How to Set an Alarm on a Mac

Never miss another deadline or appointment

Your Mac 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 them 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 up an alarm clock on your Mac.

These instructions work for any Mac running 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 your dock, select the Calendar app.

    If Calendar is not on your Dock, you can open Launchpad to find it listed in your app library. You can also press Command+Spacebar on your 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 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 would like 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 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 select Custom to set a custom length of time. To add multiple alerts, hover over a previous alert and select the + 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. Its aim is to remind 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 your alarm.

  4. Select the i icon (information).

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

  5. Next to remind me, 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 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. 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 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

    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 bottom-left of the app to set the alarm.

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