I recently upgraded an iPhone from iOS 9.3 to iOS 11.1. Then I had to upgrade all the installed applications (about 60).

A few weeks later, when I needed to write I typed my old defined shortcut which is: m ^2. It failed i.e. I got exactly what I typed: m ^2.

I opened Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement and discovered it is completly empty. From memory I had defined about 50 of these practical shortcuts.

Other technical details in relation with long discussions on this topic:

  • this iPhone isn't jail broken,
  • this iPhone isn't saving anything on iCloud,
  • I only sync from my Mac toward my iPhone (Contacts, Calendars, Music).

Update 27/08/2018

The same problem detected without any upgrade (I am still on iOS 11.1) but after an activation of iCloud.

Did anyone experience the same problem?

Does anyone have a hint of where might be the origin of this bug?

  • 1
    Do you sync to your Mac? I’ve known one to overwrite the other... usually recoverable from there
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 17:24
  • Yes I do. I appreciate your hint 😊. I will investigate this way and update my OQ.
    – dan
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 11:01

2 Answers 2


I might just guess why you have this problem. iCloud Core Data was used before CloudKit and it was absolutely unreliable for syncing among your devices. Shortcuts you created on iPad did not appear to be on you iPhone. From iOS 11 I suppose they started using CloudKit that is very efficient with syncing all your data. So you could just create all your shortcuts once again knowing it should be the last time you do so

  • I am not using iCloud: I find already complex enough to manage a correct synchronization between 2 actors, with enough sources of failure. No need for me to add a third actor.
    – dan
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 17:18

I found a method to recover my shortcuts in less than one hour:

  1. I made a full backup of my iPhone on its hosting Mac (through USB). I will call it the fresh backup.
  2. Within iTunes I opened Preferences > Devices and by stopping my mouse on each of my backups, thus getting a lot more information, I identified the last one on iOS version 9.3 . I will call it the old backup.
  3. I restored this old backup version.
  4. Upon restarting my iPhone, all my shortcuts were defined back, but at the same time I lost a few weeks of SMS, messages, meetings, contacts, applications, applications modifications…
  5. Then I made a restore of the fresh backup I made at step 1, and all my shortcuts stayed as they were recovered at step 3, and all my last SMS, messages, meetings, contacts, applications, application modifications… were restored to their last state.
  • Clever and interesting workaround; I'll have to keep this one in the mental notebook.. Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 22:03
  • Unfortunately I have to use it once more, and I will add if it is solid enough.
    – dan
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 22:05
  • 1
    Second succesful run. I checked and improved my answer.
    – dan
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 9:26

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