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How I fixed the silent timer in Google Clock

The timer in Google Clock didn’t go off when the timer ran out. There was no alarm or notification buzz when I needed it. I’m posting this here in case this happens to anyone else because this was happening to me for a long time. I use the timer on my phone a lot, especially when doing a little cooking:

  • Put Y on at 200C in the oven.
  • Everything done at 50 minutes.
  • Put X in the oven at 40 minute mark.
  • Bring water to the boil at 15 minute mark.
  • Boil some veg..

You get the idea. It’s nothing revolutionary and it worked for years. In the last year or so I found that the timer would not make a sound unless I unlocked the phone and the screen was on.

I searched in vain for a solution. Most search results suggested clearing app data or resetting the phone. Clearing app data did nothing and I did not fancy setting up my phone again.

Until finally, I found a fix on Reddit. Optimize Battery Usage was the culprit. The operating system was turning off the alarm as it put the clock app to sleep when the phone screen turned off. Here’s how to fix it (pre-Android 12):

  1. Go to settings -> Apps.
  2. Tap the 3 dots, then “Special access”.
  3. Optimize battery usage.
  4. Change the filter to all, find Google Clock, and uncheck it.

In One UI 4, Android 12 things changed a bit:

  1. Go to Settings -> Apps.
  2. Look for Google Clock and open the settings for it.
  3. Tap on Battery.
  4. Change that setting from Optimized to Unrestricted.

The Samsung Clock app worked all this time but setting a timer is horrendous. You have to flick hour/minute/second rollers up and down instead of tapping the numbers I wanted.

I may have “optimized” the Clock app myself by accident but I don’t remember doing that. Other people have had this problem too so it’s not an isolated issue.

I bet this will help someone else. I did a little dance when the timer started working again.

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

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