Use Control Center to Set a Quick Timer

Using your iPhone or iPad as a timer is easy and a great Nugget.  You can use it for setting a timer for cooking, naps, time outs for your grandkids and more.  The Timer works to give you an audio and notification at an elapsed time.

Timers are generally set with Timer function in the Clock app. 

However there are a couple of handy shortcuts that do not require you to even launch the Clock app and fumble with its controls.  Here are two shortcuts:

1.  Use Siri by summoning Siri and saying, “Set timer for xx minutes.”  See Nugget #7 – Use Siri to Set Timers and Alarms.

2.  Use the Control Center for easy access to the timer function without having to fumble with the clock app or set any options other than the desired time.  This is the subject of this online Nugget.  

Here are the steps:



Launch the Control Center Launch on your device.

  • If your iPhone has a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • If your iPhone does NOT have a Home Button (iPhone X & later) swipe down from the upper right of the screen.

If you are unfamiliar with the Control Center,  see Recipe #103 Using the Control Center for Quick Access to Essential Functions.


With the Control Center displayed, follow this 1,2,3 action:   

1 Do a Long Press on the Timer icon found in the Control Center.  If your Control Center doesn’t have a timer icon, see Nugget #2 – Add New Icons to Customize the Control Center.  A key action to press and hold (long press) the timer icon.  If you simply tap the timer icon, you will launch the clock app bypassing not using the shortcut.  

2 A slider appears. Slide up or down or tap on the slider to select the desired time for the timer.  The time is displayed above the slider.

3 Tap Start to start the timer.    


The Timer will begin and display the elapsed time on the screen.  You can resume other iPhone functions by returning to the Home screen. 

At the end of the elapsed time, the timer will provide an audio and screen notification when the selected time expires.  Tap the timer notification to end the alarm.  

Video Demonstration from Apple Support on YouTube

Time: 27 seconds

This is a great little video produced by Apple Support.  Check it out!

Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club recommends the following additional resources for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on this recipe:

iPhone User Guide – Use the timer or stopwatch on iPhone


Here are related resources from the Senior Tech Club website:

ImageNugget NumberTitleDescription
Use Siri to Set Timers and Alarms
N7Use Siri to Set Timers and Alarms

We know that the iPhone is great for creating timers and alarms. And using Siri is makes it easy and convenient when you need that quick alarm or time.

Custom Icons on Control Center
N2Add New Icons & Controls to Customize the Control Center

The new and somewhat hidden nugget on the Control Center is the ability to customize it adding additional icons and controls. For example, you can could add other frequently used apps and functions.

Using the Control Center for Quick Access to Essential Functions
103Using the Control Center for Quick Access to Essential Functions

The Control Center is an essential tool on your Iphone and iPad. It provides the easiest and quickest method for accessing functions like airplane mode, flashlight, calculator, camera and more.

In this recipe, we will demonstrate how to access the Control Center and review some of those useful functions.