Updated actions and new features in the Shortcuts app on iOS 16.3

Learn about the new features and updated automation actions available in the Shortcuts app with iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, macOS 13.2 and watchOS 9.3.

Closeup of the Apple Shortcuts app icon on iOS home screen

On January 23, 2023, Apple released iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, macOS 13.2 and watchOS 9.3 as incremental updates for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. The updates focused on fixes, with no significant new features added.

One exception is Apple’s automation app, Shortcuts, available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS. A support document on Apple’s website outlines the enhancements that iOS 16.3 and other updates bring to the Shortcuts app.

Aside from reliability improvements to editing and running shortcuts, the app has added one new feature and introduced enhancements to existing actions. Follow along to learn about everything new in Shortcuts on iOS 16.3.

How to stop a shortcut from running while iPhone is locked

The new Allow Running When Locked toggle in the Apple Shortcuts app's editor
The new “Allow Running When Locked” toggle

The updates bring a new toggle in the Privacy tab of the Shortcuts editor, which allows you to optionally disable a shortcut from running while the device is locked.

To toggle this switch, touch and hold (iOS, iPadOS) or right-click (macOS) an existing shortcut in your library and choose Edit from the contextual menu.

With the shortcut opened in the Shortcuts editor, hit the ⓘ (Info) icon at the bottom (iOS) or top-right corner of the window (iPadOS, macOS). On the Info panel, select the Privacy tab. You can now toggle the Allow Running When Locked switch at the bottom to allow or disallow the shortcut from running while the device is locked.

Updated shortcut actions in iOS 16.3

Aside from the new privacy toggle, the Shortcuts app in iOS 16.3 brings enhancements to several existing actions, as outlined below.

  • Find Reminders can now filter reminders due in the next or previous week
  • Log Workout now supports Ask Each Time for workout duration
  • Log Health Sample now supports Ask Each Time for values on watchOS
  • Find Health Samples now supports searching for health types in the editor
  • Show Notes Folder action now correctly appears in the editor
  • Get Contents of URL can now use variables for the file parameter for POST or PUT requests
  • Configure Focus Filter actions now correctly set the Focus Filter on iPhone when run from watchOS

If you’re a tinkerer who likes to build custom shortcuts, take note of the updated actions in iOS 16.3. We’ve also outlined the changes for the Shortcuts app in iOS 16.2, including new actions for lock screen wallpapers, Apple Books and more.

Useful Shortcuts tutorials

Here are just a few things you can do with the Shortcuts app:

Share your most useful shortcuts will fellow readers in the comments down below.