Shortcuts automations running on an Apple Watch
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

Love using Shortcuts automations on your iPhone? The Shortcuts app on the Apple Watch lets you trigger shortcuts directly from the wrist. And as the shortcuts run on the Watch itself, there’s no need to touch your iPhone.

Apple Watch users who are running watchOS 7 and higher can access the Shortcuts app on their wearable. This works seamlessly with the Shortcuts app on the iPhone.

The Shortcuts app automatically categorizes shortcuts that can work on the Apple Watch and makes it available on your wrist. This means you won’t need to create separate shortcuts just for your Apple Watch.

Shortcuts can be triggered from both the Shortcuts app and from watch face complications. But if you trigger the shortcut from the watch face, you need to first confirm by taping a “Run” button.

View and Manage Apple Watch Shortcuts on iPhone

You can find all Apple Watch-supported shortcuts in a separate folder in your Shortcuts library. To access this, open the “Shortcuts” app on your iPhone. You can do this easily using the Spotlight search feature. Swipe down on your home screen, search for the Shortcuts app, and select it.

Open Shortcuts App Using Spotlight on iPhone

Now, go to the “My Shortcuts” tab.

Go to My Shortcuts Tab

Here, tap the “Shortcuts” button in the top-left corner.

Tap Shortcuts Button from My Shortcuts Tab

Choose the “Apple Watch” folder.

Tap Apple Watch Folder

You’ll see all the Apple Watch-compatible shortcuts here.

Apple Watch Shortcuts

If you have dozens of Shortcuts, you’ll find that most of them are supported on Apple Watch. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to remove shortcuts from the Apple Watch folder.

RELATED: How to Open Apps, Websites, and Shortcuts from Search on iPhone and iPad

Simply tap the “Select” button from the top.

Tap Select from Apple Watch section

Then tap the shortcuts that you want to remove and tap the “Remove” button from the bottom toolbar.

Select Shortcuts and tap Remove

Now, tap the “Done” button to save changes.

Tap Done to Exit Editing Mode

Adding an iPhone shortcut to the Apple Watch is also quite straightforward.

Go to the “My Shortcuts” tab and find the shortcut you want to add to your Apple Watch. Then tap the three-dot menu button from the top-right corner of the shortcut.

Here, tap the three-dot menu button again from the top-right corner.

Tap Menu Button from Shortcut Editing View

Tap the toggle next to the “Show on Apple Watch” option.

Tap on Toggle Next to Show on Apple Watch

You can now tap the “Done” button to save the option.

Tap Done button from Shortcuts Menu

And again, tap the “Done” button from the shortcut to save it.

Tap Done button to Save Shortcut

Trigger Shortcuts on Apple Watch

Now that you know which shortcuts are available on the Apple Watch, it’s time to actually use them. This can be done using the Shortcuts app.

On your Apple Watch, press the Digital Crown to view the Apps screen. Now, open the “Shortcuts” app.

Open Shortcuts App on Apple Watch

You’ll now see a simple list of all your shortcuts. Use the Digital Crown to scroll through the list. Simply tap a shortcut to run it.

Run Shortcut from Shortcuts app on Apple Watch

If the shortcut is simple, and it doesn’t require any input, it will run automatically. If it does require an input, you’ll be prompted to make the selection in the Shortcuts app itself.

And that’s how simple it is to trigger shortcuts from the Apple Watch.

Trigger Shortcuts from a Watch Face

The Shortcuts app is quite simple, but there’s an even faster way to trigger shortcuts. And that’s using the watch face complication. Thanks to the new complication framework, you can add multiple complications from the same app to the watch face.

This means you can create a watch face with up to eight shortcuts (using the Infograph watch face).

To add a shortcut (or the Shortcuts app) as a complication, tap and hold the watch face and then tap the “Edit” button.

Swipe left to go to the “Complications” section and select the complication you want to change.

Edit Watch Face and Complication on Apple Watch

Use the Digital Crown to scroll through the list. Here, find the “Shortcuts” section. You’ll now see the first three available shortcuts here. Tap the “Move” button to see all available shortcuts.

Now, you can choose a particular shortcut that you want to add to the watch face. To create a complication for the Shortcuts app itself, go to the bottom of this list and choose the “Shortcuts” option.

Choose A Shortcut or Tap More

You can repeat this process to add other complications. Once you’re done, press the Digital Crown twice to go back to the watch face.

Press the Digital Crown to Save Watch Face

To trigger the shortcut, simply tap the shortcut from the watch face. Then, tap the “Run” button to run the shortcut.

Run Shorcut from Watch Face

Like using different watch faces throughout the day? Here’s how you can use the Automation feature in Shortcuts to automatically switch watch faces on your Apple Watch based on the time of the day.

RELATED: How to Automatically Change Your Apple Watch Face During the Day

Profile Photo for Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
Read Full Bio »