How to Set an Alarm on a Mac

Never miss another deadline or appointment

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Your Mac can work as an alarm clock in addition to all the other things you use it for. While few people are likely to use their Mac as a way to wake them up in the morning, it's great for reminding you of that important appointment or key deadline. There are a few different ways to do it, too. Here's how to set an alarm on your Mac.

These instructions work for any Mac running MacOS, including MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro.

How to Set an Alarm Using Calendar

Using the Calendar app is one of the most straightforward ways to set an alarm. 

  1. From your dock, click Calendar.

    Can't see Calendar on your Dock? Click Launchpad to find it in the list there, or press Command+Spacebar on your keyboard and type "Calendar."

  2. Click the date you wish to add an alarm for. 

    The Mac Calendar app main screen, displaying a chosen date of the month
  3. Double-click the space corresponding with the time of day you want to add the alarm. For example, if you want an alarm for 3:30, select the space exactly between 3pm and 4pm.

  4. Type in a name for the event/reminder.

    The Mac Calendar App - Entering the name of a meeting or appointment

    Add a location if you want or need the reminder of where to go. You can also add notes, attachments, or the names of people who are also attending. 

  5. Click Add Alert.

    The Mac Calendar App - Highlighting adding an alert onto an appointment
  6. Click Alert.

  7. Choose from the menu when you want to be reminded.

    The Mac Calendar App - Setting a timed alert for an appointment

    You can click Custom to set a custom length of time. To add multiple alerts, hover over a previous alert and click the + next to it.

  8. Congratulations. You've successfully added an alarm via Calendar. 

Changed your mind? Either right-click the event and click Delete, or click the event and press Delete.

How to Set an Alarm Using Reminders

Reminders is another app already installed on your Mac and ready to use. Its core aim is to remind you of specific tasks, so it's perfect for setting an alarm through.

  1. Click Launchpad > Reminders.

    Mac Launchpad displaying Reminders
  2. Click the + icon.

    Mac Reminder App Highlighting the Add Icon
  3. Name your alarm.

  4. Click the i icon next to it.

    Alternatively, you can right click on the name of the reminder.

  5. Click Remind me on a day.

    Mac Reminder App Highlighting the Remind On a Day options
  6. Enter the time and date you want to be reminded.

  7. Click Done.

    Mac Reminder App Highlighting the Done button

Changed your mind? To remove a reminder, right-click the reminder and click Delete.

How to Set an Alarm Using Siri

On your iPhone or iPad, Siri can set an alarm. On your Mac, it can only set a reminder through the Reminder app. That's still useful though.

You need to have Siri enabled on your Mac. Go to System Preferences > Siri > Enable Ask Siri if Siri doesn't work. 

  1. Open Siri by tapping the key combination you have set up for it.

    By default, hold down Command+Space on your keyboard.

  2. Say "Set an alarm" followed by the time you want to set it for. 

  3. Siri will state it can't set an alarm, but it can set a reminder.

    Mac Desktop displaying Siri setting a reminder
  4. Click Confirm or say "Yes" to Siri.

    Mac Desktop confirming an alarm/reminder via Siri
  5. Congratulations. You've now set an alarm through Siri.

    Mac Desktop - Siri displaying a set reminder

How to Set an Alarm Using Wake up Time

It's possible to set alarms via third-party apps as well as the Mac's built-in apps. We recommend using Wake Up Time, a free app available on the Mac App Store.

  1. Once the app is installed, launch Launchpad, then click Wake Up Time.

  2. Under the Alarm Time dialog, type the time you want to set an alarm for.

    Wake Up Time App on Mac displaying how to set an alarm time

    Want the alarm to be a specific sound? Tap Sound and choose from the menu which sound you want to hear.

  3. Click the blue button to the bottom left of the app to set the alarm.

    Wake Up Time App for Mac displaying what button to press to set an alarm