Shortcut Won't Run Unless iPhone is Unlocked

Hello, I have an iOS shortcut to toggle my garage door open or closed. I would like to be able to trigger the shortcut, via my AirPods, by saying “Hey Siri, toggle garage” while I’m returning home from a walk. Ideally my iPhone could remain locked in my pocket. Unfortunately, every time I try to do this, Siri indicates that I need to unlock my iPhone to run the shortcut.

I thought I had the shortcut set correctly to allow it to run without unlocking my iPhone (see the attached settings), but maybe I’m missing something somewhere.

In case it matters, I also wear an Apple Watch so in theory the watch and/or iPhone should know who I am and wouldn’t require re-authentication through unlocking the phone (similar to when the watch could be used to unlock the phone when wearing a mask).

I’m looking for any ideas on how to update/fix this so the shortcut runs without unlocking my iPhone. Thanks in advance!

I think the issue is that HomeKit sees a lock or garage door opener as a type of device that shouldn’t be able to be toggled from a locked iPhone as a security measure. Trouble is that they don’t seem to have a clear explanation of which actions and devices are limited in this way.

That does make sense. It would be nice if there was an option for the user to specify, or use the Apple Watch to confirm my identity, but I guess with home security it’s better to be safe. Thanks!

Hi again. I noticed today the same issue (i.e., can’t run a shortcut using “Hey Siri” without unlocking my iPhone). While on a walk today, I tried to run a different shortcut which adds an item to OmniFocus based on verbal detail I add via my AirPods. I tried to trigger the shortcut but Siri told me that I needed to unlock my iPhone first. I don’t think there is any sort of personal or security related information that would cause the shortcut to stop. I have attached pictures of the shortcut details.

I thought @ourstanley’s comment made sense related to my garage door shortcut, but this shortcut seems to be in a different classification and should run without unlocking the iPhone.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Just noting that there are shortcuts, and then there are automations. Automations can fire off unattended. See if any automation triggers are suitable for what you’re doing.

Good suggestion. I’ll give that a try to trigger the automation based on leaving or arriving at home. I have tried automations in the past but found them fairly unreliable for either (1) not consistently triggering or (2) the location isn’t precise enough such that they trigger even if I’m on the street behind my house rather than on my actual street. Perhaps things have improved since the last time I tried this. Thanks!

Update…I set up the garage door open/close actions as automations. Unfortunately, now my iPhone displays a message asking if I want to continue and I have to click the button before the automation runs. I’ll keep looking for solutions but if anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears. :slight_smile:


Open Shortcuts, click “Automation” at the bottom, then click the automation you’re talking about. On that screen, you’ll see two options at the top. Next to “Automation”, pick “Run Immediately.” Next to “Notify When Run,” untoggle the checkbox. See if that works.

Hi all. I was not able to get this to work directly with one shortcut due to the security reasons noted in some of comments above. However, I did find a workaround that seems to be holding together. The workaround requires two shortcuts rather than one and also requires Keyboard Maestro (and I believe Hazel, or something similar, would also work).

I created one shortcut that saves a text file to a specific folder in iCloud when it is triggered. I can trigger it by voice even when the screen is locked because it must not cross the security threshold where Apple requires user intervention for the shortcut to run.

Shortcut #1

I set up a Keyboard Maestro macro to watch the folder and trigger a second shortcut when it sees the text file added to the folder. The second shortcut triggers the open garage door action. After that action is triggered, Keyboard Maestro deletes the text file and starts waiting for it to be added again.

Keyboard Maestro Macro

Shortcut #2

Shortcuts allows Keyboard Maestro to trigger the open garage door action without my intervention. I do have the Mac set to prevent sleeping when the screen is off and I’m guessing Shortcuts sees me as logged in which allows bypassing any sort of further user intervention requirements.

This is a bit MacGyvered-together but has worked for me for the last few days. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!