How to Use the Shortcuts App on iPhone or iPad

Introduction

The iPhone and iPad run on the iOS operating system. This is the main software that you see on the screen and operates your device. With version 12 of iOS, a new app was introduced called Shortcuts. This app lets you run your favorite tasks quicker and easier with a simple tap or by asking Siri.
iOS 12 is available on iPhone 5S and later, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 and later. On any device running this version of iOS you have to install the app yourself from the App Store.
On iOS 13, the app is already pre-installed and you no longer need to get it from the App Store. This version is available on iPhone 6S and later. Starting with this version all iPad lines got a new operating system called iPadOS that is derived from iOS but optimized for tablets which have much larger screens and other additional features. iPadOS 13 is available on iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro and iPad 5 and later.
This guide will show you how to use the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
Before You Begin:
iOS Logo.

1 Add Shortcut from Gallery

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
    Shortcuts App.
  2. Go to the Gallery tab at the bottom.
    Gallery tab icon on iOS.

Add Shortcuts from Your Apps

These are simple pre-defined Shortcuts that will trigger a task to be performed by an app on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Under the Shortcuts from Your Apps heading, tap any of the listed Shortcuts that have plus signs next to their name or tap See All or swipe left to show more shortcuts to choose from.
    Shortcuts from Apps and See All option highlighted in Shortcuts Gallery on iOS.
  2. Enter a Shortcut Name, which will be a voice command that Siri will listen to and execute the your chosen action, then tap Add to Siri to add the Shortcut to your collection.
    Shortcut Name field and Add to Siri button highlighted in Shortcut creation screen in iOS.

Add Shortcuts from Categories

These are pre-defined Shortcuts that will trigger one or more tasks to be performed on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Scroll up and down through the Gallery to browse through the existing categories and scroll left and right through the categories to find the Shortcut you'd like to add to your collection.
  2. Read the names and descriptions on the tiles to find out what each Shortcut will do then tap the Tile you'd like to use or tap See All to show more shortcuts to choose from within the same category.
    Shortcut tiles and See All option highlighted in Shortcuts Gallery on iOS.
  3. You'll be shown a brief summary of what the Shortcut will do. Tap Add Shortcut to continue.
    Add Shortcut highlighted on Shortcut creation screen in iOS.
  4. You may be asked to enter some additional details for the Shortcut to work properly. Enter the required information and tap Continue on each of these screens.
    Continue button highlighted on Shortcut configuration screen in iOS.
  5. Once you reach the last configuration screen tap Done to add the Shortcut.
    Done button highlighted on Shortcut configuration screen in iOS.

Search Shortcuts in the Gallery

An alternate way to find pre-defined Shortcuts is to search for keywords in the Gallery.

  • Tap in the Search Field at the top and enter any term that relates to the Shortcut you'd like to add to your collection.
    Search field highlighted in Gallery of Shortcuts app in iOS.

2 Create New Shortcut

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
    Shortcuts App.
  2. Tap Create Shortcut.
    Create Shortcut option highlighted in Shortcuts app on iOS.
  3. Tap Add Action to choose what you'd like the Shortcut to do.
    Add Action button highlighted in Shortcut creation screen on iOS.
  4. Once you've chosen all the actions your Shortcut should take, tap Next in the top right.
    Next option highlighted in Shortcut creation screen on iOS.
  5. Customize any final details such as naming the Shortcut, enabling or disabling extra features, allowing the Shortcut to access apps on your iPhone or iPad, and other details.
    Final customization screen for new Shortcut in iOS.
  6. Once you've customized everything the way you prefer, tap Done to create the Shortcut.
    Done option highlighted on final customization screen for new Shortcut in iOS.

3 Run Shortcuts

There are multiple ways to run your Shortcuts:

Ask Siri

  1. Say: "Hey Siri".
  2. Wait a moment for Siri to indicate she's listening, then ask her to run the Shortcut by name.

From the Home screen

  • If you have Shortcuts added to your Home screen, simply tap them to run.
  • If you have Shortcuts grouped into folders on your Home screen, tap the folder that contains them, then tap any one to run.
    Shortcuts grouped on Home screen in iOS.

From the Widget

  1. Swipe right from the left edge of the Home or Lock screen.
    Swipe method highlighted on Home screen of iOS.
  2. Tap the Shortcut you'd like to run from within the Shortcuts Widget.
    Shortcuts Widget highlighted on Today View of iOS.

From the Shortcuts app

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
    Shortcuts App.
  2. Tap the Shortcut you'd like to run from within your collection.
    Shortcuts collection on iOS.

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The iPhone and iPad run on the iOS operating system. This is the main software that you see on the screen and operates your device. With version 12 of iOS, a new app was introduced called Shortcuts. This app lets you run your favorite tasks quicker and easier with a simple tap or by asking Siri.
iOS 12 is available on iPhone 5S and later, iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 and later. On any device running this version of iOS you have to install the app yourself from the App Store.
On iOS 13, the app is already pre-installed and you no longer need to get it from the App Store. This version is available on iPhone 6S and later. Starting with this version all iPad lines got a new operating system called iPadOS that is derived from iOS but optimized for tablets which have much larger screens and other additional features. iPadOS 13 is available on iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro and iPad 5 and later.
This guide will show you how to use the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
Before You Begin:
iOS Logo.
  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
    Shortcuts App.
  2. Go to the Gallery tab at the bottom.
    Gallery tab icon on iOS.

Add Shortcuts from Your Apps

These are simple pre-defined Shortcuts that will trigger a task to be performed by an app on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Under the Shortcuts from Your Apps heading, tap any of the listed Shortcuts that have plus signs next to their name or tap See All or swipe left to show more shortcuts to choose from.
    Shortcuts from Apps and See All option highlighted in Shortcuts Gallery on iOS.
  2. Enter a Shortcut Name, which will be a voice command that Siri will listen to and execute the your chosen action, then tap Add to Siri to add the Shortcut to your collection.
    Shortcut Name field and Add to Siri button highlighted in Shortcut creation screen in iOS.

Add Shortcuts from Categories

These are pre-defined Shortcuts that will trigger one or more tasks to be performed on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Scroll up and down through the Gallery to browse through the existing categories and scroll left and right through the categories to find the Shortcut you'd like to add to your collection.
  2. Read the names and descriptions on the tiles to find out what each Shortcut will do then tap the Tile you'd like to use or tap See All to show more shortcuts to choose from within the same category.
    Shortcut tiles and See All option highlighted in Shortcuts Gallery on iOS.
  3. You'll be shown a brief summary of what the Shortcut will do. Tap Add Shortcut to continue.
    Add Shortcut highlighted on Shortcut creation screen in iOS.
  4. You may be asked to enter some additional details for the Shortcut to work properly. Enter the required information and tap Continue on each of these screens.
    Continue button highlighted on Shortcut configuration screen in iOS.
  5. Once you reach the last configuration screen tap Done to add the Shortcut.
    Done button highlighted on Shortcut configuration screen in iOS.

Search Shortcuts in the Gallery

An alternate way to find pre-defined Shortcuts is to search for keywords in the Gallery.

  • Tap in the Search Field at the top and enter any term that relates to the Shortcut you'd like to add to your collection.
    Search field highlighted in Gallery of Shortcuts app in iOS.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
    Shortcuts App.
  2. Tap Create Shortcut.
    Create Shortcut option highlighted in Shortcuts app on iOS.
  3. Tap Add Action to choose what you'd like the Shortcut to do.
    Add Action button highlighted in Shortcut creation screen on iOS.
  4. Once you've chosen all the actions your Shortcut should take, tap Next in the top right.
    Next option highlighted in Shortcut creation screen on iOS.
  5. Customize any final details such as naming the Shortcut, enabling or disabling extra features, allowing the Shortcut to access apps on your iPhone or iPad, and other details.
    Final customization screen for new Shortcut in iOS.
  6. Once you've customized everything the way you prefer, tap Done to create the Shortcut.
    Done option highlighted on final customization screen for new Shortcut in iOS.

There are multiple ways to run your Shortcuts:

Ask Siri

  1. Say: "Hey Siri".
  2. Wait a moment for Siri to indicate she's listening, then ask her to run the Shortcut by name.

From the Home screen

  • If you have Shortcuts added to your Home screen, simply tap them to run.
  • If you have Shortcuts grouped into folders on your Home screen, tap the folder that contains them, then tap any one to run.
    Shortcuts grouped on Home screen in iOS.

From the Widget

  1. Swipe right from the left edge of the Home or Lock screen.
    Swipe method highlighted on Home screen of iOS.
  2. Tap the Shortcut you'd like to run from within the Shortcuts Widget.
    Shortcuts Widget highlighted on Today View of iOS.

From the Shortcuts app

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
    Shortcuts App.
  2. Tap the Shortcut you'd like to run from within your collection.
    Shortcuts collection on iOS.
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