RepeatCuts creates while loops and supervises selected shortcuts when they are running continuously in the foreground.


RepeatCuts has options to:

The following RepeatCuts Pro features can be unlocked for a small purchase with Apple Cash or PayPal:

You can trial these Pro features for seven days before deciding to purchase.


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Table of Contents

Use Cases

While Loops

While Shortcuts offers Repeat with Each and Repeat actions, it does not natively offer a While action. While loops are commonly used in programming as a form of a repeating if-statement. While developers can roll their own solutions using the Run Shortcut and custom shortcuts, RepeatCuts provides a standardized format with powerful controls for creating these loops in shortcuts.

Validating an email with a while loop and RepeatCuts

Here are some sample shortcuts that demonstrate RepeatCuts ability to create while loops:

Foreground Continous Triggering

Many of the personal automation triggers in iOS 13, such as time and location, require the user to tap on a button in order to run a shortcut.

I developed Autocuts to work around this design choice. Autocuts automatically runs your shortcuts in the background — based on time, location, and web triggers — as long as you are actively using your device.

RepeatCuts can be used in those times when you are either (1) not actively using your device or (2) do not have ready access to your device but still want triggers to occur automatically. Consider the following scenarios where RepeatCuts can be useful:

Location Triggers

Here are some shortcuts that work well with RepeatCuts in this fashion.


For a small one-time purchase, you can unlock several Pro features of RepeatCuts that make running looped shortcuts even better. You can trial these Pro features for seven days.

Going Pro is simple and convenient with Apple Cash or PayPal.

Anatomy of a RepeatCut

Each RepeatCut has the following fields:

🔒 Denotes Pro feature

RepeatCut Details


Opening up the RepeatCuts app will display the following menu of commands:

Creating a New RepeatCut

Tap New from the RepeatCuts Home screen to start creating a new RepeatCut. You will be prompted to enter the following things:

Creating a new RepeatCut

Setting Shortcut Input

After creating a RepeatCut, you may want to provide optional input to the shortcut. Tap Shortcut Input and enter a textual representation of your input that will be sent when the RepeatCut runs.

Setting input for a RepeatCut's shortcut

In the example above, we’re passing the text run to the Location Triggers shortcut, which will instruct Location Triggers to bypass its Home screen, calculate the user’s current position, and automatically run any shortcuts assigned to that location.

Any output from the shortcut will be treated as input in the next iteration of the run loop. This allows you to change the behavior of your shortcut based on the previous run.

Adjusting Frequency

A RepeatCut can be set to run indefinitely or a finite number of times. You can also set a delay between each loop iteration. Here’s how to do it:

Number of Repetitions

  1. Open a RepeatCut.
  2. Tap Iterations.
  3. Set 0 if you want to run the RepeatCut forever, or enter a non-negative number for the number of times RepeatCuts will run the shortcut (or shortcuts if the Multiple Shortcuts feature is enabled).

Repeat Delay Interval

  1. Open a RepeatCut.
  2. Tap Repeat Interval.
  3. Choose No Delay if you want the shortcut or shortcuts to run immediately after running. Or, tap Seconds, Minutes, or Hours and enter a non-negative number to have RepeatCuts wait that long before calling the shortcut again.

Note: Shortcuts must be running in the foreground in order for the Wait action to work properly. If you switch to another app, iOS will likely terminate the shortcut due to perceived inactivity. If you plan to run RepeatCuts for long periods of time, consider turning on the Guided Access feature.

Adjust a RepeatCut's count and repeat delay interval

View the RepeatCut Library

Tap View Library to see a list of all the RepeatCuts that you have made. Tapping on a RepeatCut will load and display it on the RepeatCuts Home screen.

Note: If you do not have any RepeatCuts installed, the Library command will be hidden.

Viewing the RepeatCuts Library

Running a Shortcut Repeatedly

Tap Run to run the selected RepeatCut repeatedly. RepeatCuts will run the shortcut or shortcuts in the RepeatCut according to the RepeatCut settings.

From the Shortcuts Home screen, you can stop a RepeatCut by tapping the square Stop button. If that button is not visible, you can force quit Shortcuts by revealing the app switcher and swiping the Shortcuts away.


PRO Features

RepeatCuts offers several PRO features under a small one-time purchase. You can use these features without restrictions for seven days by activating the RepeatCuts Trial.

I’ve worked really hard to make these complicated and advanced shortcuts such as RepeatCuts and Autocuts. Please support your indie Shortcuts developer by purchasing a PRO license for RepeatCuts.\ \ Thanks in advance!\ \ -adam

Enable a seven-day trial of RepeatCuts Pro

Callback Shortcut

You can optionally define a separate shortcut to be called after the shortcut (or shortcuts if Multiple Shortcuts has been enabled) has run in RepeatCuts. Its input will be the output of the last shortcut run. If it receives the ❌❌❌ string, it will return as output the last shortcut’s output.

Multiple Shortcuts

You can chain together multiple shortcuts to run in a single RepeatCut. This is useful if you have a set of independent shortcuts that you always want to run together.

For instance, say you have a series of shortcuts that control your HomeKit devices. You can have them all run at once repeatedly instead of creating one giant shortcut that does it all.

Enable Multiple Shortcut shortcut support by doing the following:

  1. Open RepeatCuts.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Enable Allow Multiple Shortcuts.
  4. Go to a RepeatCut.
  5. Tap Shortcut to Repeat or Shortcuts to Repeat.
  6. Choose the shortcuts you want to chain together.
  7. Set the order of the shortcuts.
  8. Tap OK.

NOTE: There’s a bug in iOS when selecting multiple items from a list. After choosing your items, tap the Cancel button in the search field before tapping Done. If Shortcuts appears to hang, you can close the shortcut and re-open it. Your changes in RepeatCuts should have been saved.

When you run the RepeatCut, the shortcuts will be run sequentially starting with the first to the last.

Note that if any of the shortcuts returns the ❌❌❌ control string, RepeatCuts will terminate. So, if you plan to chain together a bunch of shortcuts, make sure none of them return ❌❌❌.

Guided Access

Turning on Guided Access is an excellent way to run your shortcuts automatically without fear that the device will accidentally turn off or have iOS prematurely terminate the Shortcuts application.

Guided Access lets your shortcuts run without fear of accidental termination

This is great if you are going for a run and want to run your shortcuts automatically while listening to a podcast or music in the background. Guided Access with Touch disabled will ensure that accidental taps will not turn off RepeatCuts.

TIP: If you have a Face ID or Touch ID capable device, you can configure Guided Access to be unlocked with a double-press of the Side button.

Configuring Guided Access

To configure Guided Access, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Guided Access.
  4. Enable Guided Access.
  5. Tap Display Auto-Lock.
  6. Choose Never.
  7. After starting your first Guided Access session, triple-click the Side button.
  8. Tap Guided Access.
  9. Enter your passcode.
  10. Tap Options.
  11. Disable Touch. This prevents you from accidentally turning off the shortcut by tapping the Stop button.
  12. Make sure Time Limit is disabled.

Guided Access Limitations

There are some limitations when running RepeatCuts under Guided Access:

Notify When Running Stops

If you have Scriptable installed, you can be notified when RepeatCuts stops running for whatever reason.

RepeatCuts Watcher Script

The RepeatCuts Watcher is a Scriptable script that adds several reminders in the future to run RepeatCuts. They are constantly being added and removed while RepeatCuts is running its loop, meaning the reminders are always being set sometime in the future.

If RepeatCuts gets stopped for an unknown reason, those reminders in the future will be displayed with a link to re-open RepeatCuts. You can then tap Run to restart RepeatCuts with the currently selected RepeatCut.

Installing RepeatCuts Watcher

To install and configure RepeatCuts Watcher, do the following:

  1. Download RepeatCuts Watcher script
  2. Create a new script in Scriptable.
  3. Tap the title and change the name to RepeatCuts Watcher.
  4. Paste the code from step 1 into the script.
  5. Tap Done.
  6. In RepeatCuts, enable Notify When Not Running in the RepeatCut.

NOTE: If you do not have Scriptable installed, running the RepeatCut will result in an error.

Appearance Toggle

It would be great if shortcuts could run automatically in the background without supervision and it would be great for all of this to be done while the device screen is turned off. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with iOS at the moment, so we have to resort to clever workarounds.

Running your shortcut for long periods of time? Turn on Appearance Toggle to preserve display life

Appearance Toggle periodically switches between Light and Dark modes on your iOS device while your RepeatCuts are running. Combined with the ability to lower the brightness and set the white point, these features work to minimize image retention and screen burn-in when using RepeatCuts for extended periods of time.

Note: RepeatCuts is not responsible for any screen burn-in or image retention effects you may encounter.

Enabling Appearance Toggle

  1. Open RepeatCuts.
  2. Select a RepeatCut to edit.
  3. Tap Appearance Toggle in your RepeatCut.
  4. Tap Set Toggle Interval.
  5. Enter the number of seconds RepeatCuts will wait before beginning to switch between Light and Dark modes.

Configuring Appearance Toggle

Alternating between Light and Dark modes to preserve your display

Note: If you RepeatCut Repeat Interval is greater than your Appearance Toggle interval, your device appearance will change every time your shortcut runs again.


Exiting Out of Loops

If you are creating a shortcut that’s to be used as a While loop, you’ll need a way to exit out of a RepeatCuts loop. Your shortcut accomplishes this by returning the ❌❌❌ string in your Exit Shortcut action.

Exiting from a shortcut

If you want to return additional information back to the calling shortcut, you can return a list of items, with the first item being the ❌❌❌ control string:

Return parameter 1
Return parameter 2
Return parameter 3
Return parameter N

If you do not return the ❌❌❌ string and if the RepeatCut is set to run forever, you will have to force quit the shortcut or Shortcuts app in order for the shortcut to stop running, as you have effectively created a infinite loop:

while ( true ) {

Programmatically Calling RepeatCuts From Other Shortcuts

RepeatCuts provides the ability for your shortcuts to have while loops.

Calling RepeatCuts from other shortcuts

Supply the call to Run Shortcut with a dictionary containing the shortcut you wish to call to RepeatCuts.

	"RepeatCuts": true,
	"shortcut": NAME_OF_SHORTCUT

If you know the UUID of a RepeatCut, you can specify it in the dictionary to Run Shortcut:

	"RepeatCuts": true,

You can also use the shortcuts://run-shortcut URL scheme to run RepeatCuts from other applications. For instance:


Will open RepeatCuts in the Shortcuts application.


Will cause RepeatCuts to automatically run the RepeatCut with the UUID of 95e918f6-3d32-420a-961a-73b90ded78cd, which is the same as calling the Run Shortcut action with the following dictionary:

	"RepeatCuts": true,
	"UUID": "95e918f6-3d32-420a-961a-73b90ded78cd"


RepeatCuts is fully localized in English and has been auto-translated in over 26 different languages on iOS. If you would like to improve on of the translations, visit RepeatCuts’ localization page on Github and submit a pull request.



Copyright © 2019 Adam Tow • • @atow

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.