Icon Themer

Custom home screen app icons that launch your apps directly


This shortcut requires iOS 14 for optimal functionality. If you’re on iOS 13, only a few apps will work out of the box, and you may have to enable Reduce Motion to make the experience more seamless.

When theming home screen icons without a jailbreak, the inability to launch apps directly without the Shortcuts app opening first has been a long-standing issue. However, in iOS 14, Apple introduced the ability for web clips to launch apps directly without going through Safari, so I created this shortcut to make use of this feature.

This will not fix your existing shortcut icons. Instead, watch the demo video to see how to recreate them using this shortcut.

It will generate a configuration profile for you that launches the chosen app directly with a custom icon and label. You’ll be redirected to the Settings app and you’ll have to enter your passcode to finish the installation. Don’t worry, this is completely safe – the profiles will only add icons to your home screen, they won’t expire or get revoked and they can be removed anytime.

On iOS 14, the created icons should be able to launch most third party apps with the default URL scheme (bundle ID), but some of them may display an error message if an incorrect one is used. iOS 13 requires an appropriate URL scheme for any app to launch at all.

I will try to maintain a list of URL schemes for popular apps that is queried on the fly and will not require a shortcut update. Advanced users can also specify the URL scheme manually. If an app does not work properly, feel free to report it in the comments and I will try to fix it.

Theming system apps

Unfortunately, system apps cannot be launched seamlessly. A blank page will appear first and stick around in the app switcher, and some of them will still have to go through the Shortcuts app. There are also some that cannot be launched via this method at all, so you'll have to resort to the old "add shortcut to home scren" method. Please see the list below for details.

(You can enable Reduce Motion to make system apps launch a bit more seamlessly.)

Known problematic apps

  • Apple Store: Takes long to launch if it wasn’t already running in the background
  • Google Classroom: Displays account picker screen and hangs indefinitely if it wasn't already running in the background
  • Keynote: Displays an error message that has to be dismissed manually
  • Reddit: Always goes back to the first tab (you can tap the tab you were on to continue where you left off)
  • Safari: Opens an empty tab for a moment, returns to last opened tab which may not always be where you left off
  • YouTube: Currently playing video is minimized when opening app

Apps that still have to go through Shortcuts

These apps use private URL schemes that cannot be used directly, only through Shortcuts x-callback-url.

  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Clock
  • Contacts
  • Phone
  • Translate
  • Tips
  • Voice Memos
  • Weather

Unsupported apps

These apps do not seem to have any URL schemes to open them.

  • Compass
  • FaceTime
  • Measure
  • Numbers
  • Pages


Is this shortcut safe? How do I remove it?

Yes, this shortcut is completely safe. It simply creates home screen icons that can be removed like any other app. If you want to completely get rid of the installed profiles, go to Settings -> General -> Profiles and remove them there.

Does it log my IP address?

No, it does not. Previous versions of the shortcut checked your IP address to determine whether there was an active internet connection, but this information never left your device. The updater has since been changed to a different method. The shortcut only connects to RoutineHub, Apple and GitHub.

Can I have transparent icons?

No, the only way to get the illusion of transparency is to manually overlay the desired icon on the appropriate part of your wallpaper and use that as icon.

Can I get notification badges on the themed app icons?

No, this is not possible. You would have to jailbreak your device and install a tweak such as SnowBoard or Anemone instead of using this shortcut.


Allow Untrusted Shortcuts

If you're unable to install the shortcut, go to Settings -> Shortcuts and enable "Allow Untrusted Shortcuts".

If that option is greyed out, open the Shortcuts app and run one of the starter shortcuts or something from the gallery (or create one yourself and run it). Then you should be able to enable it.

Couldn’t Run “Choose from List”

Uninstall the Shortcuts app and reinstall it from the App Store. Note that this will delete all your automations, so make a note of them beforehand. Also, if you use a proxy like ffapple, you will have to disable it to be able to reinstall Shortcuts from the App Store.

Shortcuts app crashes

This is an issue I haven't been able to consistently reproduce. If it keeps happening when you try again, here are a few things you can try:

  • If this happens after choosing the image, try using Files instead of Photos or vice versa, and try making the image smaller / compressing it.
  • Reboot your device.
  • Uninstall and reinstall the Shortcuts app.
  • Update iOS, especially if you're on iOS 14.0 beta 6.

Bad Profile error

This may be caused by:

  • Using a JPEG or HEIF image or Live Photo instead of PNG
  • Leaving required fields blank

You are told to update Safari or it just opens a blank/error page

These issues happen randomly, usually simply trying again will fix it.

Latest Release Notes

0.5.1 - Oct. 4, 2020, 8:49 p.m.

Update loop should be fixed now, sorry about that.

- Added clarification to setup for users with big text sizes
- Fixed Safari not working when bundled with other apps

0.5.0 added theming multiple icons in one profile and more, check out the full changelog on RoutineHub.

Past versions