How to Set a Timer on the iPhone Camera: A Step-by-Step Guide

To set a timer on the iPhone camera, open the Camera app, select the timer icon at the top of the screen, choose between a 3-second or 10-second delay, and then press the shutter button. After you do this, the countdown will begin, and the camera will take the photo automatically when the time is up.

After setting the timer, position your iPhone as needed, and then jump into the frame. This feature allows you to be a part of the picture without needing someone else to take the photo for you.


Setting a timer on your iPhone camera might seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference. Whether you’re trying to capture a group photo without leaving anyone out or you’re looking to take the perfect selfie without the awkward arm stretch, the timer function on your iPhone camera is a game-changer. This feature is particularly useful for photographers of all levels who want to be part of the action or need a few extra seconds to get the perfect shot. It’s like having an extra hand or a personal photographer right in your pocket!

The iPhone’s built-in camera is already quite impressive, and the timer function adds another layer of functionality and convenience. Moreover, this feature is crucial for taking photos when you’re alone, and there’s no one around to lend a helping hand. So, whether you’re an influencer looking to add some pizzazz to your social media feed, a family wanting to capture a memorable moment, or a solo traveler documenting your adventures, learning how to use the timer on your iPhone camera is essential.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Set a Timer on the iPhone Camera

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to note that setting a timer gives you the freedom to take photos without rushing. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Open the Camera App

Open the Camera app on your iPhone.

When you’re ready to take a photo, the first thing you need to do is open the Camera app. You can find it on your home screen or in the Control Center.

Step 2: Select the Timer Icon

Tap on the timer icon located at the top of the screen.

The timer icon looks like a clock and is usually found in the upper screen area when you’re in Photo or Square mode. If you’re having trouble finding it, make sure you’re not in Video or Pano mode, as the timer function isn’t available there.

Step 3: Choose the Delay

Select either 3 seconds or 10 seconds delay for your timer.

A shorter delay is great for quick snaps, while a longer delay gives you more time to get ready for the picture. Consider the nature of the photo you’re trying to take and the amount of time you’ll need to set up the shot.

Step 4: Press the Shutter Button

Press the shutter button to start the timer countdown.

Once you’ve pressed the button, the countdown will start immediately. Make sure you’re ready to strike a pose or get into position quickly.


ConvenienceThe timer feature adds a level of convenience to taking photos. It allows you to set up your iPhone and join in the photo without needing someone else to take the shot for you. This is especially handy for group photos or selfies.
Better CompositionBy setting a timer, you can take your time to frame the shot perfectly. This means you can adjust the angle, position of subjects, and even the lighting before the photo is taken. It gives you a chance to ensure everything looks just right.
Creativity EnhancementThe timer feature encourages creativity. You can experiment with different poses, jump shots, or even candid frames without the pressure of hurrying to beat the camera’s click.


Limited TimeEven with the timer set, you’re still working against the clock. 10 seconds might not be enough time to set up a more complicated shot or to arrange a large group of people.
Stability IssuesIf you’re using the timer, chances are your iPhone is perched somewhere or on a tripod. There’s always a risk of the phone falling or getting knocked over, especially if you’re rushing back into the frame.
Missed MomentsSometimes, spontaneous moments make the best photos. Setting a timer can potentially cause you to miss these unplanned shots as you’re busy setting up the delay.

Additional Information

When using the timer on your iPhone camera, consider a few more helpful tips. First, make sure your iPhone is stable. You can invest in a tripod or find a solid surface where the phone won’t easily topple over. There’s nothing worse than setting the timer, only to have your iPhone fall and miss the moment entirely—or, even worse, get damaged.

Also, pay attention to the lighting and background. You don’t want to set up the perfect timer shot only to find out later that there was a distracting element in the frame, or the lighting cast unwanted shadows. It’s all about the details!

Furthermore, if you’re taking a selfie, try to look at the camera lens, not the screen. It might feel odd at first, but it’ll make your photos look more natural.

Lastly, remember to have fun with it! Photography is an art, and the timer feature on your iPhone camera is just another tool to help you create beautiful, memorable images. Get creative, experiment, and most importantly, capture those memories that’ll last a lifetime.


  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the timer icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose a 3-second or 10-second delay.
  4. Press the shutter button to start the countdown.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the timer function for all photo modes?

No, the timer function is not available for all modes. It is available in Photo and Square modes but not in Video or Pano modes.

Is there a way to have a longer timer than 10 seconds?

Currently, the iPhone’s native Camera app only offers 3-second and 10-second options. For a longer delay, you might need to look into third-party camera apps.

Can I cancel the timer once it starts?

Yes, you can cancel the timer by tapping the stop button that appears in place of the shutter button once the countdown begins.

Will the timer work with the volume button as the shutter?

Yes, once the timer is set, you can use the volume button to start the countdown, just like you would with the on-screen shutter button.

Can I use the timer for burst photos?

No, the timer function cannot be used in conjunction with burst mode on the iPhone camera.


Setting a timer on your iPhone camera opens up a world of photographic possibilities. Whether you’re capturing a group shot, a self-portrait, or just need a few extra seconds to get the scene just right, the timer feature is a versatile tool that every iPhone user should master.

Experiment with different delays, compositions, and scenarios to make the most out of this convenient feature. Remember, photography is not just about the end result; it’s about the fun and journey of capturing life’s moments. So grab your iPhone, set that timer, and snap away!