I'm trying to set a timer on macOS to no avail, as Siri prompts me to set a reminder instead:

Siri response

Most, if not all apps found on the Mac App Store don't provide this functionality without being too complicated:

Mac App Store results

Are there any other apps that can provide the functionality without being too complicated or hard to use?


14 Answers 14


This free and open-source Timer app seems pretty clean and simple. It can be downloaded as the zipped file Timer.app.zip in the Assets list on the Releases · michaelvillar/timer-app page at GitHub.

It can also be installed using brew:

brew install --cask michaelvillar-timer

Update: MacOS Ventura (13) introduced the in-built Clock app which works like the one on iOS - providing for Alarms, World clock, Timers and Stopwatch.

Screenshot of Timer app

  • That's more of a pomodoro timer and it's limited to 25 minutes. I sometimes need timer for things like 4 hours (prevent a timeout in an app) Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:48
  • 3
    When I've tested it is not limited to 25 minutes - you can keep moving the timing ring around as many times as you need.
    – Pierz
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 16:32
  • It does not support window resizing?
    – youkaichao
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 6:26
  • I don't use brew, so I tried building w/Xcode and it was very easy: 1. github clone/download 2. cd into base dir and run make
    – Zach Young
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 19:38
  • 1
    Tip: if you want a 2 minute timer for example, just tap the 2 key
    – matt burns
    Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 13:33

Here's a little timer shell function. Paste this into Terminal (after you read it and understand it, as always, because pasting random commands from the Internet into Terminal is dangerous):

setalarm() {
    sleep $(echo "$1 * 60" | bc)
    say "Beep boop"
setalarm .1

That's 0.1 minutes (in other words, 6 seconds).

If you want to make the alarm repeat until you press Ctrl+C, then paste this instead:

setalarm() {
    sleep $(echo "$1 * 60" | bc)
    for x in $(seq 1000); do say "Beep boop"; sleep 0.5; done
setalarm .1
  • 2
    very engineering friendly!
    – Hieu Vo
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 4:39
  • 2
    If you'd like a notification instead of audible alert, you can replace say "Beep boop" (in the first function; don't want 1000 notifications) with osascript -e 'display notification "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" with title "Title"' as described here (thanks @grg) Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 3:17
  • 1
    I was surprised by bash's concatenation syntax, so here's the osascript command I ended up using: osascript -e 'display notification "'"$1 minute timer complete"'" with title "Ding!"' Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 4:31
  • Great answer, thanks! Some small mods: this lets you specify the message to say, and also runs it in the background: function olt() { secs=$(echo "$1 * 60" | bc); msg="${@:2}"; sleep $secs && say $msg & } . With this in my .bash_profile, I can do $ olt 0.1 ok stop doing that. and carry on with the term. Cheers! z
    – J.Z.
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 18:54

This isn't necessarily a regular MacOS application, but if you are alright with using the Terminal, termdown is a really nice Terminal Stopwatch. Starting a timer is very simple. For example, termdown 1h30m starts a 1 hour 30 minute timer. enter image description here.


The built-in leave command is handy for this sort of thing.

Set to alert after 1 minute:

% leave +0001
Alarm set for Wed Jun 23 20:42:22 HST 2021. (pid 15321)

Set to alert at 8:45 PM:

% leave 2045
Alarm set for Wed Jun 23 20:45:00 HST 2021. (pid 15323)
  • A curious little built in tool! The terminal app may show a notification indicator when not in focus, but not a popup notification. If you're using the console, the notification may get jumbled in whatever else is happening in there.
    – David Cook
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 23:56
  • Oh, and it keeps repeating the message until you logout or close the window. A good feature if you really need to leave, but would be annoying for a general timer.
    – David Cook
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 0:01
  • To end the alarm, other than logout, can also use kill <pid of leave here> or killall leave
    – ohnit
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 15:07

I wrote a countdown timer called Super Easy Timer every day for my Pomodoro and writing work sessions.

Set a 20 minute timer

It can recognize natural language, so that you can set the timer by typing "20 minutes" or "2 days 20 hours and 13 minutes".

You can also update the timer on the fly, or reset it with a keyboard shortcut. (Command + R)

Add and remove time

And if you have an upcoming meeting, or happy hour, you can type "5pm" to get a countdown to your next event.

5pm Happy Hour Countdown

You can try the timer here, or you can download it from the Mac App Store.

There are keyboard shortcuts and natural language here:

Super Easy Timer Keyboard Shortcuts

Disclaimer: I created the app because I wasn't happy with the other timer apps I found. I wanted a quick, simple to use, and reliable timer app.


Dont know when they introduced it but macos has an app on board.

  • Huh, nice! In English this is the app "clock.app" and there seems to be a built-in(?) ShortCut called "Start Timer" (found via Spotlight) that goes and sets it quickly.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 12:21
  • This was introduced in MacOS "Ventura" (13.x) Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 16:05

I like to use Horo. It's a status bar app

enter image description here


You can use timeanddate.com to set a timer.

Timer on timeanddate.com

This utility also includes multiple sounds that will play when the timer ends.

Configuration for timer including end sounds

It also has other time/date-related utilities as well.


Open any modern web browser (Chrome, Firefox etc), go to google.com and enter "timer" in a search box: Screenshot from Firefox 98 on Macos, Google set to Dark theme

It does a nice beep at the end.

PS. I entered this as an answer here because I had the same question, googled it, stumbled upon this page, and after reading it all ended up using the solution I just proposed, because it was the simplest.


Try this: https://www.apimac.com/mac/timer/

It has a clean and easy to use interface. It can be used to start multiple countdown timers, stopwatches as well as set alarms.

You can also set simple tasks instead of just an alarm tone like, open an application or read out some text, etc.

  • 1
    50 $ for a timer? Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:48
  • @LeoUfimtsev, where'd you get that price from? On this page, I see $30 for the single-user license (although that is pretty expensive for a timer). Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 15:32
  • Sorry, At the moment it's 41 Canadian Dollars. Still, it's just too much for a simple timer application for me. Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 16:26

I use http://www.timer-tab.com and I love it. I don't need multiple timers so its effective at doing its job and staying out of the way. You can run it in your browser. You dont need an app since its web based.


I use a countdowm timer that works great and is simple. It's called Countdown Widget and you can select to countdown based on days or time. I'm currently using it to countdown days till baseball season starts again. But it will countdown in seconds as well.


There is a built-in(?) ShortCut called "Start Timer" (found via Spotlight) that goes and sets it quickly.Spotlight Screenshot


This little script might be useful for small tasks.

Copy & Paste in the Terminal

alias timer='for i in `seq 1 65535`; do sleep 1s; clear; echo $i $( echo Seconds ) ;done'

Type timer


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