Mastering the iOS Shortcuts App: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

It's a fast-moving era, and we're always looking to get things done in the shortest time possible. The Shortcuts app is a perfect addition to your iPhone to perform tasks quickly. Whether you need help to stay on top of your health or do chores around the house, the app has it all.

We've put together a beginner's guide to get you started with using the app. So, read on to learn how to download, use, edit, and share shortcuts.

How to Download and Set Up Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app usually comes pre-installed on your iOS device, but you may have accidentally uninstalled it to free up space at some point. So, if you want to download it, all you have to do is go to the App Store and search for it like you would with any other app.

Once it's on your iPhone, you can begin with downloading shortcuts, creating folders, and customizing as you go along.

Download:Shortcuts (Free)

Install Shortcuts From the Gallery

When you open the Shortcuts app, you will see three different tabs at the bottom: Shortcuts, Automation, and Gallery. If you want to browse and use the shortcuts available in the app, go to Gallery.

You will now see multiple sections that categorize the shortcuts, such as Photography or Work From Anywhere. You can swipe through these rows or tap See All next to the heading to look through the shortcuts.

Can't find what you're looking for? Just type a keyword or phrase in the Search bar at the top, and all the shortcuts matching it will appear. You can install some really handy iPhone shortcuts to help with everyday tasks.

To add a shortcut to your collection, tap on it and select Add Shortcut or Set Up Shortcut, depending on what appears. You will now see your added shortcut in the Shortcuts tab.

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Create Your Own Custom Shortcut

If you want a specific shortcut that isn't present in the Gallery section, you can create your own from scratch. Sure, it's not exactly easy, but you can follow our dedicated guide on making a shortcut on your iPhone to quickly get the hang of it.

To create a custom shortcut, here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Open the Shortcuts tab and press the plus (+) icon at the top right corner.
  2. Tap on New Shortcut at the top to add a name.
  3. Select Add Action in blue and create your workflow according to the options present.
  4. Press Done when you've finished adding actions.
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Your new shortcut will appear on the My Shortcuts and All Shortcuts pages. You can tap on the icon with three horizontal dots to change and edit your custom shortcut anytime you like.

Another way you can create a new shortcut is by long-pressing the Shortcuts app icon on your Home Screen and selecting Create Shortcut from the pop-up menu.

Create Folders for Your Shortcuts

When you begin adding and using multiple shortcuts, it's pretty easy for your Shortcuts tab to get disorganized and cluttered quickly. Fortunately, you can create folders to clean up the mess and find your shortcuts faster.

Folders are a feature in almost every app; you can use folders to organize notes on your iPhone or pictures in the Photos app. To create a folder in the Shortcuts app, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the Shortcuts tab. By default, you will see the All Shortcuts page in front of you.
  2. Click on Shortcuts in blue at the top-left corner of your screen to return to your folders page.
  3. Select the Folder icon at the top right corner.
  4. Type in a name and customize the icon as you wish.
  5. Press Add. Your folder will appear under Folders.

To move a shortcut to a folder, simply long-press on it and select Move from the context menu. You can change how you view shortcuts in a folder by tapping on the icon with four rectangles at the top and choosing between Grid and List.

Use Shortcuts to Automate Common Tasks

We've discussed the Shortcuts and Gallery tab already, but we still have the Automation tab left. When you open it, you will see the option to Create Personal Automation or Set Up Home Hub according to your need.

An automation, if you didn't know, is a type of shortcut that is activated automatically at a particular time or event, unlike a normal shortcut that needs to be launched manually through the app.

Personal Automation allows you to use shortcuts to perform tasks based on different events like time of the day, Low Power Mode, when leaving for work, or more. Tap on Create Personal Automation and use the prompts to make one that suits your needs.

You can do the same with Home Automation, but you should set up the Home app first. Feel free to read our beginner's guide to Shortcuts automation on iPhone if you need help along the way.

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Edit and Delete Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app allows you to edit a shortcut you've already created. Long-press on a shortcut and choose Edit from the context menu to bring up the editor, where you can edit the actions listed in your shortcut to alter the workflow as you like.

If you tap the name at the top, you'll see options like Rename, Choose Icon, Duplicate a shortcut, and Move. However, make sure you know what you're doing while altering the actions since this will change how the shortcut works.

Likewise, if you want to get rid of a shortcut, you can simply long-press on it and choose the Delete option from the same context menu. And when you get the confirmation prompt, tap on Delete Shortcut to delete it from all your iCloud devices.

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You can share your iOS shortcuts as an iCloud link or a file. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Long-press on a shortcut and select Share from the context menu.
  2. Now, tap on Options under the shortcut's name and choose between iCloud Link and File.
  3. Send it to whoever you'd like using the iPhone Share Sheet.
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The recipient can simply tap on the file or the iCloud link to install the shortcut on their device.

Make the Most of the iOS Shortcuts App

The Shortcuts app on the iPhone makes certain functions much more effortless, saves you lots of time, and is a handy tool for automating tasks. You can install preexisting shortcuts within seconds or create your own if you have the time and patience.

The app has a simple layout and is very easy to navigate. But if you end up installing too many shortcuts to perform various tasks on your iPhone, you can also create folders to keep all of them organized.

Mastering the iOS Shortcuts App: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

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