Recovering Shortcuts from Files (iOS 13x)?

As I’m sure most of you know, prior to iOS 13x one could backup and shortcuts using iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Unfortunately with the Shortcuts app built into iOS 13x, if one tries to restore a shortcut file (that is, *.shortcut), an error dialog appears: Shortcut Cannot Be Opened Importing shortcuts as files is not currently supported. Please share shortcuts using iCloud.

Aside from reverting to an older version of iOS, has anyone found a method to restore saved shortcut files?

Thanks in advance.

A friendly reddit user (u/enteeMcr) provided the simple answer. Based on that information, I created a shortcut to do the job: Restore Shortcut from File


Check out this blog entry from @RosemaryOrchard

I use this to create a textfile with all my shortcut links, which I then use to restore a shortcut (or share it) if needed.

Looks like this doesn’t work for me anymore with the latest iOS update. This is a bummer, now there is no good way to save and restore Shortcuts.

The mentioned method helped me to restore a shortcut, from a backup file, with more than 200 actions. I had to do this because the version of the shortcut on my phone and iPad didn’t work anymore, after an iOS upgrade on my iPhone mangled several Shortcuts and because I had iCloud syncing on these broken shortcuts were also on my iPad.

I wanted to work on an old shortcut, but I can’t get to it anymore. Now I have to start from scratch, unless someone knows how I can open it.

This still works on 13.2.2
Perhaps check if the files are binary or text plists, it doesn’t work on text plists.

Thanks, you are right. Like I said it was an old shortcut, it has the extension wflow and not shortcut. So, I have to redo that one. Not a problem, I’m glad that I’m still able to restore my more complex shortcuts, those I made under iOS 12.

.wflow and .shortcut are essentially the same. You just need to rename it to .shortcut.

@FrankV, I created a new shortcut for backup, archive, and restore: BART

Thanks, very nice work.

@FrankV, you’re welcome. Thanks for the comment.