In Windows 10, knowing how to use alarms can come in handy. Whether you need a backup alarm to ensure you make that super-important early morning meeting, or need help organizing your daily schedule, the built-in alarm clock in Windows 10 can boost your productivity. You should use alarms if you spend a lot of time on your computer, especially while your time management skills are still a work in progress. 🙂 This tutorial shows you how to add, use, and turn off alarms on your Windows 10 computer or device:
NOTE: The features presented are available in Windows 10 November 2019 Update or newer. If you're using an older version of Windows 10, you might not have access to all the features. Check your Windows 10 build and, if necessary, get the latest Windows 10 update available for you.
How to access the Alarms & Clock app in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with the Alarms & Clock app, which includes the Alarm feature. There are several ways to open the app. Since the list of apps in the Start Menu is sorted alphabetically, we found it easiest to first access it, and then open the Alarms & Clock app, which is listed under A, at the top of the Start Menu. To open the Start Menu, either click or tap on the Start button from the bottom-left corner of the screen, or press the Windows key on your keyboard. The Alarms & Clock app should be visible when the Start Menu opens, but scroll down a bit if it's not. Click or tap on the app to open it.
You can also type "alarm" in your taskbar's search field, and then click or tap to open the relevant result.
If you use the Alarms & Clock app often, create a tile for it in your Start Menu. After searching for the app in your taskbar's search field, click or tap on the "Pin to Start" option on the right-hand side of the flyout.
The tile is displayed on your Start Menu, and you can click or tap on it to access the app. The Alarms & Clock tile also helps you keep an eye on your schedule, by showing your next active alarm and some details about it.
You can also access Alarms & Clock with Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant. Make sure she's listening, and say "alarm" to launch the app.
When Alarms & Clock opens, there are four tabs at the top of the window.
The tab we need is called, you guessed it, Alarm, so click or tap on it.
NOTE: This tutorial focuses on using the Windows 10 alarms manually, the old-fashioned way. You can also use Microsoft's Cortana with the Alarms & Clock app if you prefer voice control. To learn more about that, read: How to set timers and alarms using Cortana in Windows 10.
How to add alarms in Windows 10
In Windows 10, alarms are a great way to remember things that need to get done at specific times during certain days, like watering your plants, bathing your pet, or cleaning the house. You can have over thirty alarms active at the same time. We could have been even more specific, but we figured thirty is more than enough for the average user (and we also got bored 🙂 ). Your alarm goes off at the time you decide, as long as your PC or device is awake, even if it's locked. To add a new alarm, click or tap on the "Add new alarm" button at the bottom of the Alarm tab.
This opens the New alarm window, where you can first set the alarm time by scrolling and selecting the hour and the minute you want it triggered. The time left until the alarm sounds is displayed below.
Clicking or tapping the field under Alarm name lets you type in a name for your alarm, instead of the default name Alarm (1). We created an alarm called Yoga to remind us to take time to relax.
If you're not in the mood to name your alarms, Windows 10 helps you differentiate between them and adds a new number after the generic Alarm. Next, you can decide how often your alarm occurs in the Repeats section. The default value is Only once, but clicking or tapping on it reveals more options.
Click or tap to select the weekdays when you need your alarm. When you are done, click or tap outside of the section showing the weekdays, and your changes are saved.
As seen above, we selected Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. In the next screenshot, you can see our choices elegantly displayed in the Repeats section as "Weekends, Tue, Thu."
Click or tap on Chimes to change the Sound for your alarm.
In the list of available sounds, click or tap on Play to listen to a tune. Click or tap on the entry when you make up your mind, and your preference is saved.
NOTE: Did you know that the Echo tone is the same one used by timers in Windows 10? To learn more about timers, read How to use the Windows 10 Timer.
You can also set the Snooze time by selecting a time frame for it. Click or tap on the default 10 minutes to open a drop-down menu.
Disable the snooze function or select one of the values displayed. Click or tap on your choice, and it is saved.
When you are done setting up your alarm, press the Save button from the bottom right area of the window.
Your alarm is now set, and you can see it displayed in the Alarm tab of the Alarms & Clock app.
Unless you want to keep an eye on your schedule, you can close the Alarms & Clock app when you are done. Your alarm sounds at the set time.
How to use alarms in Windows 10
The alarms you create are displayed in the Alarm tab of the Alarms & Clock app.
You can turn an alarm on or off at any time by clicking or tapping the switch located to its right.
To edit an alarm, click or tap on it. The Edit alarm window opens, letting you adjust your alarm's settings the same way you did when you created it.
When an alarm goes off, its default behavior is to alert you by playing its sound and displaying a banner in the bottom-right corner of your screen. The volume of other sounds playing from your Windows 10 computer or device is lowered to ensure you don't miss the alarm.
To change this behavior, modify the general notifications for the Alarms & Clock app. To learn how to do that, read How to stop and configure Windows 10 app notifications.
If you still need a bit more time, you can Snooze your alarm. Windows 10 considers that your needs might have changed from the alarm's creation and lets you modify how long to Snooze for. Click or tap on the preset value to open a drop-down menu.
Select for how long you want to postpone your alarm.
Whether you modified the Snooze time or not, click or tap on the Snooze button to postpone the alarm for the displayed duration.
Your alarm goes off again when the snooze duration has gone by, and you can postpone it by following the same steps. If you're right on schedule, click or tap on Dismiss to stop the alarm entirely and hide the banner.
TIP: Clicking or tapping on the banner in the area displaying the alarm's details also stops the alert, while also opening the Alarm tab of the Alarms & Clock app.
How to remove alarms in Windows 10
Even if you set an alarm to work Only once, it doesn't get removed from the Alarm tab when it is done. It is saved in case you want to use it again at another time. However, removing alarms is simple.
Click or tap on any alarm, active or not, to open its Edit alarm window. To remove it, you can press either the Delete key on your keyboard or the Delete button at the bottom of the window.
To confirm your choice, click or tap on Delete again, and your alarm is gone.
To instantly delete any alarm, active or not, right-click or press-and-hold on it to reveal a one-option menu. Click or tap on Delete.
Your alarm is deleted, and it disappears from the Alarm tab. To delete more alarms at the same time, click or tap on the Select alarms button located in the bottom-right corner of the window.
A select box is displayed next to each alarm. Click or tap on the alarm you want removed to select it.
Click or tap on the "Delete selected alarms" button at the bottom of the window to remove the selected alarm(s).
The selected alarms are immediately removed from the Alarm tab.
Do you think the alarms could be improved?
We wrote this tutorial shortly after an article about the Agenda in Windows 10, which is also meant to help with your time management skills (or lack thereof 🙂 ). That got us thinking: wouldn't it be great if your active alarms were integrated with this feature? You would also be able to easily access them from the system tray. What do you think? Do you think the alarms in Windows 10 can be improved in any way? Leave us a comment with your opinion.