Users on Android should be able to customize their app icons for some time, 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 solution to stop those annoying notifications.
In iOS 12 and 13, you could set bookmarks as custom app icons using shortcuts, but the apps they were referred to would still appear on your home screen. In iOS 14, that problem is solved because you can ban any app icon to the app library. That way, only your custom alias icons will be displayed on the home screen. But tapping it will briefly open the Shortcuts app before sending you to the app that should open it. That was fixed in iOS 1
There’s a secret way to turn off shortcut notifications, but those banner alerts that appear when opening apps through your custom home screen bookmarks will persist. They’re big, distracting notifications letting you know that Shortcuts successfully redirected you to the target app, but the experience should be seamless – without annoying interruptions.
Fortunately there is a way to disable popup banners when you tap on your specially designed app icons. Using Screen Time and Shortcuts automation, you can turn off these annoying notifications on your iPhone for good.
Step 1: Turn off Screen Time notifications
Yes that’s right. For some reason, Apple has hidden Shortcut’s notification settings from Screen Time. The feature is usually used to view reports on how much time you or your kids spend on your iPhone, where you can then set usage limits. It’s a useful tool for limiting your screen time, but it can also be used to stop notifications when you’re running automations.
To get started, run Settings and enter “Screen Time”. If it is off, turn it on and use your iPhone for a few hours as no activity will be logged and you will need that to turn off notifications. If it’s already on, tap “View All Activity” and scroll down. below notifications, you should see “Shortcuts”. However, it may not be capable of action, which means that you cannot tap it.
Like the “Shortcuts” app under Notices has no arrow on the right, scroll all the way to the top and choose another day or week. Scroll back down and the “Shortcuts” option should have the arrow next to it. Tap it.
The last thing to do here is to turn off ‘Allow Notifications’. If you have questions, need more help, or want to learn more about how this works and how to turn it back on, check out our guide on how to turn off automation notifications.
Step 2: Create an automation for each custom app icon
Disabling notifications in Screen Time will not turn off notifications in Shortcuts completely, it will kill automation alerts. Hence, this step is necessary. For some reason, when an automation is triggered and the shortcut notifications are turned off, you don’t see any banners. And this trumps regular shortcut notifications, including the bookmark banners for custom app icons.
In the Shortcuts app, tap the “Automation” tab, then select “Create Personal Automation”. If you don’t see that, tap the plus (+) button first.
Next, scroll down and tap on ‘App’ then ‘Choose’ on the next screen. Now choose an application for which you have created a custom app icon shortcut on your home screen. In my case I choose “Zoom”. Leave “Is Opened” as the only checked item, and tap “Next” to continue.
Then tap “Add action” and choose the desired action. The action doesn’t matter, but it should be for you want what happens when you open the app or something you don’t notice. For me, I am using the “Set Zoom” action as I am not using Zoom for anything like lowering the screen brightness. On the action card, tap “On” and switch it to “Off” so that Zoom is always turned off when that app is opened, then click “Next”.
For something discreet that won’t bother you in any way, another good action is to choose “Number” for the calculator. Choose that, don’t change anything on the action card and click “Next”. This will keep your automation from doing nothing at all except block the banner notification.
Finally, turn off “Ask Before Running” to make sure you don’t receive any notifications. A popup will appear warning you that if you disable this, the automation can perform actions without prompting you first. Tap “Don’t Ask” then “Done” in the top right corner to finish creating your automation.
There’s no way to set up an automation that works no matter which app you open, so you’ll need to build separate automations for each custom home screen app icon you’ve set. Yes, it is very tricky, 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 home screen bookmark that will open an app you set up in step 2 above. Below is 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 shortcut to an app you have, which can take a while if you have dozens of custom icons.
If you still see the banner warning, try to force close the target app, shortcuts and settings and then try again. It should run smoothly now.
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