I would like to create a shortcut that will start a timer. A timer shouldn't be with a specific value and duration. Instead, I would like to set the value and duration every time.

I tried to use the built-it shortcut action and set the value to the "Ask each time". When I launch the shortcut, it asks for my input twice. But then it fails with the error message — "Please provide a message for the timer."

Could anyone please share a way how to create a shortcut for a timer with different duration each time?


1 Answer 1


I managed to replicate the issue (no idea why it happens) and found a workaround. I made a shortcut and it looks like this:

Screenshot of shortcut - transcript below


Ask for `Number` with `Duration of timer in minutes?`
  Default Number: 5
  Allow Decimal Numbers: True
  Allow Negative Numbers: False
Start timer for `Provided Input` `minutes`

Basically, it asks the user for a number input (where the default number is 5), which could be decimal but not negative. Then, It just starts the timer with the provided input in minutes.

When ran, you should see something like this, prompting you to enter a number:

Screenshot of number prompt

Of course, you can replace Duration of timer in minutes?, 5 and minutes if you want. Note that you can have decimals, so, for example, making a timer for 0.8 minutes will result making a timer for 48 seconds.

Also, even if the shortcut doesn’t open Clock app, the timer still starts. You can also add another instruction asking to open Clock app.


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