Why the iPhone snooze time is 9 minutes long (and how to change it)

Delaying an iPhone alarm silences it for 9 minutes – but why? Here’s a closer look at the story behind the 9-minute snooze and how to change it.

Setting an alarm Apple‘s iPhone is one of the most basic tasks anyone can do – but it also comes with an interesting quirk. Delaying an iPhone alarm silences it for exactly 9 minutes before it starts ringing again. It may immediately seem like an odd number, but there is actually a conscious reason why Apple specifically chose that number.

While it may be one of the simplest apps available for the iPhone, the Clock app is also incredibly useful. It can display the current time in different parts of the world, start a stopwatch, start a timer and – of course – set up an alarm to help someone wake up in the morning. Starting in iOS 14, Apple upgraded the alarm experience to help users follow set bedtimes and get enough sleep every night. iOS 15 made the Clock app even better finally allows users to edit alarms without first pressing the ‘Edit’ button.


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Whether someone sets a special sleep alarm or a regular one, the fact is that snoozing an iPhone alarm does it for 9 minutes. As explained in a YouTube video by Apple explained, there is sound logic behind this seemingly random number. When the snooze feature was added to alarm clocks years ago, it was done by retrofitting the new snooze component in the design of an existing clock. As Apple explained say, “This was a problem when they [alarm clock makers] could not adjust the clock gears to fit a ten minute snooze perfectly. ” This left them with a decision to have the snooze feature set to clocks for 10 minutes and 43 seconds or 9 minutes and 3 seconds. 9 minutes was finally selected as the best option, and although the reasoning is still debated to this day, it’s the snooze time spent on the GE Snooz Alarm in 1956 – the first alarm clock with a snooze feature available to the general public. The 9-minute snooze has remained the standard snooze time on alarm clocks since then, and to pay homage to that tradition, Apple also chose to use it for the iPhone’s alarm.

How to change iPhone Snooze Time

Alarm section in the iPhone Clock app

While it’s certainly a good bit of history to know, a 9-minute snooze may not work for everyone’s schedule. Unfortunately, Apple does not allow users to adjust this. Instead, the best solution is to set multiple alarms to create custom ‘snooze’ times. If someone sets their main alarm to 6 p.m. 06.00 and want a 5-minute snooze, they can create other alarms at. 6.05, 6.10, 6.15 etc. It would be much easier if Apple offered an edit snooze feature, but until then, this is the next best thing. The only other option is to disable the snooze feature completely. To do this, open the Clock app, tap an alarm and tap the button next to ‘Snooze’ so that it is disabled.

If it just does not cut it, another alternative is to download a third-party alarm folder. There is abundant of options to choose from in the App Store, including Alarm, Alarm Clock HD, Sleep Cycle, etc. It’s a bit funny that iPhone owners have to download a separate app just to edit the snooze for their alarm, but such is life. In Alarmy, for example, editing the snooze is as easy as opening the app, tapping the alarm, tapping ‘Snooze’, and selecting a setting between 1 minute and 60 minutes.

Will Apple Ever let users edit their snooze times? That’s honestly hard to say. It seems like one of the features to be added at some point, but when it will happen is still a mystery. Until that day comes, iPhone users will have to stick to multiple alarms or give in to a third-party solution.

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Source: Apple explained

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