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How to create named timers with Alexa

Alexa now supports multiple, named timers after a recent update. Here's how to create and manage multiple timers with your Alexa speakers.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Of all the things Alexa speakers are capable of, some of its most important uses are the simple things, like alarms and timers. These features have been available since day one and, for the most part, have remained unchanged. That is, until earlier in June.

At long last, Amazon added reminders. And it also updated the timer feature with the ability to give timers names, so you can easily manage multiple timers simultaneously.

Here's how to manage and use multiple, named timers with Alexa.

How to create named Alexa timers

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The basic use of a timer on Alexa speakers is very straightforward, just tell Alexa to start a timer in one of several ways:

  • "Alexa, timer."
  • "Alexa, create a new timer."
  • "Alexa, set a timer."

If you don't tell Alexa how long the timer should be, it will ask. To speed up the process, you can lump the time in with the command. 

  • "Alexa, set a timer for 5 minutes."
  • "Alexa, timer, 20 minutes."

Before the latest update, you could create and manage multiple timers by repeating those commands with different times, but couldn't name them. When a timer went off, you had to remember whether it meant laundry or dinner. 

Now, you can give your timers names so they're easier to check on and manage. Say something like, "Alexa, create a pizza timer for 25 minutes," or, "Alexa, coffee timer, 5 minutes." With named timers, you don't have to remember which one is which and how long they've all been running -- you can ask how much time is remaining by name, and when a timer goes off, Alexa will tell you which one it is. 

To further manage your timers, you can say things like:

  • "Alexa, timers."
  • "Alexa, how much time is left on my timer?"
  • "Alexa, how long on the pizza timer?"
  • "Alexa, what are my timers?"
  • "Alexa, cancel the coffee timer."
  • "Alexa, cancel the 25-minute timer."

You can also manually manage timers through the Alexa app on iOS and Android:

  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Tap the hamburger button in the top left corner to expand the menu and select Alerts & Alarms.
  • Tap the Timer tab.
  • Tap to select one of the active timers.
  • Tap Pause or Cancel.

Like reminders and alarms, timers are device-specific. So whichever Alexa speaker you decide to create a timer with is the device that will sound when the timer finishes.