1. Wake alarms vs standard alarms
  2. How to set an alarm on Apple Watch
  3. How to set an alarm with Siri
  4. How to set up Nightstand Mode on Apple Watch
  5. How to set a timer on Apple Watch

How to set an alarm on the Apple Watch

Discover the details behind waking up from the wrist, timers and Nightstand Mode
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The Apple Watch may be an all-powerful smartwatch, but sometimes basic features like setting an alarm can be the most useful.

Not only does the Apple Watch alarm let you avoid having to get out of bed to snooze your iPhone, but using one also means you don't have to wake up your partner (or pets) unnecessarily.

But how do you add or delete an alarm on the Apple Watch, and how do you change it to silent or loud?

Below, we'll explain everything you need to know, including how to set timers on your wrist - y'know, for naps.

Wake alarms vs standard alarms

There are two types of alarms on the Apple Watch. Your regular morning wake-up alarm, and just a standard type of alarm. 

A wakeup alarm is set within the Sleep app, and is part of your sleep schedule.

One-off alarms can be set Alarm app. Never fear, in the Alarms app is a shortcut straight over to set up your waking alarm, if that's what you want to add.

What's the difference between the two types of alarms we hear you cry?

Not much. If you set your regular wake alarm, it will ensure that you're not disturbed by notifications during your sleep – and you'll get the Good Morning summary after.

How to set an alarm on Apple Watch


In order to turn off the alarm, simply press the side button.

And if you feel like snoozing the alarm for nine minutes, just press the Digital Crown.

If you want it to be a silent alarm, then just make sure your Apple Watch is set to silent in the settings tray. Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to toggle this on/off.

To add a regular Wakeup alarm to Apple Watch:

  1. Go to the Sleep app
  2. Tap to open your schedule
  3. Tap to set your wake-up time 
  4. Choose your sound
  5. Add your approximate bedtime. Wind down will start 30 minutes before and you won't get notifications.

To add a one-off alarm on the Apple Watch:

1. Open the Alarms app on your Apple Watch.

2. Scroll down to Add Alarm. If you already see a previous alarm time set, just toggle it on/off.

3. Turn the Digital Crown to your chosen hour/minute.

4. Tap AM or PM to set when exactly the alarm will sound, then apply to add it to your list of alarms.

Turn off Snooze

If you don't want to be able to snooze an alarm you can turn it off. Go to the the Alarms up, tap the alarm time, and toggle off Snooze.

Delete or hide an alarm temporarily on the Apple Watch:

1. Open the Alarms app on your Apple Watch.

2. To turn the alarm off, hit the switch to the right of the time. You can then go back in at a later date and turn the same alarm back on.

3. To remove from the list entirely, select the alarm, scroll down to the delete tab and tap.

How to set an alarm with Siri


Of course, the fastest way to set an alarm is simply to ask Siri.

Just lift your Apple Watch close to your mouth (if raise to speak is enabled) and when Siri activates just say "set alarm for XX[am/pm]".

The alarm will be set immediately.

How to set up Nightstand Mode on Apple Watch


If you don't want to use your Apple Watch to track sleep, and all the extra charging faff that goes with it, you can use your Apple Watch as a beside clock.

As shown in the image above, this is when your Apple Watch displays the date and time, the charge percentage and also an icon indicating any potential alarm you have set.

All you need to do to turn Nightstand Mode on is to head to the Settings app, tap through to General and then hit Nightstand Mode on.

From then, you'll be able to see the Nightstand screen by tapping the screen or touching the Digital Crown or side button when the device is on its side and charging.

How to set a timer on Apple Watch


While there's a little bit of complication when it comes to setting an alarm on the Apple Watch, setting a timer is actually much more straightforward. Whether you want to set one for a quick after-work nap or simply to keep an eye on what's in the oven, here's how to set up timers on the Apple Watch:

1. Open the Timers app on the Apple Watch.

2. Tap on either minutes or hours, then use the Digital Crown to tweak the timer.

3. Tap Start.

4. While it's running, you can also Pause or Cancel the timer.

5. When the timer ends, you'll get an alert on your wrist, at which point you can tap dismiss to help it disappear.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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