My requirements for software or a script are:

  • I want to count hours when i am programming or browsing
  • Digits should appear on top on every app like browser or editor

Can anyone recommend a stop watch or timer app which stays always on top on every application for macOS?

  • Take a look at this answer for ways to ask for a software recommendation.
    – fsb
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 13:31
  • Top notch answer: Turn on 24 hour time. Change your time to 0:00:00. The stopwatch will count up to 23:59:59 and then it will overflow. Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 2:28
  • Checkout my countdown timer: apple.stackexchange.com/a/329313/27857
    – Paul Solt
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 17:50

5 Answers 5


ActivityTimer is a Timer that's free in App Store and has an option to display countdown time in the Menu bar in digital or analog form.

I do not know that it can count up (like a Stopwatch).

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If "on top" can mean "stays visible in the menu bar", then Horo is a quite nice, simple timer app, with a free version: https://matthewpalmer.net/horo-free-timer-mac/


I use Apimac Timer, which has a free edition. It can count up (stopwatch), count down (timer), or display the current time. In "iconized" mode, it stays on top of other windows.

Apimac Timer preview

Edit: Whoops. After some seconds, the free version abandons iconized/always-on-top mode and displays an ad for the paid version.


I use Harvest, which stays on the menu bar. Tons of options– rounding up or down, billing statements, estimates, etcétera. Free for one person with two projects. I love it. I've been using it for over ten years now. iOS version too, synced.


B.L.U.F. — You can pick your favorite timer app, and use the Afloat app. It's a tool that allows you to keep any window on top of others. You need to install SIMBL first to use Afloat. More info in this article.

DEETS — I know its been years, but I would benefit from this as someone with adult A.D.D. as the in-your-face countdown for what I'm supposed to be working on. I tested 8 different timer apps avail in the app store, but non stayed on top... well, one did, but it was enormous and I wanted something small (because the big one was distracting and, again, A.D.D.).

  • 1
    Actually, installing and using this requires you to disable SIP on your Mac which is a terrible idea. So, I don't recommend this; but do what you want at your own risk.
    – Schwartz
    Commented Apr 25 at 13:17

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