How to Implement a Countdown Timer in iOS Apps

Countdown timers are a common feature in iOS apps, used for various purposes like games, quizzes, cooking apps, and more. Implementing a countdown timer involves handling time, updating the user interface, and managing user interactions. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to create a countdown timer in your iOS app using Swift.

Step 1: Set Up Your Xcode Project

  1. Launch Xcode and create a new project or open an existing one.
  2. Design the user interface as needed. You may want to include a label to display the timer, start and stop buttons, and any other relevant UI elements.

Step 2: Create Outlets and Actions

  1. Open the ViewController.swift file.
  2. Create outlets for UI elements like the label, start button, and stop button. For example:
@IBOutlet weak var timerLabel: UILabel!
@IBOutlet weak var startButton: UIButton!
@IBOutlet weak var stopButton: UIButton!

Create actions for the start and stop buttons. These actions will be called when the buttons are pressed.

@IBAction func startButtonTapped(_ sender: UIButton) {
    // Implement the start button action

@IBAction func stopButtonTapped(_ sender: UIButton) {
    // Implement the stop button action

Step 3: Implement the Countdown Timer

Declare timer-related properties in your ViewController class:

var countdownTimer: Timer?
var totalTime = 60 // Set the initial total time (in seconds)

Inside the startButtonTapped function, start the timer:

func startButtonTapped(_ sender: UIButton) {
    // Invalidate any existing timer

    // Create a new timer
    countdownTimer = Timer.scheduledTimer(withTimeInterval: 1, repeats: true) { timer in
        if self.totalTime > 0 {
            self.totalTime -= 1
            self.timerLabel.text = "\(self.totalTime)"
        } else {
            // Timer has reached zero, perform the desired action
            self.timerLabel.text = "Time's up!"

In the stopButtonTapped function, stop the timer:

func stopButtonTapped(_ sender: UIButton) {

You can further customize the timer behavior, such as displaying minutes and seconds, adding sound effects, or performing actions when the timer reaches zero.

Step 4: Test Your Countdown Timer

  1. Build and run your app in the Xcode simulator or on a physical iOS device.
  2. Press the “Start” button to begin the countdown.
  3. Press the “Stop” button to pause the timer.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully implemented a countdown timer in your iOS app. Feel free to customize it to suit your app’s specific requirements.


Countdown timers are a valuable addition to many iOS apps, enhancing user engagement and interactivity. By following these steps, you can create a functional countdown timer that serves various purposes in your app. Remember to test your timer thoroughly and consider additional features to make it even more user-friendly and appealing.

Happy coding!

A pat on the back !!