The 7 easiest ways to make a countdown timer for live streams

Are you using a countdown timer on your live streams? They can make your live broadcasts look more professional. Explore all the best ways to use countdown timers and how to set them up.
Countdown timer for live streams

Make your live streams look more professional and engaging for viewers by adding a countdown timer. It’s easy to make a timer for your broadcasts, especially if you use a streaming solution like Restream Studio. This guide describes seven ways to add a countdown timer to your live video.

Why use a countdown timer for live videos?

A countdown timer is a virtual timer that counts down the beginning of a live broadcast. It lets viewers know how many seconds, minutes or hours they have before the live stream starts. A countdown timer makes your broadcast seem more professional and helps get your viewers excited to watch your stream.
Live stream countdown timers are popular because they work for all types of live streams. Whether you’re streaming Call of Duty or an educational webinar, you can make your stream look better with a countdown.

Some reasons live video content creators use virtual countdown timers include:

  • They build anticipation for your audience members and get them excited to see your stream.
  • They increase the production value of your live broadcast.
  • They give your followers or subscribers time to head to your stream after receiving the notification that you’re live.
  • They let you reinforce your branding, if you customize your timer.
  • They give you a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself before the broadcast starts.

How do you add a countdown timer to a live stream?

There are several ways to add a countdown timer to your live stream. You can make your own timer with your coding skills or you can use an app to make one for you. Here are seven ways to add a countdown timer to your live stream (starting with the easiest!).

1. Restream Studio

The easiest way to create a live video with a professional-looking virtual countdown clock is with Restream Studio. Our browser-based live streaming studio has a collection of several ready-to-use countdown timers that you can add to your stream with one click — and they’re free to use.

Restream Studio countdown timers collection

With Restream Studio, you can add other customizations to your broadcast, such as graphics, logos, overlays, backgrounds and other pre-roll and b-roll videos. You can even invite guests to your stream with a simple link and multistream to several platforms simultaneously.

2. Web-based timers

Another way to add a countdown timer is to use a website like, or You can set the duration for a timer and even change fonts, backgrounds and colors. When you want to display your timer on your live stream, you pull it up in your web browser and share your screen on your stream.

3. Countdown timer apps

You can download countdown timer apps for your smartphone or computer, such as Countdown Star, Final Countdown or TimeLeft. These apps usually have more customization options than web-based timers.

4. Presentation software

You can create a countdown timer using PowerPoint or Keynote. You insert a text box or shape on your slide, then use a macro or a script to decrease the displayed number every second. Save your presentation as a slideshow and then share it on your stream to have a countdown timer.

5. Program it yourself

If you have the skills, you can create a countdown timer using JavaScript, HTML or CSS. You’ll need to write a script that calculates the time remaining until your target date and time (i.e., when your stream starts) and then update the displayed time every second. You can also change the appearance and functionality of your countdown timer.

6. Live streaming software

Restream’s live streaming software is the easiest way to add a countdown timer, but you can also use other software like OBS Studio, XSplit or vMix to create a countdown timer for your stream. Some of these software have a built-in tool. For the ones that don’t, you can add your timer as a text source and then use a script or plug-in to display your countdown. You can usually customize your timer to match your branding.

Pro tip: If you’re using streaming software like OBS to go live, try maximizing your reach by multistreaming with Restream. You simply add Restream to OBS, select your streaming destinations and then broadcast to all your favorite streaming platforms.

7. Video editing software

Create a countdown timer in a pre-recorded video using software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or DaVinci Resolve. You add a text layer, keyframe the countdown numbers and adjust the timing to create a smooth countdown animation. Most of these software also have countdown timer templates you can use and customize.


How do I add a countdown timer to Facebook Live?

The easiest way to add a countdown timer to your Facebook live stream is with Restream Studio. When you go live with Restream’s browser-based live streaming studio, you can choose from several options for countdown timers, in a variety of styles. You can start the timer with one click.

How do I display a countdown timer on OBS?

To add a countdown timer to your live stream with OBS Studio, you will need to add a text source and then insert a timer as a script or plug-in. There are several OBS plug-ins available that let you create a countdown timer and display it on your stream.

How do I insert a countdown timer?

To insert a countdown timer on your live stream, you can choose one of several ways. If you have coding skills, you can program a countdown timer yourself with JavaScript, HTML or CSS. You can also use a live streaming software that has countdown timers built-in, such as Restream Studio.


Add a professional touch to your live video by incorporating a countdown timer. Not only does it give your viewers time to settle in for your stream, but it also gives you a chance to get ready too. With Restream Studio, you can easily add a countdown timer to your stream and create beautiful live videos with your branding.

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