How to Set a Timer on an iPhone Camera

Give yourself time to get ready for the photo

What to Know

  • In the camera app: Tap the small arrow at the top of the screen, look for the timer icon (it looks a bit like a speedometer). Select the time you want.
  • The iPhone camera's built-in timer function allows you to set the timer for 3 or 10 seconds.
  • When the timer goes off, it takes one photo or shoots ten quick photos in Live photo mode.

This article shows you how to set the time on your iPhone camera and includes instructions for iOS 15.5 and earlier.

Do iPhone Cameras Have a Timer?

The short answer is yes; the iPhone camera does have a timer. You'll find it in the settings for the Photo and Portrait modes.

How to Set the Timer on Your iPhone Camera

If you're new to iPhone or never used the timer on the iPhone camera, you might have a bit of trouble finding it. Here's how to find it and how to use it.

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone and choose either the Photo or Portrait mode.

    This works whether you're using your front- or rear-facing camera.

  2. Tap the up-arrow in the top, center of the screen. Alternatively, you can also swipe up on the Mode menu (the horizontal menu directly under the image the camera is displaying) to open Mode Settings, as well.

    On older versions of iOS, the Mode settings may be at the top of the page.

    iPhone Camera app with the arrow at the top of the screen highlighted
  3. Select the Shutter Timer icon (it looks a bit like a clock). It may be in different locations on the menu, depending on what Mode you're using and what version of iOS you're running, but the icon will always remain the same.

    The Shutter Timer icon will turn yellow to indicate it is selected.

    The Shutter Timer will stay selected until you either change it manually or close the camera and then open it back up again.

  4. In the menu, tap 3s or 10s for 3 or 10 seconds.

    The iPhone Camera timer icon and seconds option
  5. Then press the shutter button and get into position. The countdown will flash on-screen as it counts down. Once the timer is done, the shutter will fire, taking a series of 10 shots in a short burst.

    If you want your camera to take a burst of 10 shots like it does in Live Mode, then you need to be Live Mode is enabled before you tap the timer. If you haven't enabled Live Mode, the camera will only take one picture, regardless of whether it's on Portrait or Photo Mode.

Once you capture a picture, open it in the Gallery app to edit it. You can select the Live Mode icon and choose which of the photos you would like to use.

Does iPhone 11 Have a Camera Timer?

The iPhone 11 is equipped with a camera timer, even if you have not yet upgraded your device's software. The instructions above should still apply to setting the camera timer, and the timer hold increments (3 or 10 seconds) should remain the same.

  • How do I set the camera timer on an iPhone 5?

    While Apple didn't release this model with a built-in camera timer, iOS 8 upgraded the native camera app with this feature on supported iPhones. If you upgraded your iPhone 5 to at least iOS 8, follow the same steps as above.

  • How can I set the camera timer on iPhone 4?

    Unfortunately, the iPhone 4 doesn’t have a self-timer feature built into the camera app. You may be able to find a compatible third-party timer app from the App Store that supports iPhone 4 operating systems. If you have an iPhone 4S running on iOS 8 and later, you can follow the above steps.

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