Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

When I’m cooking, I often put something on the boil and forget it till I smell burning. That’s not an ideal situation. So, I set up short-timers on my iPhone or Apple Watch to save my food from burning the house down. These timers can also be useful for quick power naps or high-intensity workouts.

It just takes a few seconds to set up a timer on both devices. Here’s how you can do it:


  • Swipe down from the top-right edge to open the control center.
  • Long press on the timer icon.
  • Using the scroll bar, set up the timer for the duration you want.
  • Tap on start.
Setting a timer from the control center on your iPhone

If you want to set up a more precise timer, tap on the timer icon to open the clock app.

Alternatively, you can use Siri to set up a timer by saying “Hey Siri, set up a timer for five minutes.”

Apple Watch

  • Press the digital crown.
  • Open the timer app.
  • Select one of the preset timers such as 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes.
  • To set up the custom timer, scroll down, and set the duration.


Apple Watch Timer

These are some quickest methods to set up a timer on your iPhone and Apple Watch. I’m off to take a power nap.

Read next:

This SelectTV offer could be the last step needed to finally cut your cable forever

Corona coverage

Read our daily coverage on how the tech industry is responding to the coronavirus and subscribe to our weekly newsletter Coronavirus in Context.

For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.