How to Prevent Notification Banners from Appearing for Custom App Icon Shortcuts on Your Home Screen «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks


Users on android might customize their app icons for a while, but it’s a relatively new addition to the iPhone. You can change the icons since iOS 12but it really took off in iOS 14 and further improved in iOS 14.3. Still, it’s not as simple as on Android, and you’ll see a notification every time you open an app with your custom icon. However, there is a workaround to stop these annoying notifications.

In iOS 12 and 13, you can configure bookmarks as custom app icons using Shortcuts, but the apps they’re redirected to still show up on your home screen. In iOS 14 this issue has been resolved since you can ban any app icon to Application Library. This way, only your custom alias icons show up on the home screen. But typing a would briefly open the Shortcuts app before sending you to the app it’s supposed to open. This was fixed in iOS 14.3, but now you are stuck with the banner notification.

There are a secret way to turn off notifications for shortcuts, but those banner alerts that appear when opening apps through bookmarks on your custom home screen persist. These are large, distracting notifications that let you know that the shortcuts have successfully redirected you to the target app, but the experience should be seamless with no annoying interruptions.

Fortunately, there is is far to disable pop-up banners when you tap your custom app icons. With the help of screen time and shortcut automation, you can permanently disable those annoying notifications on your iPhone.

Step 1: Disable Screen Time Notifications

Note: If you run iOS 15.4 or later, this step is no longer required to stop notifications showing for custom home screen app icons. Instead, there’s a setting in the automation you’ll create in step 2 below that will disable “Running your automation” alerts.

Yes, it’s true. For some reason, Apple has hidden Shortcut’s notification settings from Screen Time. The feature is typically used to view reports on how much time you or your children spend on your iPhone, where you can then set usage limits. It’s a useful tool to help reduce your screen time, but it can also be used to stop notifications when you run automations.

To get started, launch Settings and enter “Screen Time”. If it’s off, turn it on and use your iPhone for a few hours, as there won’t be any activity recorded, and you’ll need it to turn off notifications. If it’s already enabled, tap “See all activity” and scroll down. Below Notice, you should see “Shortcuts”. However, it may not be actionable, meaning you won’t be able to tap on it.

If the “Shortcuts” application under Notifications doesn’t have an arrow on the right side, scroll to the top and choose another day or week. Scroll down and the “Shortcuts” option should have the arrow next to it. Press it.

The last thing you’ll have to do here is turn off “Allow Notifications”. If you have questions, need additional help, or want to learn more about how it works and how to re-enable it, check out our guide to disabling automation notifications.

Step 2: Create an automation for each custom app icon

Disabling notifications in Screen Time won’t completely disable notifications in Shortcuts, but it will remove automation alerts. This is why this step is necessary. For some reason, when an automation is triggered and shortcut notifications are disabled, you won’t see any banners. And that trumps regular shortcut notifications, including banners for custom app icon bookmarks.

In the Shortcuts app, tap on the “Automation” tab, then select “Create personal automation”. If you don’t see it, first tap the plus (+) button.

Next, scroll down and tap “App”, then tap “Choose” on the next screen. Now choose an app for which you have created a custom app icon shortcut on your home screen. In my case, I choose “Zoom”. Leave “Is open” as the only checked item and press “Next” to continue.

Note: In newer versions of Shortcuts, you can select multiple apps, so you can have automation for all your custom app icons.

Next, tap “Add action” and choose the action you want. The action doesn’t matter – but it should either be something you want to happen when you open the app or something you won’t notice. For me, I use the “Set Zoom” action because I don’t use zoom for something like drop in screen brightness. In its action card, tap “Enabled” and set it to “Disabled” so that Zoom always turns off when the app in question is opened, then tap “Next”.

For something inconspicuous that will never bother you, another good action to choose is “Number” for the calculator. Choose that, adjust nothing in the action card and press “Next”. This will ensure that your automation does nothing but block the banner notification.

Finally, turn off “Ask before running” to ensure you don’t receive any notifications. A pop-up will appear, warning you that disabling will allow the automation to perform actions without prompting you first. Tap “Don’t Ask” and then “Done” in the top right to finish creating your automation.

Note: in iOS 15.4 and later, when “Ask before running” is disabled, a new toggle will appear below. Disable it as well and you won’t need to perform step 1 above.

There’s no way to set up an automation that will work no matter what app you open, so you’ll need to create separate automations for each custom home screen app icon you set up. Yes, it is very inconvenient, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Note: In newer versions of Shortcuts, you can select multiple apps, so you can have automation for all your custom app icons.

Step 3: Open the app with your custom icon shortcut

Now it’s time to run a bookmark on the home screen that opens an app you set up in step 2 above. Below you can see the alias icon in action before (left) and after using this guide (right). Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, you have to create an automation for every home screen app shortcut you have, which can take a while if you have dozens of custom icons.

If you still see the banner alert, try force quitting the target app, shortcuts, and settings, then try again. It should work fine now.

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Cover photo, screenshots and GIFs by Nelson Aguilar/Gadget Hacks

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