Wed. Oct 4th, 2023

Aside from the addition of bedtime sleep schedules five years ago, Apple’s Clock app has been largely ignored with every new iOS software update. But that just changed with Apple’s iOS 17 software update. With the updated Clock app, you can finally set more than one timer at the same time.

Before iOS 17, you would have had to use a third-party app to set one or more additional timers. Either that, or rely on complicated shortcuts, physical timers, an iPad or Android tablet, or a HomePod or some other type of smart speaker.

Personally, before I bought a HomePod, I would use a mix of devices to run timers at the same time, including my iPhone, iPad, Echo Dot, Google Home, and oven timers. I like visual timers so I can quickly check them without having to say anything. That’s why I usually limit smart speakers to one timer to avoid confusion – and I didn’t want an extra clock app on my iPhone.

This issue is finally fixed in Apple’s major iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 updates for iPhone and iPad. Now I can set multiple timers at once and track them in the Clock app or via Live Activities on the lock screen or Notification Center. This is how it works:


Step 1: Set your first timer

To set and start your first timer in the Clock app, open the Timers tab (formerly the singular “Timer”), then set the hours, minutes, and seconds you want, and change the sound When Timer Ends as you would normally do.

What’s different here is that you can label each timer. That way you won’t get confused about which timer is for what. If you only set one timer, you don’t need a label. Otherwise, tap the label field to enter a brief description and then press Start.

You can also tell Siri to start the first timer for you. If you want a label, specify it in the command. Once created, Siri will show you a preview, and tapping the preview will open the Clock app under the Timers tab.

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Step 2: Add more timers

After pressing Start, you’ll be returned to the main list of timers, where you can view running timers, choose from recently used timers, and add new countdowns. You can have as many timers as you want. I lost count after adding more than 40 in a quick test.

If you see a recently used timer that suits you, tap the Start button next to it. Otherwise, tap the plus sign (+) at the top. While a timer is counting down, you have three ways to start additional timers from the new timer interface:

  • Tap a preset timer that appears below the time picker interface. These range from 1 to 5 minutes in one-minute increments, and then from 5 to 35 minutes in five-minute increments. These presets cannot be customized.
  • Tap Start next to a recent timer under the presets. Just press Start next to the one you want. It should keep the same label and sound as before.
  • Tap the plus sign (+) at the top. See step 2 above.

You can also tell Siri to add other timers, as you can see in step 2 above.

Step 3: Check your active timers

To see how much time is left on all your timers, you can open the Clock app back to the Timers tab. You can also ask Siri how much time is left and see all your running timers as live activities on your lock screen or in your notification center. You can pause and resume any timer from any of these locations.

Step 4: Stop all your timers

If you no longer need the timer and it is still running, you can stop it from any of the locations you see in step 4 above.

  • Swipe the active timer off the screen to the left from the Timers tab.
  • Swipe left on the active timer and then tap the Delete button.
  • Tap Edit on the Timers tab, press the minus button to the left of the active timer, then tap the Delete button.
  • Tap the active alarm on the Timers tab, then click Cancel.
  • Ask Siri to cancel a specific active timer.
  • Tap the X on the active Live Activities timer. (Don’t swipe left on it, as that will only delete the live activity.)
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Step 5: Edit your timers

On the Timers tab in Clock, you can tap an active timer to edit its label or end of countdown. Changing any of these for the active timer will not change the timer saved in your Recent Timer. And as far as I can tell, no new entry is created with the changes in your reviews list.

Step 6: Delete active and recent timers

To delete recent timers, which can be the case for unlabeled or single-purpose timers, you can do one of the following:

  • Swipe the saved timer off the screen to the left from the Timers tab.
  • Swipe left on the saved timer and then tap the Delete button.
  • Tap Edit on the Timers tab, press the minus button to the left of the saved timer and tap the Delete button.
  • Tap the plus sign (+) on the Timers tab to add a new alarm, then use one of the left swipe gestures mentioned above.

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Cover photo, screenshots and GIFs by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

By Admin