How to Use Your iPhone’s Built-in Sleep Timer

  • The iPhone has a sleep timer built into its Clock app.
  • To use the sleep timer, set a time in the Clock app’s timer, and set the When Timer Ends option to Stop Playing.
  • When the timer expires, your media will stop playing and the phone will lock. 
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It’s not especially easy to find, but the iPhone has a sleep timer built in that does an excellent job of helping you unwind and shut down at night, or any time you want to play media for a limited time. It’s not a new feature, either; the sleep timer has been built into the iPhone since iOS 7, so even older or un-updated devices have this capability. 

When using the sleep timer, you can specify how long you want the timer to run, and at the end of the cycle, your phone will stop playing music, video, or whatever media happens to be playing, turn off the screen and lock the device. This way you can trust that your phone will shut down and conserve your battery if you like to fall asleep to late-night entertainment.

How to use the iPhone sleep timer

1. Start the Clock app. 

2. At the bottom of the screen, tap Timer.

Clock app in iOS

There’s a sleep timer in the Clock’s Timer tab.

Dave Johnson

3. Spin the hour, minute and second dials to set the length of timer you want to use.

4. Tap When Timer Ends.

5. Scroll to the bottom and tap Stop Playing, then tap Set.

Clock app in iOS

Scroll to the bottom of the When Timer Ends page.

Dave Johnson

6. Tap Start.

Click app in iOS

When you set the timer to stop playing, the sleep timer is ready.

Dave Johnson

The timer will begin. Now start watching or listening to whatever media you want, and let yourself drift off to sleep if that’s what you want to do. When the timer runs out, the phone will stop playing media, turn off the display, and lock itself.

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