How to Set an Alarm on MacBook

By Avery Martin

While the App Store provides several options for installing an alarm clock on your Mac, you don't need to look any further than the Calendar app already installed with OS X Mavericks. Set alarms for birthdays, to wake up after a nap, remind you about important meetings or set up a one-time alarm for special occasions. The Calendar app even allows you to use a snooze feature to repeat the alarm after a delay of 15 minutes. Using the Calendar app also allows you to get alerts on your other devices, if you set up iCloud on your MacBook and other iOS devices.

Set a One-Time Alert

Step 1

Click the Calendar icon located in the Dock. If the Calendar icon doesn't display in the Dock, click the "Go" menu, select "Applications" and double-click "Calendar."

Step 2

Double-click the date that you want to use for the alarm. Type a name for the alarm in the "New Event" text area.

Step 3

Select the date and choose the time that you want the alarm to go off in the "From:" field. You don't need to change the information in the "To:" field.

Step 4

Choose the "Alert:" drop-down menu and select "Custom."

Step 5

Select the "Message With Sound" option from the first drop-down menu.

Step 6

Choose a sound from the list of options in the second drop-down menu. Alternatively, select "Open File" and choose an audio file on your hard drive to play when the alarm goes off.

Step 7

Select "At the Time of Event" from the last drop-down menu and click "OK." You can also select the "Minutes Before" option and enter a numerical value to have the alarm go off before the set event time.

Set Events and Birthday Alerts

Step 1

Launch the Calendar app, select the "Calendar" menu and click "Preferences..." from the drop-down menu.

Step 2

Click the "Alerts" tab.

Step 3

Select the "Events" drop-down menu and choose "At Time of Event." You can also choose another option, if you want the alarm to go off before the event.

Step 4

Select the "All Day Events:" drop-down menu, followed by the "Birthdays:" drop-down menu and select when you want the alarm to go off for both settings. You can select an option to set off the alarm on the day of the event, the day before, two days before or a week before.

Step 5

Uncheck the "Use These Default Alerts On Only This Computer" if you don't want the alerts to sync with your other iCloud connected devices.

Tips & Warnings

  • Click the "Snooze" button when the alert goes off to repeat the alert in 15 minutes.
  • Set up iCloud on your MacBook by launching System Preferences, clicking the "iCloud" option and providing your iCloud credentials. Make sure to select the "Calendar" check box to enable syncing of your alerts.
  • Set up iCloud on your iOS devices by tapping "Settings," selecting "iCloud" and providing your iCloud credentials. Set the "Calendar" toggle switch to the "On" position once you have completed the setup process.
  • If you select a specific song on your MacBook, that song or audio file won't play on your iOS devices. Instead, a default alarm tone goes off.
  • Information in this article applies to Mac OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.