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How to set an alarm on a Mac

Updated April 17, 2017

Mac OSX includes a calendar application called iCal. This application enables you to enter forthcoming events into the calendar and plan you days. It will also give you an audible alert when the time for a specified event occurs. In versions OSX before Leopard 10.5.6 iCal could open up the computer to sound the alarm if the computer was in sleep mode. Since that version, the computer has to be operating for the alarm to sound.

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  1. Go to the Applications folder to find iCal. Alternatively, scroll through the Dock. Click on the application to open it. The default display that opens shows the current week. Drag across the day where you want to create an alert. This will open a “New Event” dialogue box.

  2. Enter a name for the event. The “from” and “to” date will already be filled in with the date you selected by the time will be set to 0. Click on any element of the from and to dates and times and replace them with new values.

  3. Click on the drop down list next to the “repeat” prompt. This value defaults to “None.” However, if you want the alarm to go off daily, select “Every day” from this list.

  4. Click on the drop down list next to the “alarm” title. This defaults to none, but select “Message with Sound” from the list. This brings up two other alarm options.

  5. Click on the “15 minutes before” message two lines below the alarm prompt. This will make the alarm happen for a period before the event. If you typed in the time of an even t you want to be reminded about rather than the time you want the alarm to go off, change the number of minutes in this statement if you want the alarm a matter of minutes before the event or click on the up and down arrows next to the text and select “hours before” if you want a longer notification. Enter the number of hours in the notification period.

  6. Select “on date” from the alarm advanced notice drop-down list if you put the time of the event as the time you want the alarm to sound. This will make the alarm happen at the date and time you set in the “from” field.

  7. Click the “Done” button. You will find this in the bottom right corner of the Event pop-up window.

  8. Tip

    Make sure you have the volume of the computer turned up high and don’t leave earphones plugged in.

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About the Author

Stephen Byron Cooper began writing professionally in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computing from the University of Plymouth and a Master of Science in manufacturing systems from Kingston University. A career as a programmer gives him experience in technology. Cooper also has experience in hospitality management with knowledge in tourism.

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