While there isn’t an official stand-alone timer app for Windows, you can use the Timer in the Clock app to keep track of time. If you forgot something in the oven because you were all caught up in a video game, or you spaced out watching cat videos again, even though you promised yourself to go to bed in 10 minutes, the Windows Timer can come in handy. It is easy to use and a helpful tool if you don’t want to burn down your kitchen or ruin your beauty sleep. So, if you want a Timer for Windows, let’s get started:
NOTE: The Clock app is identical on both operating systems, so the Windows 11 and Windows 10 Timer are the same. Because of this, I used Windows 11 for most of the screenshots featured in this guide.
To get to the Windows 11 or Windows 10 Timer, you first need to open the Clock app. Type clock in the taskbar Search bar in Windows 10 or in the Search window in Windows 11 (use the magnifying glass icon on the taskbar to open it). Then, access the Clock app search result.
Alternatively, in Windows 11, you can also type timer in the Search window, and then click or tap on the Clock app.
Another way to get to the Timer for Windows is to open the Start Menu and open the Clock shortcut in the All Apps list.
When the Clock app opens, access the Timer tab from the left panel.
By default, the Windows 11 and Windows 10 Timer offers presets for 1, 3, 5 and 10 minutes, that you can use immediately. Furthermore, you can set additional timers for any duration from one second to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. As long as your device is on and awake, it alerts you when the countdown reaches zero, even if your computer is locked. You can have as many as twenty timers saved, and they can all be counting down at the same time. This should be more than enough, unless you are running evil experiments in your underground lair. 🙂
Adding a new timer is simple. Click or tap on the “Add new timer” (+) button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
In the “Add new timer” window, set a duration for your timer by changing the values for hours, minutes, and seconds displayed at the top. You can do this with the keyboard (use the mouse or press the Tab key to switch from one field to the next), by scrolling while you hover on top of each value, or using the arrow buttons displayed.
Click or tap on the Timer Name field to enter a new name to replace the default Timer (1). If you don’t feel like naming your timers, Windows helps you differentiate between them by adding a new number after the generic Timer.
I created a timer called Yoga, set to 20 minutes, to get in some exercise after each task and avoid the dreaded back pain that sets in after spending too much time in front of my PC. When you are done entering your preferences, press the Save button at the bottom of the “Add new timer” Window.
The new timer is added to the Clock app’s Timer tab, and you can start using it.
To use any timer added to the Clock app, click or tap on its round Start button, showing the Play symbol.
Your timer starts counting down. As soon as this happens, the exact time when it reaches zero is displayed in a smaller font under the countdown. You can also click or tap on the Pause button (replacing the Start/Play button) to pause your timer.
Clicking or tapping on Start again resumes the countdown of a paused timer. However, if you want to restart the countdown, press the Reset button next to it. You can reset a timer at any time, regardless of whether it’s paused or counting down.
To keep an eye on a timer from afar, or if you just want to focus on a specific timer, click or tap on the Expand button, which looks like a double-headed arrow.
The timer expands, taking up the entire Clock window. Press the Restore button to return it to normal.
If you want to keep a close eye on your remaining time, you also get the “Keep on top” button in the upper-right corner of your timer.
The Clock window is focused on your timer, its size is reduced, and it’s displayed permanently in the upper-right corner of your screen, no matter what other apps are active. Click or tap on “Back to full view” to return to the normal viewing mode.
The default behavior when a timer finishes counting down is to alert you by playing a sound and displaying a banner in the bottom right corner of your screen. The volume of any other sounds playing from your computer or device is lowered to ensure you hear the alert sound. Click or tap on Dismiss to stop the alert and hide the banner.
TIP: Clicking or tapping on the banner in the area displaying the timer’s details also stops the alert, while also opening the Timer tab of the Clock app.
To edit a timer, click or tap on its entry in the Timer tab. You can also right-click or press-and-hold on it to open a menu, and then click or tap on Edit. You can’t edit timers while they are counting down, only inactive or currently paused ones.
Alternatively, use the Edit timers button in the bottom-right corner of the Clock window, and then press on the timer you want to change.
Use the Edit timer window that pops up to change the name and duration of a timer. This window is identical to the “Add new timer” one, so use the instructions in the previous chapter if you need more help.
Removing a timer is very simple. If your timer is not counting down, click or tap on it to open the Edit timer window. Then, click or tap on the trashcan-looking Delete button in the top-right corner.
You can also right-click or press-and-hold on any timer to open its contextual menu and then click or tap on Delete.
Pressing the Edit timers button in the lower-right corner also lets you easily remove any of your timers. Just click or tap on the Delete button shown in the upper-right corner of any timer entry.
Setting timers in Windows 10 and Windows 11 is useful, especially if you spend a lot of time on your computer. If you are one of the people who feel time flies by, like yours truly, the often overlooked Windows Timer can prove to be an asset. What do you need timers for? Do you think you need more than the twenty timers offered by this app? Let us know in the comments.