How to Set an Alarm on a Mac

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How to Set an Alarm on a Mac

If you are looking for ways to turn your Mac into an alarm clock, this article has exactly what you need. Here’s a way to do it, using iCal.

There are countless things that you could do with your Mac. One among which, is setting up an alarm. Here’s how you can go about it.

Setting an Alarm on a Mac using iCal

You no longer have to worry about getting late for any appointment, meeting, or forgetting an important event. All you need to do is turn your Mac into an alarm clock. There are many third-party applications that you could use (we will deal with this part later), but there is an in-built application that you may utilize, which is iCal.

First things first, you need to set up a date and time in your iCal alarm. Go to the Applications folder on your Mac and select the iCal application. Once the application is open, you need to double-click on the day you want to set an alarm. When you do so, you will get a window that prompts you to add a title to the activity or event. When you select the activity, you need to click on it again. This action will lead to a new window popping up on your screen.

This window contains several options that you can use for setting an alarm on a Mac. With the help of the cursor, select the option that says – Alarm. Select this option by clicking on it and you will get a drop down menu. The drop down menu contains a number of options that are as follows:


This option will be displayed when the alarm goes off. It will have priority over any other program or dialog box open or running on your Mac. This means, if you are busy in Facebook land, the alarm window will pop up.

Message with Sound

This option is similar to the above option. The only difference is that it will also play a sound. So, if you are busy pondering over the files on your table, the sound will help you realize it is time for lunch. You can select your favorite sound from the available list.


Let’s see how this option works. Suppose you are away from your desk, relaxing in the cafeteria. Suddenly, you receive an e-mail notification on your phone. It is sent by iCal, via email, to notify that your break time is over. You need to remember to set instant email notification on your desktop, as well as your phone, to be alerted right away.

Open File

This is an interesting option that you can use, as your wake up call. You can use the Open File alarm option to open any song or even a movie or file on your computer. This will notify you that it is time to do the things you had set the alarm for.

There is another option called Run Script that is only useful for advanced users. For now, you will find the above options useful. Once you select an option, just click ‘Done’. Your alarm is set and you will never be late again.

Using Other Applications

There are plenty of software that you can use for setting alarm-like reminders on your Mac. Here are the most useful ones.

  • Alarm Clock Pro
  • Aurora
  • Awaken
  • iRooster
  • Red Alarm

A few of these are free and some are paid applications. Make productive use of your Mac, by utilizing all productivity features to the hilt.

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