Let's just say you're getting tired and you decided to boil water at midnight. You decided to take a short nap...but little did you know that nap would've cost you your life. A simple question to ask yourself is "should I have set a timer?"

Sure, you could've, but how long does it take for one person to set a timer on their phone? For all I know is, it isn't efficient enough and in-fact a struggle to set timers on phones.

So what else am I always on besides my phone? Well, that's my PC of course. Then I went to look for timers and found out about Google's very own search-term-specific one.

Google has a timer-function. It can be used by simply searching (w/ Google):

  • the default is 5-mins


Now, the only thing missing is a way to set a specific time with the option to begin that timer immediately.

screen shot


How do I use Google's Timer function to set a specific time with the option to begin timer immediately?


  • There should be a way to set a specific time and option to begin timer via parameters, like so:
    • command + time-in-no.'s + .

timer 30 min

timer 55 sec.

timer 1 hour and 22 min


  • Instead of using Google's timer you can use duckduckgo with the same parameters and it works entirely within your favor.
    • hours work
    • combination of time-formats work doesn't work
    • abbreviations work
    • alarm sounds less frightning
  • for the most part, it's the clear winner


  • setting a timer w/ a keyboard is much more quicker, effecient, & reliable.
    • my hands on a keyboard obliterates me with my mouth next to a mic or my fingers on a phone.
    • I'm constantly on a browser.
  • parameters should also work with all sorts of abbreviations
    • minutes vs. min / mins
    • seconds vs. sec / secs
  • . parameter means begin timer
  • search stopwatch for Google's other timer-function (but, no parameters for this one and setting a time will default you to timer).
  • What exactly are you asking for? – TheKB May 22 '16 at 11:36
  • A way to use Google's timer function when you use their search engine to A) Set a time & B) to start that timer upon the search. I have a strong belief it can only be done via parameters. – fohrums May 22 '16 at 13:55
  • Indeed. What, exactly, are you asking? – ale May 24 '16 at 15:34
  • Besides, it's easy as pie to set a timer on my phone: I just need to say, out loud, "OK, Google, set a timer for five minutes". – ale May 24 '16 at 15:35
  • 1
    @sandwich: Which is why I just left a comment. Besides, the Asker starts out complaining how difficult it is to set a timer on a phone; I was merely offering a different view. – ale May 24 '16 at 22:40

If I understand your question right, you could simply type in x minute/second timer. It will then begin itself.

  • using hour doesn't work. only minute & second, BUT it can only be one time-format per search for timer to work. – fohrums May 24 '16 at 22:32
  • Sorry, I was thinking about my default search engine, duckduckgo, where hours, and combinations of times works, along with abbreviations. – TheKB May 25 '16 at 14:30
  • THANK YOU! DDG is the obvious clear winner here. It does everything I've requested it do and operates in a fashion I like. Now I know what to use. – fohrums May 26 '16 at 10:50
  • I'm glad I could introduce you to DDG, if not in a slightly roundabout way. – TheKB May 26 '16 at 14:16

1h2m3s timer

works by now: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=1h2m3s+timer

Note! This depends on the Google interface language being English for the time being, unfortunately. The parameter hl=en in the URL sets this.

If you only need 1 of a single unit°, you can leave out the digit, but then have to supply at least the 3-letter-abbreviation of the unit:

hour timer
min timer
sec timer

° E.g. 1 minute; but not 1 minute and 1 second.

You can use single values:

1m timer

…and spaces:

1 h2m 3 s timer

You can put the timer keyword first:

timer 1h2m3s

(Leading zeroes are allowed:

timer 01h2m 007 s


Thanks @Rubén, who found the dependence on the English interface language!

  • This isn't working for me. So, I went ahead and clicked on your link to verify and it still defaults the timer to 5-min. Not only that, but the timer doesn't begin on it's own too :( – fohrums Feb 4 '17 at 8:50
  • @fohrums, weird! (So it behaves like for just the query timer without specifying a time (like 1h2m3s).) What exactly is the URL that misbehaves for you? Please copy it from your address bar (<Ctrl>+<L> <Ctrl>+<C>) after you have loaded the search page. – Aaron Thoma Feb 4 '17 at 12:37
  • Strange indeed, because not only did I click on your link provided (every single one) but did it not also work on another browser like Chrome. This is because i'm on Firefox. So, basically it just doesn't work and Google's timer function will always default to a 5m prompt for you to begin it yourself manually. The problem is having to manually begin it aswell as the incorrect time being prompted for the user to begin that timer. – fohrums Feb 5 '17 at 12:50
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    I think that the problem is the default language. Add hl=en to the URL. Example: google.com.mx/search?hl=en&q=1h2m3s+timer – Rubén Feb 5 '17 at 15:09
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    @Rubén, that seems to be it, thanks! I updated my answer accordingly. By the way, to add to the weirdness, even the German word "Stoppuhr" is recognized (as stopwatch), but only with the English interface: google.com .mx /search? hl=en &q= Stoppuhr works, google .de /search?q= Stoppuhr doesn't. – Aaron Thoma Feb 5 '17 at 17:53

SOLUTION (quick fix as google's own timer doesn't work as expected)


  • Quick
    • 2h30m05s timer
  • Formal
    • 2 hour 30 min 05 sec timer


With Google's Timer, you can set a specific time & have the time start automatically upon search with the following syntax:

  • time-in-no.'s + time-format + timer

30 second timer

999 minute timer


  • For the time-formats don't add an (s) or abbreviate it, for example:
    • 30 minutes timer
    • 30 min timer
    • only 30 minute timer will work
  • Only seconds & minutes work NOT hours
    • 27 second timer
    • 40 minute timer
    • 1 hour timer (does not work)
    • so extend timer further by increasing the minute instead.
  • Max minute allowed to set is equivalent to 1-day worth in hours
    • 1439 minute timer


  • It's much easier to work with abbreviated time-formats, so why not just implement that? Also, depending on people's way of wording things it'll be more universal by implementing abbreviated time-formats
    • e.g., abbreviated time-formats include:
    • minute = m / min / mins
    • hour = h / hr / hrs
    • second = s / sec / secs

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