14 Ways to fix Shortcuts not working on iPhone

On the iPhone, shortcuts are a potent tool that can automate routine actions and save you time. However, occasionally you could run into a problem where Siri commands are ignored or iOS shortcuts don’t run immediately. Not to worry! I’ll discuss some of the greatest fixes for your iPhone’s Shortcuts not working in this blog.

1. Force stop Shortcuts app

Your iPhone automations may stop suddenly if there is not much free RAM space. Therefore, close apps, including Shortcuts, from running in the background.

To force stop the app, swipe up on the Shortcuts app from the app drawer.

Force quit WhatsApp and relaunch 

Open the Shortcut app again after 10 seconds and try running any task.

2. Refresh Siri settings

If your Siri Shortcuts commands are not responding, cross-check your Siri settings.

  1. Open Settings  Siri & Search.
  2. Toggle off these three buttons:
    • Listen for “Hey Siri”
    • Press Side button for Siri
    • Allow Siri When Locked. 
  3. Wait for a few seconds and turn them on again.

    Tap Siri and search, toggle on the first three options in the settings app

You may also restart your iPhone before switching on the settings. Besides, check if other options are enabled for the Shortcuts app. 

3. Add “Wait to Return” 

The Wait to Return script pauses the shortcut execution until you return to the app again. It’s helpful if you want to halt the actions of Shortcuts while not in use and you often use them. Also, it optimizes your iPhone’s battery.

  1. Go to the Shortcuts app → Tap the three dots icon on the shortcut tile.
  2. Tap the search bar below.

    Tap the three-dot icon, search for apps and action in the shortcut app
  3. Enter Wait to Return and select it.
  4. Tap Done.

    Search for wait to return, select the same, tap done in the shortcuts app

4. Check the Shortcut source

Every Shortcut is meant to operate differently and runs from specific apps. Few shortcuts work from the Shortcut app, whereas some are accessible only from the Share Sheet. Sometimes a shortcut appears on Share Sheet but operates only from the assigned app. Therefore, try running it elsewhere if a particular iPhone automation is not working.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app.
  2. Tap Shortcuts from the top left.
  3. Select Share Sheet to check which shortcuts can run from there. 

    Tap shortcuts, sharesheet in the shortcuts app

If your desired shortcut is not available on the Share Sheet, follow the steps below:

  1. In the Shortcuts app, tap on the three-dot icon of the desired shortcut.
  2. Tap the info icon to open details.
  3. Toggle on Show in Share Sheet → Select Done.

    Tap the three-dot icon, the info button, enable show in share sheet and done in the shortcuts app

5. Enable Shortcut for the locked screen

If you face iOS 16 Shortcuts not working while your iPhone is locked, do the following:

  1. Tap the three-dot icon of a shortcut that you’re using.
  2. Tap the info button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Go to the Privacy tab.
  4. Toggle on Allow Running When Locked.  

    Tap the three-dot icon, info button, privacy and allow running when locked in shortcut app

6. Use official Shortcuts 

Third-party shortcuts downloaded from the web can be buggy or broken and not function as required. So, I recommend using shortcuts from the app library

  1. Open the Shortcuts app → Go to Gallery.
  2. Search for the required automation.
  3. Choose a Shortcut → Tap Add Shortcut
    In some cases, you might have to Set Up Shortcut.

    Access gallery, search and select a shortcut, tap add shortcut in the shortcuts app
  4. Try running the shortcut. 

7. Allow untrusted sources

If the required iPhone automation is not available in the Gallery, you must download it from the internet. Apple does not, however, permit the execution of third-party scripts for security reasons. To use shortcuts you’ve added from other locations on your iPhone, you must allow untrusted shortcuts.

8. Verify Shortcut steps 

A shortcut may occasionally abruptly stop working in the middle of its execution or fail to deliver the intended result. The script can be lacking actions in this situation. To achieve the required outcomes, you must therefore review the script’s steps and modify the shortcut. However, use caution because the internal workings are rather intricate and even the smallest modifications can have an impact on functionality.

  1. Tap the three dots icon on the shortcut tile.
  2. Thoroughly check the list of actions to find and correct the problem.
  3. After making the required changes, tap the play icon

    Press the three-dot icon, make necessary changes and play the shortcut in the shortcuts app

For instance, make sure the Save action is added at the end if a shortcut just produces media. If a shortcut initially works but fails to save the finished document, it will be fixed. Similarly, if pressing a shortcut doesn’t seem to do anything, make sure “If there’s no input” is set to “Ask For.”

9. Delete and re-setup Shortcut

There is a problem with those specific Siri Shortcuts if some of them work fine while others are giving you issues. By deleting the damaged shortcut and creating a new version, you can resolve the Shortcuts app’s problem with not working.

  1. Open the Shortcuts app → tap Edit.
  2. Select the shortcut you want to delete.
  3. Tap Delete → Delete Shortcut.

    Tap edit, select a shortcut and press delete, tap delete shortcut in the shortcuts app

Now, to add the shortcut again, go to Gallery → search and choose the shortcut → tap Add Shortcut.

10. Delete iCloud data

Your iCloud stores the downloaded shortcuts on your iPhone. But if the Shortcuts app can’t retrieve the cloud data correctly, it may stop working. So, I suggest deleting existing iCloud data for the Shortcuts app and 

  1. Go to Settings → Tap your Apple ID. 
  2. Select iCloud.
  3. Tap Manage Account Storage.

    Access your Apple ID, iCloud, manage account storage in the settings app (1)
  4. Choose Shortcuts
  5. Tap Delete Data → Delete.

    Tap shortcuts, delete data and delete in the settings app (1)

11. Delete old Shortcuts and automations

Your obsolete installed shortcuts could occasionally be out of date, and any activities associated to closed or old applications won’t work. You may occasionally receive a message stating the reason. So, look for a different option. In addition, it could be advantageous to get away of outdated personal automation.

12. Clear iPhone storage

You can experience several annoyances, including broken shortcuts if your iPhone is short on free space. Therefore, free up space on your iPhone to ensure that automation runs well.

13. Remove the Shortcuts app

Uninstall and reinstall the Shortcuts app to iron out bugs and glitches. First, sync shortcuts with your iCloud. After that, delete the app from your iPhone and then download it from the App Store. Once installation is done, go to Settings → your name → iCloud, and toggle Shortcuts on and off

14. Basic fixes for Shortcuts not working on iPhone

  • Check your internet: Running some shortcuts requires an internet connection, so ensure you have strong cellular or Wi-Fi network.   
  • Offload and reinstall the app: If the Shortcuts app data is corrupted or has accumulated a large amount of memory, offload the app. Then install it from the App Store.  
  • Restart your iPhone: Apple suggests restarting iPhone to solve minor software bugs and temporary glitches.
  • Update iPhone: Using outdated iOS can cause malfunctions. Therefore, regularly update your iPhone. Go to Settings → General → Software Update. Tap Download & Install to get the latest software version.
  • Restore your iPhone: Siri Shortcuts not working might result from a clashing of multiple iPhone settings. So, factory reset your iPhone to get back to the default settings.

FAQ

Why are iPhone Shortcuts not working?

If the iOS 16 shortcuts aren’t launching automatically, there are a variety of possible causes. The Shortcuts app probably only has a little bug or in-app issue. Additionally, outdated or malfunctioning shortcuts might not work as needed. Additionally, outdated software makes it impossible for your iPhone automations to function properly.

Get back your productivity!

On an iPhone, shortcuts are a wonderful feature that may simplify your life by automating tasks and saving you time. However, when they break down and interfere with your regular activities, it can be frustrating. I’m hoping the troubleshooting advice listed above may assist you in resolving the issue and reactivating your shortcuts.

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