How to prevent notification banners from showing for custom app icon shortcuts on your home screen “iOS and 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 could change icons since iOS 12, but it really took off in iOS 14 and got even better in iOS 14.3. Still, it’s not as easy 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 set up bookmarks as custom app icons using shortcuts, but the apps they redirect to still show on your Home screen. In iOS 14 this issue has been fixed since you can ban any app icon in the app library. This way, only your personalized alias icons appear on the Home screen. But touching one 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 you are now stuck with the banner notification.

There is a secret way to turn off notifications for shortcuts, but banner alerts that appear when opening apps through custom bookmarks on your 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, without any annoying interruptions.

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

Step 1: Turn off screen time notifications

Yes, it’s true. For some reason, Apple hid Shortcut’s notification settings in Screen Time. The feature is typically used to view reports on the time you or your kids spend on your iPhone, where you can then set usage limits. It’s a useful tool to help you reduce your screen time, but it can also be used to turn off notifications when you’re running automations.

To get started, launch settings and enter “Screen duration”. If it is off, turn it on and use your iPhone for a few hours as no activity is logged and you will need it to turn off notifications. If it’s already on, tap “See all activities” and scroll down. Under Notifications, you should see “Shortcuts”. However, it might not be usable, which means you won’t be able to access it.

If the “Shortcuts” application under Notifications has no arrow on the right side, scroll up and choose a different day or week. Scroll down and the “Shortcuts” option should have the arrow next to it. Tap on it.

The last thing you will need to do here is to turn off “Allow notifications”. If you have any questions, need additional help, or want to learn more about how it works and how to reactivate it, check out our guide on disabling automation notifications.

Step 2: Create Automation for Each Custom App Icon

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

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

Next, scroll down and tap “Application,” then “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 item checked and press “Next” to continue.

Then press “Add action” and choose the action you want. The action doesn’t matter, but it should be something you want to happen when you open the app or something you won’t notice. For me, I am using the “Set Zoom” action because I am not using Zoom for something like decrease in screen brightness. In its action card, tap “On” and toggle it to “Off” so that Zoom always turns off when the app in question is open, then tap “Next”.

For something discreet that you will never mind, another good action to choose is “Number” for the calculator. Choose that, don’t adjust anything in the action card and click “Next”. This will ensure that your automation will do nothing at all except block the banner notification.

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

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

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 need 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 alert banner, try to force quit the target app, shortcuts, and settings, then try again. It should work normally now.

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

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