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How to update a Shortcut on iOS

Shortcuts, much like apps on iOS, need to be updated. They do not update automatically like the apps on iOS do. In fact, unless you have a shortcut that needs to be updated, chances are you might not even know they go through versions like apps do. Here’s how you can update a shortcut on iOS.

Note: This article refers to the shortcuts that are created for the Shortcuts app and not to shortcuts that have been placed on the home screen of an iOS device via the Safari browser.

Update Shortcut on iOS

The problem with updating a Shortcut is not knowing when an update is required. There is no central source that you can follow to know when an update is available but, when you try to run the shortcut, it will tell you it needs to be updated.

Tap the ‘Update’ button when you’re prompted to update the shortcut, and you will be redirected to the source i.e., where you downloaded it from. Tap the ‘Get Shortcut’ button.

If the shortcut came from outside the Shortcuts gallery, you will need to allow it to be installed. Tap the ‘Add Untrusted Shortcut‘ option. You will get a second prompt telling you that a shortcut with the same name as the one you’re installing already exists. Go ahead and choose the ‘Replace’ option.

Alternatively, you do have an option to keep them both so it is up to you. If you think an updated version of the shortcut may not work on your device, you can choose to keep both so that you have something to fall back on.

Installing the update doesn’t take long. When you next run the shortcut, it will run without problems.

Why do shortcuts need to update?

Shortcuts are a set of instructions; they are small scripts that automate actions. They’re basically taking input from the user, and from other apps, editing it, and sending it to other apps, or just displaying it. Since apps tend to update, the shortcuts that rely on them need to be updated. The shortcuts that do not update eventually end up failing to work and again, you won’t know until you run the shortcut.

This is obviously a problem because Shortcuts are supposed to automate work and if they  stop working without warning, anything that relies on them will also suffer. Apple needs to add a simple way to know when a shortcut needs to be updated though it may be hard to update them all the way apps can be updated since they come from official and unofficial sources alike.

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