How to set up an alarm clock on Mac?

How to set a recurring alarm clock on a Mac computer?

Nowadays computers are taking a huge part of our life, they have become our working tools, entertainment providers and a helping hand in other casual duties. Small features such as an alarm clock should be included by default, at least that's what a majority of users think. However, if you haven't used this feature, you will probably struggle while attempting to set it up. You could be familiar with the basic alarm function, but do you know all the available features offered by default Mac OS applications? Quite often user refer to the Mac App Store in order to download an alarm clock, without knowing about the built in one.

Together with  the Mac OS X Mavericks, Apple introduced the Calendar app. It's included in the operating system and has a couple of very useful features that are less unknown for some users, especially for those, who are new to Mac operating system. What is more, the Calendar application apart from allowing you to set up the alarm clock, it also offers functions, such as alarm for birthday events,  important meetings reminder or one-time alarm for special events. In addition this software provides a snooze feature, which repeats the alarm delayed by 15 minutes. Since all Apple products perform great communication between each other via the iCloud, all your event reminders and set up alarms will be shown on any kind of Mac OS or iOS devices. in this article we will provide information on the available Calendar app functions.


Table of Contents:

Set up one-time alert

Let's begin with the basics. First set up one-time alert with text and sound message displayed. Launch the Calendar app, which you can find either in your Dock or Launchpad. Alternatively you may call spotlight by hitting Command and Spacebar then type calendar.


Once the software launched double-click the day you desire to set an alarm. Set the name of alarm by typing it in the New event text area.


Next, set up the date and time when the alert should start, to manage the details simply click on them and choose from the list, then click Alert and select Custom from drop-down menu. In the first drop-down menu choose Message With Sound option, select the sound from available sounds list in the second drop-down menu. Alternatively you may select Open File and choose your desired audio file from hard drive, which will play when the alarm goes off. Finally, set the time when audio file or sound start to play, by clicking on the last drop-down menu. There are couple options, some will require you to enter amount of minutes.


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Set up events and birthday alerts

Calendar offers an events such as birthday or important meetings reminder, which will display an message, about upcoming events. To set up the alerts open the calendar application, click on Calendar from the menu at top of your screen, and choose Preferences. In a new window select Alerts tab and click on Events and select the type of alert from the list, there is options such as At time of Event or from 5 minutes to 2 days before event. Next feature would be All Day Events, which also offers several types of alert. Click on drop-down menu and select options such as On day of event or maximum of one week before event. Last feature would be Birthdays alerts, where you can choose same types of alerts as simple events, however birthdays are separated from other events and may contain different type of alert.


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Settle automatic launch of your Mac

Now you know all the calendar application's function, but it's not a secret it won't work if your Mac will be turned off. To avoid this situation, set your Mac to start or wake automatically before you need it to act like an alarm clock. To perform, open System preferences and choose Energy Saver. Click on Schedule despite the tab you're looking at.


Enable the Start up or wake checkbox and select the days you desire the Mac to automatically turn on from the drop-down menu. There are couple options such as weekdays, weekends or every day, also you may choose the particular day of a week, however you can't choose couple separated days like Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. But you don't have to worry about alarm on all days, since this step only settle the time when your computer starts automatically. Note: Even though most of late Macs running on SSDs, they still need some time to completely load, so don't settle the automatic turn on at the time when you need an alarm clock. For example, if you need to wake up at 8:50 AM, set the time to turn Mac on at 8:40 AM, so you avoid issue, when your alarm didn't go off at settled time.


Your Mac will start automatically now, but it still request you to enter password in order to stop alarm music. To avoid this frustrating situation you may visit Users & Groups preferences under System Preferences. Click on the Login Options, that are below the list of users.


In order to make changes you have to authenticate by clicking on the lock icon in bottom left corner of the window and enter the password. Select your account from the drop-down menu next to Automatic login, enter the account password to confirm your action.


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Use Automator to make your Mac act like alarm clock

Useful tool called Automator allows you to create workflows for some basic actions even without any programming experience. Simply select the desired actions from built-in builder. Launch the software by using spotlight or through Finder by going to Applications folder. Once tool launched click New Document, then select Calendar Alarm as a type of your document. This particular workflow is triggered by an event in Calendar.


As you're familiar with features of Calendar and you know it's possibilities, lets expand them by using the Automator's workflow. In the left sidebar there is listed all actions that Automator is able to perform, but in this case we need only couple of them. First action we will use is Find iTunes Items, and in order to find it easier through items in list use search field. Once you see action, simply drag it to main workflow panel. For more detailed demonstration purposes lets poorly edit the action. Let's command the Automator to find playlists instead of tracks, by change the option in the drop-down menu. Next, type in the name or part of it to the text field, and try out the workflow by clicking Run. Click the Results to check action's output.


However, this workflow not going to play any actual music yet. To finish the workflow add one more action called Play iTunes Playlist. In order to add this action simply just drag it to main workflow's panel.


Once you've created the workflow click File in the menu at top of your screen and select Save or use Command and S shortcut. Once your workflow saved, the Calendar app will be launched automatically and event will be created. However, the event will have default one-time event preferences, so update them to your desired ones by a methods listed above.


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Video Showing how to set an alarm clock on Mac

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