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How to set a timer on your iPhone camera

Not every group shot has to be an awkward selfie.

Published onJuly 28, 2023

If you’ve got a tripod or some other way of balancing your iPhone, you can join in on posed photos, but you’ll probably need something else too: a camera timer. How do you set a timer in the iPhone’s camera app?

Related: How to use your Apple Watch as a camera remote


To set a timer on your iPhone camera:

  1. Open the Camera app and select Photo.
  2. Pull up slightly on the screen to reveal more camera options.
  3. Swipe through the new carousel to find the timer icon and tap it.
  4. Choose between 3 or 10 seconds, then tap the shutter button when you're ready. The countdown will begin.

How to set a timer on your iPhone camera

Setting a timer for an iPhone photo is functionally simple, it’s just that the button isn’t normally visible. You have to open a hidden menu, which Apple presumably tucked away in order to avoid cluttering the main camera interface. Use these steps:

  • When you open the Camera app, select Photo.
  • Do a quick swipe up on the viewfinder to reveal the hidden menu.
  • In the carousel that appears, swipe left until you see the timer icon, which looks like a clock. Tap it.
  • You’ll see two timer options, namely 3 and 10 seconds. Choose whichever one you want, but chances are you’ll need 10 seconds to get into position.
  • Tap the shutter button and the countdown will start.

Repeat the above process to disable a timer, simply selecting Timer Off instead. Thanks to the Swedish Chef for posing for pictures.

Read more: How to control the F Stop on your iPhone for perfect photos


No, at least not using Apple’s official camera app. You’re expected to edit out unwanted footage later, whether using the Photos app, iMovie, or something more professional.