How to Set an Alarm on MacBook

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Can you set an alarm on a Mac? The answer is yes, but not like you would on a smart phone. Smart phones come with a Clock app that allows you to set recurring alarms, while the Mac does not. However, there are a few different built-in and third-party options you can use to set an alarm on your MacBook.

Built-In Alarm Clock for Mac

Mac's built-in Calendar app has a feature that allows you to set a one-time alarm clock. To set this alarm, click the "Calendar" icon in your Mac's dock to launch Calendar and then click the "File" and "New Event" options in the top menu bar. Type a name for the alarm and press the "Return" key to create the event. Change the event date and time to when you want the alarm to activate. Click the "Alert" button, select "Custom" and then click "Message with sound." Use the drop-down to select a sound and then click the drop-down for "minutes before" and change it to "At time of event." Click "OK" to set the alarm. Make sure your Mac computer is turned on so that the alarm can go off at the set time.

Use Reminders App

The built-in Reminders app on your MacBook is another option for setting an alarm. You can set reminder alarms to go off at specific times and specific locations. You could set an alarm reminder to begin writing that goes off when you get to your favorite coffee shop, for example. Reminder sounds aren't as loud or continuous as Calendar alarms, however, so they are not recommended for use as a wake-up alarm. Set a reminder alarm by opening the Reminders app. To do this, click the "Magnifying Glass" in the top right corner of your Mac, type in "Reminders" and click the "Return" key. Click the "+" button in the Reminders app and type in a name for your reminder. Click the "i" icon next to the reminder and check the box next to "On a Day." Select the day and time for the reminder and click "Done" to save it.

Use Wake Up Time App

Although useful, the built-in alarm options with your Mac are limited. Wake Up Time is a free app available in the Mac App Store that enables you to set an alarm at a specific time and date that does not shut off until you hit the "Stop" button. The alarm works even if your Mac is muted but not if your Mac is turned off. Download the Wake Up Time app by clicking the "App Store" icon in the Mac's dock and searching for the Wake Up Time app. Click "Get" to download the app. Launch the downloaded app by clicking the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of your Mac's screen and searching for Wake Up Time. Press the "Return" key to open the app. Select the "Alarm time" and "Sound" and then click the round button to set the alarm.

Use Online Alarm Clock

You don't have to use the built-in options or install an app on your MacBook to set an alarm. Instead, you can use one of the many website-based options for setting timers and alarms. is a free website that allows you to set a same-day alarm and select the sound that is played. You can also set timers, a countdown or use the stopwatch feature. is another free option for setting alarm timers that play a sound on your MacBook. allows you to set and name your alarms. All these options require your MacBook not to be muted, so make sure the sound is turned all the way up before using them.