How to Add a Countdown Timer to OBS Studio

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add a custom countdown timer to OBS using simple step-by-step instructions. This tutorial will explain how to do this in the simplest way possible! To follow along with a video tutorial, click here.

Step 1: Download the OBS Countdown Timer

The first thing you will want to do is download a custom countdown timer for OBS Studio. For this tutorial, I’ll be using a specific countdown timer that you can download here to follow along!

Step 2: Adding the Countdown Timer file to OBS 

Once this is downloaded, you’re going to want to open up OBS Studio. With this open, you need to find where it says ‘Docks’ on your computer. 

OBS Docks
From here, go to where it says ‘Custom Browser Docks’ and start by naming your new dock ‘Countdown Timer’. Next, you’ll be asked for the URL. First, be sure to go into your file and unzip the countdown timer that we downloaded at the start of this tutorial. Once this is unzipped, find the file titled “Dock.html”, open this, and this will pop up a browser window like the one below.

Contdown Timer UrL
Copy the URL from the website that this opened up and head back to OBS Studio to paste it into the new dock that you had been creating. 

OBS Custom Docks URL
Once you have pasted this, click ‘Apply’ and then click ‘Close’. Now, you should see the countdown timer appear inside OBS Studio. 

OBS Studio Countdown Timer Plugin
With this here, you can now place the timer anywhere inside OBS Studio. Personally, I like to put it between the audio mixer and the scene transitions.

OBS Countdown Timer Setup

Step 3: Installing the Countdown Timer

Since you now have your countdown timer inside of OBS Studio, head to the bottom-left corner to ‘Sources’ to create the scene where the countdown timer will live. 

You want to be sure that the scene for which you’re creating a source is selected, then look back over to sources and click on the plus sign icon. Select ‘Browser’ from the list of source options, name this ‘Timer’, and then select ‘Okay’. 

Now you should be seeing a page titled ‘Properties for Timer’. 

OBS Browser Source URL
To find the URL, you’ll want to return to the timer's downloaded file and open ‘Browser.html’. Like earlier, this will pop up a website, and you just need to copy and paste the link from this website into OBS Studio. Also, as we did earlier, you’ll want to set the width to 1920 and the height to 1080.

After you press ‘Okay’, two zeros appear on your screen.

OBS Timer SEtup
This means that your countdown timer is fully installed, but now we need to set it up.

Step 4: Setting Up your Countdown Timer

If you go down to the countdown timer source that we’ve added to OBS Studio, you can now edit the minutes here so that they appear on your screen. For now, just try putting five minutes on your countdown timer. 

OBS Timer Plugin Setup
Once you alter this, on the screen that shows where your stream would be, you will find that this has also changed to show five minutes.

5 Minute Timer Plugin OBS
There is also the ability to include a message before the timer. If you want this display, all you need to do is enable this and write something along the lines of, “Stream Starting in…” You can also enable ‘Message After Time’ which would be a good place to write “minutes” if you want your screen to say “Stream Starting in 5:00 Minutes”. Typically, I leave the ‘Message After Time’ blank. Furthermore, you could set a ‘Message At Finish” to come up once the timer is completed. 

Once you’ve selected whichever ones of these you would like to use and have changed the text on them, we can now begin to customize the font and color of the timer. To do this, scroll to the bottom of the countdown timer and press ‘Settings’. Then, when you scroll back up, you’ll have those two customization options.

Timer Setup OBS
There are also more ‘Text Settings’ within this, allowing you to align the font. This being said, I’m going to explain to you an easier way to be able to change this. 

Go ahead and select ‘Settings’, and then go up to the stream window, click this, and then hold your alt or option key to resize this font easily. 

Timer TExt Setup OBS
You’re going to want to bring down these red edges to just fit around your font so that you do not end up with extra borders, and you have more freedom to move this around now.

Starting Stream TImer OBS
Now that the margins are corrected, you can move this wherever you want it on the screen. 

Step 5: Using the Timer

Using the timer is super easy. All you have to do is go down to the ‘Countdown Timer’ source window and press ‘Start’. To pause this, you press ‘Stop’, and whenever you hit ‘Start’, again, it will resume. If you need the timer to go back to zero, just press ‘Reset’. 

Step 6: Adding a Custom Countdown Timer Overlay

To help make the timer look more interesting and streamlined, you’re going to want to add a background. You can do this by having a ‘Countdown Timer Overlay’. One of the things that I like to do is have a custom countdown timer created using a template, and the easiest and best place to find these is

Here, you can find plenty of professional custom countdown timers ready to be used on OBS Studio. They come with a nice little animation and the countdown timer included. 

OBS Countdown Timers from Stream Designz
I recommend purchasing one of these for your stream. Making an investment in this is investing in your stream will only help you to attract more followers, subscribers, and donations. Your stream will be taken to a new level by utilizing!

Once you’ve chosen a custom countdown timer overlay, go back to the bottom-left corner to ‘Sources’ and click the plus sign icon. From here, select ‘Media Source’, name this ‘Countdown Timer’, select ‘Okay’, and locate the file you downloaded for your timer overlay. 

When you have located the file, click on it, hit ‘Open’, and be sure to select ‘Loop’.

Loop Countdown Timer in OBS
Press ‘Okay’, and then you’ll see the overlay appear! You don’t have to download any other apps to be able to include this, and you can use this prebuilt countdown timer now. 

Just like that, you’ve learned how to manage all the settings and things you need to know to add a custom countdown timer to your stream on OBS Studio. There is, of course, more that you need to do to get your stream to look professional and sleek, but this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction!




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