How to Set An Alarm On Android Devices

From your watch to your phone or tablet, here's what to do

Antique alarm clock with woman in background
Time to get moving.

Viktor Hanacek/picjumbo

 

An alarm is a critical tool for daily life. With the advent of smartphones, you have a mini-computer in your pocket to help. Android users, in fact, have four ways to set an alarm so you can get your life organized and stay on schedule.

You can use:

  • A standard Android alarm
  • Bixby voice instructions
  • Google Assistant voice instructions
  • Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) on your watch

How To Set A Standard Android Alarm

Google has given folks a couple of ways to turn on an alarm. The standard method goes as follows:

On your Home screen (typically), look for an icon labeled Apps. (The location may vary. It could also be located on the Android launcher found at the bottom of every screen.)

Android home screen
Find the Apps icon.

Tap the Apps icon. This will open a view of all installed applications on your smartphone.

Look for the Clock icon.

Tap the Clock icon.

On the lower right-hand side tap the plus (+) sign.

Android set new alarm
Click the plus sign.

Tap on the tiny calendar icon on the right side to pick the selected start date.

Android set date
Click on the calendar.

Tap your selected start date.

Tap Done.

android calendar
Select date on calendar.

Tap each number, and using the keypad at the bottom, enter the time you want the alarm for. In this example, the alarm is being set for 7 am.

android alarm time
Select the time you need for your alarm.

Next, click on the days you want the alarm to go off.

Tap the corresponding day abbreviations.

Android select days
Choose days your want the alarm to sound.

Next, give the alarm a name. This is optional, but handy if you have multiple alarms.

Android alarm name
Customize your alarm by naming it.

Tap None under Alarm name.

Type in the name of the alarm you want to set.

Alarm name
Enter a meaningful name for your alarm.

Tap OK.

If you require a snooze alarm, (who doesn’t need one?) toggle the slider to the right.

Then click the description below it to set the interval and repeat modes. You can also turn on Snooze here by tapping the slider next to On in the on position.

Snooze selected
Activate snooze.

Once the interval and repeat are set, tap the back (<) button.

Customize snooze
Customize your snooze settings.

How To Set An Android Alarm With Bixby

Android 8.0 (Oreo) offers you Bixby, an assistant that can provide many services and skills. Bixby can read aloud the weather and news, along with some background music. This is an optional setting, but it gives you an interesting way to wake up or alert you.

Under Bixby briefing, move the toggle to the right to enable.

Bixby Assistant
Turn on Bixby Assistant.

Or you can tap on Bixby briefing and toggle it on once in the setup screen.

Bixby screen
Enable Bixby here.

Once you toggle the slider, you should see the Background music enable. To setup background music tap Recommended background music.

Bixby background music
Enable background music.

From here, you can set the background music for several weather themes, or allow Bixby to play the appropriate tune depending on that day’s forecast.

Bixby music
Select background music for Bixby.

Once you’ve chosen your background music, tap the back button (<) to get back to the rest of the alarm settings.

If you’ve decided to use standard alarm sounds, then toggle the Alarm sound to the right. You’ll notice if you enabled Bixby briefing that it will toggle off as you can’t have both sounds setup at the same time.

To turn sounds on for alarms, move the slider to the right. (Alternatively, you may do this in the sound selection page.)

Alarm sound toggle
Activate Alarm sounds.

To set the sound, tap Off (or could be a sound file name).

Alarm ringtones
Select a ringtone for your alarm.

Tap next to the desired ringtone for your alarm.

You can also adjust the volume of your alarm at the bottom.

Also, at the bottom, if you would like your alarm to progressively get louder, tap the slider to the on position (to the right).

Maybe you require more attention-getting techniques. The next setting, Vibration will vibrate your phone in the desired pattern of your choosing. Tap the slider button to turn it on (slider moves to the right). Or you can tap the vibration pattern listed underneath the Vibration heading and toggle it on from the next screen.

Turn on vibrate
Turn on vibration alert.

You can sample the different vibration patterns by tapping each name. Once you’ve chosen the pattern, tap the back button.

Vibration patterns
Choose a vibration pattern.

One last feature you may find handy is the Read time aloud. This is especially handy if you need to know the time and don’t want to pick up your phone. (Maybe you hit the snooze too many times.)

To turn it on, tap the slider or the Read time aloud header. (Both slider and header will no longer be greyed out.)

Read time aloud
Toggle on for time to be read aloud.

Once you have all the settings to your liking, tap Save at the top of the screen.

Alarm is set
New alarm is now set.

How To Set An Alarm With Google Assistant

With Google’s new Assistant, setting the alarm has gotten a bit easier. If you have given it access to your smartphone, all you need to do is ask Google Assistant, and it will get the ball rolling.

Say “Ok, Google” to wake up the assistant.

Then say, “Set an alarm.

Google assistant alarm
Google Assistant can guide you through setting an alarm.

Google assistant should ask when, or you can state, “Set an alarm for 7:00 am

Google listening
Google is listening to your voice command.

You will still need to go into the alarm settings to do the advanced settings, but at least the Google Assistant can get you started.

How To Set An Alarm On An Android Watch v. 2.0

In the app launcher, tap Alarm.

android watch apps
Apps screen.

Tap New Alarm.

New alarm
Create new alarm.

Select time by moving “hands” around the dial to select your desired alarm time.

Set time
Set time for new alarm.

Tap on the checkmark to set.

Alarm set
Tap once more to set alarm.

Tap once more. You're done!

How To Set An Alarm With Android 4.4 (KitKat) To 5.1.1 (Lollipop)

Older versions of Android have a simpler interface for setting alarms. While most of the same concepts are there, it is just a bit different to set.

Once you’re in the Clock app, tap the time to set your desired alarm time.

Below is where you’ll set time by moving the dial around as you select each number for your desired alarm.

Once you’ve set the time, tap OK to set.

To set the days of the week you want the alarm to go off, tap the box Repeat.

Tap each day you want the alarm to sound.

Tap the Bell icon to set the alarm sound.

Select the sound you want for your alarm and tap the back button to continue.

To give your alarm a name, tap the Label.

Enter the desired name and tap OK.