget it till I smell burning. That’s not an ideal situation. So, I set up short-timers on my iPhone or Apple Watch to save my food from burning the house down. These timers can also be useful for quick power naps or high-intensity workouts.

It just takes a few seconds to set up a timer on both devices. Here’s how you can do it:


  • Swipe down from the top-right edge to open the control center.
  • Long press on the timer icon.
  • Using the scroll bar, set up the timer for the duration you want.
  • Tap on start.
Setting a timer from the control center on your iPhone

If you want to set up a more precise timer, tap on the timer icon to open the clock app.

Alternatively, you can use Siri to set up a timer by saying “Hey Siri, set up a timer for five minutes.”

Apple Watch

  • Press the digital crown.
  • Open the timer app.
  • Select one of the preset timers such as 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes.
  • To set up the custom timer, scroll down, and set the duration.
Apple Watch Timer

These are some quickest methods to set up a timer on your iPhone and Apple Watch. I’m off to take a power nap.

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