How to Use the Shortcuts App on iPhone and iPad

Shortcuts app is Apple’s fitting answer to IFTTT (If This Then That) app. It comes pre-installed on your iOS device and helps to get complicated tasks done with apps or justing by giving Siri a command. It makes you more productive by opening the possibility to get things done that are not supported by iOS. So let me guide you on how to use Shortcuts App on your iPhone or iPad.

What is Shortcuts App?

According to Apple, an action is ‘the building block of a shortcut.’ That is, it is a single step in a task. One or more actions combine to make a shortcut.

A shortcut is ‘a quick way to get one or more tasks done with your apps.’ Shortcuts can interact with installed apps and content on your iPhone as well as with data and services on the internet. Using this, it lets you perform several kinds of tasks quickly and effectively.

Where Can I Find Shortcuts on iPhone?

Unlike apps on iOS devices, you are not limited. You can use ‘curated collection of creative and useful shortcuts’ from Apple or even get them from elsewhere. Take a look.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app and tap on Gallery.
  2. Here you will see several shortcuts. They are under headings such as Shortcuts from Your Apps, Essentials, Morning routine, Quick Shortcuts, Featured, etc. Tap on See All to view more from that category.open shortcuts app tap on gallery and tap on see all on iphone
  3. Tap on a shortcut. Next, tap on Add Shortcut. The shortcut is added, and you can find it under My Shortcuts.tap on shortcut and tap on add shortcut from gallery on iphone

Note: In the step above, tap on [number] actions to see how it works. Also, some shortcuts, like one that reminds you at work, will ask you to input your work address. Fill it and tap Continue.

How to Add a Shortcut from Websites

You can find many helpful shortcuts on the internet. However, make sure you use only trusted ones and not start installing everything that comes your way. Before you get them, you will have to allow the permission to add untrusted shortcuts from the settings app.

We have a list of the best Siri shortcuts that you check out. Tap on one and then tap Add Untrusted Shortcut. You can also find these on Shortcuts Subreddit, Shortcuts Gallery.com, etc.

Share And Receive Shortcuts

It is effortless to share the shortcuts from your iPhone or iPad to one belonging to somebody else. To do this, open the Shortcuts app, tap on My Shortcuts. Finally, long-press on a shortcut and choose Share.long press on shortcut in my shortcuts tab and tap on share in shortcuts app

You may also tap on the More icon (three dots) in the upper-right of a shortcut. On the next screen, tap on the share icon and choose an option like AirDrop from the Share Sheet.

tap on more on shortcut in my shortcuts tab and tap on share and select airdrop

How to Create a New Shortcut on iPhone

In the steps below, I am making a simple shortcut that lets me quickly record a voice message and send it to my editor via Message.

While Creating: Tap the curved arrow to undo or redo. Use on the triangle play button to test your shortcut. Tap on the cross (x) to delete an action. Press and hold and then drag an action up or down to rearrange it.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app and tap on My Shortcuts.
  2. Tap on Create Shortcut. Or tap on the plus icon from the top-right.
  3. Tap on Add Action or use the search bar.
  4. Since I have to record audio, I tap on Media. You can choose one of the several options there.tap on plus in my shortcuts tab tap on add action and select option on iphone
  5. Tap on Record Audio. Optionally, tap on Show More to customize.
  6. Next, I need to add the Share via Message option. To do this, first tap on cross to close the Media section. Next, tap on the plus icon.tap on record audio and tap on close then tap on plus
  7. Tap on Sharing and then tap on Send Message.
    The shortcut is basically built. If I run it now, it will ask me to record a voice note and once I stop the recording, it will automatically open the Message send option. There I will have to type the name or number of the person. But since I am making this shortcut to send it to just one person, I need to make one change.
  8. Tap on Recipients.tap on sharing send message and tap on recipients
  9. Next, I search for my editor’s contact and tap on it. Tap Done. My desired shortcut is almost complete now.choose recipients and tap on done on iphone
  10. Tap on Next and enter the shortcut name. Finally, tap Done!tap on next give name and tap on done to create new shortcut on iphone

The shortcut is built and available under My Shortcuts! To run it, tap on it.

Shortcuts can get very complicated with dozens of actions. Once you begin and learn on the way, you can start creating all kinds of these.

Next, let me show you how to customize the shortcut. You could have done these even while creating them by tapping on the More icon.

How to Edit or Customize a Shortcut

You can edit and customize any shortcut with a unique icon, change its name, show it in the iOS Share Sheet, etc. Here is how.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app and tap on My Shortcuts.
  2. Tap on the More icon (three dots) in the upper right of a shortcut.
  3. Tap on the More icon next to the shortcut name. Here you have multiple self-explanatory options. Let us know more about them.tap on more on shortcut in my shortcuts tap and again tap on more to customize shortcut on iphone
    • To change the color and symbols of the shortcut icon: Tap on the current icon. Next, choose a color. Tap Glyph to use various objects, people, and symbols. Tap Done → Done.change color of shortcut icon on iphonechange symbol of shortcut icon on iphone
    • To rename the shortcut: Tap on its current name. Next, type the desired new name and tap on Done → Done.rename shortcut on iphone
    • Tap on Add to Home Screen. This will let you run the shortcut quickly from the iPhone Home Screen. It eliminates the need to open the Shortcuts app to run it.
    • To show in the iOS Share Sheet and Widget: Enable their toggles.enable show in share sheet to view shortcut in share sheet on iphone
    • Here you can change the shortcut access permissions as well.

How to Run a Shortcut

You can run a short by launching the Shortcuts app → My Shortcuts → Finally, tap on a shortcut to run it. While customizing, you can also enable Show in Widget and then add the widget for Shortcuts to the Today View. Finally, you can also run them by using Siri or tapping on the icon after adding them to the Home Screen.

How to Delete a Shortcut

  1. Open the Shortcuts app → My Shortcuts.
  2. Long press on a shortcut.
  3. Tap on Delete and confirm.delete shortcut from shortcuts app on iphone

Signing off…

This is how you can start using the Shortcuts app on your iPhone and iPad. Once you create a few of these, you will get the hang of it and how they work. After that, you can make your complex shortcuts or even edit/tweak the ones you get from elsewhere!

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I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.