How to Set an Alarm on a Mac

Never miss another deadline or appointment

Every Mac computer includes a handy alarm clock feature with more functions than most bedside versions. While few people are likely to use their Mac as a way to wake up in the morning, it is a great way to wake you up or remind you of an appointment if other methods aren't available. Here's how to set an alarm on your Mac.

These instructions work for any Mac with macOS.

How to Set an Alarm Using Calendar

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

  1. From the Dock, select the Calendar app.

    If Calendar is not on the Dock, open Launchpad to find it listed in the app library. You can also press Command+Spacebar on the keyboard, then type Calendar.

  2. Select the date for which you would like to add an alarm. 

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

  4. Enter a name for the event or reminder.

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

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

  5. Select Add Alert.

    The Mac Calendar App - Highlighting adding an alert onto an appointment
  6. Select the Alert drop-down menu and choose when you want to be reminded.

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

    Select Custom to set a custom length of time. To add multiple alerts, hover over a previous alert and select the Plus sign ( + ) next to it.

To remove an alert or event, either right-click the event and select Delete, or select the event and press Delete.

How to Set an Alarm Using Reminders

Reminders is another app that comes installed on your Mac and ready to use. It reminds you of specific tasks, so it's perfect for setting an alarm.

  1. Select Launchpad > Reminders.

    Mac Launchpad displaying Reminders
  2. Select the + icon.

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

  4. Select the i icon (information).

    Alternatively, right-click the name of the reminder.

  5. In the Remind me section, select 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. Select Done.

    Mac Reminder App Highlighting the Done button

    To remove a reminder, right-click the reminder and select Delete.

How to Set an Alarm Using Siri

Siri can set an alarm on your iPhone or iPad. On a Mac, however, Siri can only set a reminder through the Reminder app.

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 set up for it.

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

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

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

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

    Mac Desktop confirming an alarm/reminder via Siri

How to Set an Alarm Using Wake Up Time

It's possible to set alarms using 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 select Wake Up Time.

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

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

    If you'd like the alarm to be a specific sound, tap Sound and choose from the menu which sound you want to hear.

  3. Select the blue button in the lower-left corner of the app to set the alarm.

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