How to Automatically Launch Shortcuts When You Open an App On iPhone or iPad

Shortcuts notification telling the user that an automation is running
Khamosh Pathak

Shortcuts, the built-in automation app on iPhone and iPad, gained new automation features in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. Now, you can automatically launch a shortcut every time you open an app. Here’s how to set it up.

You can use the new Automations section in Shortcuts to trigger automation in many different ways, ranging from Near Field Communication “NFC” to location.

RELATED: How to Create Automations on an iPhone or iPad

In this guide, we’re going to focus on the app launch automation. This feature can be useful in a couple of different ways. You can set up a shortcut to automatically engage Do Not Disturb mode when you open your favorite game or start playing music when you open the Music app. There’s a lot that you can do here.

Let’s learn using the Do Not Disturb mode example. (You can also create shortcuts to directly open any Settings page.)

Open the preinstalled “Shortcuts” app on your iPhone or iPad, and go to the “Automation” tab. Use Spotlight Search if you can’t find the app on your Apple device.

Tap on Automation tab in Shortcuts

If this is your first time creating an automation, tap the “Create Personal Automation” icon, or select the Plus (+) icon found at the top of the window to get to the same screen.

Tap on Create Personal Automation

From the list of automations, scroll down, and tap the “Open App” option.

Tap Open App option

Now, tap the “Choose” button next to the “App” option.

Tap the Choose button

Here, search for and select the app you want to use. Then, tap the “Done” button.

Choose the app and tap the Done button

From the next screen, tap the “Next” button.

Tap Next after confirming app

Now it’s time to add actions. In this example, we’ll be adding the Do Not Disturb mode toggle, but you can search and add any action you like. Tap the “Add Action” button to get started.

Tap the Add Action button

You can browse all available actions, or you can search for the “Set Do Not Disturb” option. Once you find the item, tap to select it.

Choose action to add

The action will be added to your shortcut. Tap the “Off” button to configure the Do Not Disturb action.

Tap on Off button next to Do Not Disturb

Now, select the “Next” button from the top-right corner.

Tap on Next button after adding action

Your automation is ready. Tap the toggle next to “Ask Before Running” to make this a real automation (or else you’ll only see a notification from which you can enable the shortcut).

Tap on toggle next to Ask Before Running

To confirm, tap the “Don’t Ask” button.

Tap on Don't Ask button

Finally, tap the “Done” button to save and enable the automation.

Tap on Done from edit automation screen

When you open the app that you choose earlier in the setup process, you’ll receive a notification saying that the Shortcuts app is running your automation.

Shortcuts notification saying that automation is running

New to Shortcuts? Here’s how to use the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.

RELATED: What Are iPhone Shortcuts and How Do I Use Them?

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