I've done a lot of research and it looks like the only way to run Apple iOS shortcuts is manually - i.e. you have to manually do the trigger - either by pressing a button, getting Siri to do it (by 'manually asking') or by (manually) getting another app to run it. I've yet to be able to get another app to run it automatically (yes, I'm sure this is to do with security/privacy implications, but if it's based on a shortcut that's only on my phone, then I'm happy with the security/privacy).

I've looked at getting IFTTT to run the trigger (which it can do - for example, based on my location, or based on the start of an event in my Google Calendar), however the 'most' I can then do is to get that trigger to run an IFTTT Rich Notification on my iPhone - yes I can then click on that notification pop-up (which launches a shortcut via shortcuts://open-shortcut?name=[name]), but that still relies on me clicking the shortcut.

A couple of people have run iOS shortcuts as the trigger for an IFTTT action, but I'm trying to do this the other way around.

So what I'd like to be able to do is this:

  • run an iOS shortcut when I leave a location
  • run it with no manual intervention
  • IS not possible to do it currently. Maybe in next upgrade ... Dreaming is free!
    – Zorkum
    Sep 27, 2018 at 7:45
  • 1
    OK, this is very hacky and won't work if you need the shortcut to run on the device you take with you, but... if you had a shortcut on a device at home with "hey siri" activated and a computer nearby, you could set up a say command in a cron job, or you could trigger it via IFTTT based on another device's location... ;)
    – hepcat72
    Apr 3, 2019 at 18:10
  • apple.stackexchange.com/a/368256/330972 This answer below seems to work for some users as of iOS 13.
    – anki
    Oct 6, 2019 at 12:13

9 Answers 9


Unfortunately this is not possible (yet). It's a known limitation of Shortcuts in its current 2.0 implementation.

Federico Viticci mentioned this in his (epic) iOS 12 review as something he'd like to see in the future:


  • And with iOS 13, soon it will now be possible. See macstories.net/news/… Jun 15, 2019 at 14:25
  • 1
    I rolled-back the edit with content: EDIT Now possible in iOS 13, see the answer by Exr0n. Every update must not prompt users to change all the old answers. Sets a bad precedent. This answer was correct in its time and acknowledged possible future changes, seems enough to me.
    – anki
    Oct 4, 2019 at 12:06

After updating to the iOS 13, you can open Shortcuts (it's now installed by default). On the bottom menu there is a tab called "Automations". There, you can set triggers to start actions, just like normal shortcuts.

There are both triggers for location or date/time related events.

  • In iOS 13.3, Time of Day and Arrive/Left couldn't run automatically still. Refer to this
    – Itachi
    Dec 27, 2019 at 3:21

I was looking for the same thing, but I believe that running shortcuts automatically without user interaction is not going to happen anytime soon in iOS.

Since I never really liked how the workarounds felt like, I solved this problem for myself and made an app called Pushcut that integrates push notifications with shortcuts.

You can run linked shortcut with one tap on a notification, or define multiple options as actions. Not "automatic in the background", but as close as you can get with iOS.

I use it mainly with my openHAB home automation and IFTTT webhooks - but it is quite versatile. I hope somebody else finds this useful too.

  • This is now possible in iOS 13! I would have agreed with this post when it was written though. Quite surprised Apple actually solved this.
    – Chris
    Jan 28, 2020 at 6:35

I guess the best for now is, that you can add your own shortcut as a reminder. Then when it appears on the screen just tap on it and it will execute whatever, but it still requires some interaction.



I was also trying to make the Shortcuts work without my manual input. I think due to security reasons Apple will not allow triggering Shortcuts without user action, though that's not specified in their iOS Security Guide. I've tried repeat and wait commands, but the shortcut stops execution if you turn off the screen.

There is a lot to do with Shortcuts app is it is, more integrations and apps to be added, stability and performance improvements required, so I think Apple will continue to work on the app itself and may add this feature much later.

  • Thanks - I agree it's probably "something to do with a perception of security", though I don't think that's a real issue if the user themselves grants that permission - e.g. if I grant "location awareness" on my phone on a continual basis, then I'm happy that can be used in a shortcut that only I and my phone can access, as no-one else can. Hmmm...
    – Steve
    Oct 3, 2018 at 12:28
  • It's unfortunate this is not allowed ... On Android, the "Tasker" app has been available since at least Android 2, which allows creating complex automated actions with no intervention. Something as simple as listening to an audiobook or podcast as an alarm is frustratingly impossible on iOS. I like my iPhone, but it's baffling & frustrating that so many simple things that are doable on other systems are impossible (eg, arranging home screen icons non-linearly), & things like control center were so long in coming & still inferior. Oct 3, 2018 at 15:01

Have you tried instead of this:


Do this:


  • 1
    Can you explain in more detail how this will solve the problem described in the question?
    – nohillside
    Oct 29, 2018 at 8:00
  • I think all this does is that it allows you to but this code into (for example) a browser to execute the shortcut - but it still relies upon some manual intervention somewhere
    – Steve
    Oct 29, 2018 at 8:22
  • The behavior is the same: tapping on notification opens IFTTT app, «redirects» to Shortcuts app and runs the workflow.
    – mu3
    Jan 15, 2019 at 0:31
  • Not what the OP was asking for
    – hepcat72
    Apr 3, 2019 at 18:04

Launch Center Pro allows you to set locations triggers for actions. Use the Workflow/Shortcuts Action to trigger a shortcut at a location or certain time. It’s not quite what you’re looking for as it still requires tapping a notification, but it might work for you in certain situations.


It appears that you can now trigger events when you leave or arrive or leave a location. Check the Shortcut gallery.

  • 1
    Unfortunately not in the way that I need. YES, there are location-aware shortcuts available in the gallery, but unfortunately they rely on you triggering them manually (e.g. if I want to have a "trigger when I'm at work" shortcut, then I need to manually start the shortcut at some time before when I arrive at work). Whereas I'm after an always-on shortcut that AUTOMATICALLY triggers whenever I get into a certain location.
    – Steve
    Sep 29, 2018 at 5:44

You can use an app called "launcher pro" that will trigger a shortcut based on location. So long as the location is setup within launcher pro.

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