iPhone Music Timer to Stop Music at Bedtime

Nod off to your favorite tunes confident they won't play all night

Saying goodnight to my love
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A timer is integrated into the Clock app that ships with the iPhone. You might assume the only thing you can do with a timer is set a number of minutes before an alert tone goes off. You can certainly do that, but the timer isn't limited only to this activity

Look closely at the timer, and you'll see an option below the list of tones, titled appropriately, Stop Playing. People who like to listen to music as they go to sleep can appreciate this setting because they can use it to make sure their iPhones don't play music all night long.

Set Up the Timer to Stop Music

You only need to set up the timer one time. Then you can nod off to your favorite tunes, confident your iPhone will turn off the music according to your instructions. You still have to turn ON your music. The Timer doesn't do that for you.

  1. On the iPhone's home screen, tap the Clock app.

  2. Tap Timer in the row of icons at the bottom of the screen. Depending on the way you used the Clock app previously, another icon may be active.

  3. Use the two virtual spin wheels near the top of the screen to set the countdown timer for the hours and minutes you require. For example, if you want the music to stop playing an hour after you go to bed, set the time to 1 hour.

    Clock icon, Timer button, timer settings on iPhone
  4. Tap When Timer Ends to see a list of available alert tones and any ringtones you have.

  5. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen and tap on Stop Playing to place a check mark in front of it. Then, tap Set in the top right corner of the screen to save your choice and return to the Timer screen.

    Timer, Stop Playing, and Set buttons in iOS Clock app
  6. Tap the green Start button to begin the countdown.

    Start button in iOS Clock app

Each time you go to bed, select Clock > Timer > Start to activate the timer. The music you play as you go to sleep stops playing automatically after the time you set elapses.


Play the songs stored on your iPhone in the usual way by tapping the Music app on the iPhone's home screen and selecting a playlist or artist from the Library tab.

The timer app runs in the background just like a sleep timer on a TV, but it doesn't turn off your iPhone. It just pauses the music.

Other Clock App Features

There's more to the Clock app than meets the eye. Its other uses are represented by the other icons at the bottom of the app screen. In addition to Timer, you can select:

  • World Clock: The World Clock can be set to display as many time zones as the user wants on its screen. It comes loaded with hundreds of U.S. and international cities.
  • Alarm: The Alarm screen holds alarms customized by the user. Each alarm can be set to repeat on selected days and play a specific tone selected from a library. Like to sleep in? Be sure to activate the snooze feature.
  • Bedtime: Use the Bedtime tab to set up a Do Not Disturb During Bedtime feature and receive a reminder when it is time to go to bed. Pick your favorite wake up sound and customize by days of the week.
  • Stopwatch: Tap Start on the Stopwatch, and it dutifully records the passage of time until you stop it.