At the end of a long day of doomscrolling, you and your iPhone probably feel like screaming. If you really want to freak out your friends, you can make your iPhone scream when you disconnect it on iOS 14 or later. Let’s fix it!
Step 1: Download custom scream shortcut
Before we dig to create an automation in the shortcut app, you need to download our custom How-To Geek Play Scream shortcut. To do so, you must first allow download from unreliable Shortcuts in Settings. Normally this can be a security issue, but this file is exactly what is playing the screaming sound.
To activate it, press “Settings” and navigate to “Shortcuts.”
Enable the “Allow untrusted shortcuts” option. When we’m done, you can come back here and disable it again, if you want.
Next – and this is a necessary step – visit this iCloud link on your iPhone and tap “Get Shortcut” to download our custom scream.
You will come to the shortcut app where you will see the “Add shortcut” window. This gives you a chance to evaluate the shortcut before adding it to your device.
Are you curious about how our audio shortcut works? Well, a screaming sound is encoded in text using the base64 schema, which is a way of representing binary data as text characters. When you enable the shortcut, it decodes the bass64 sound and channels the data to the “Play sound” action. The sound is then played through your iPhone’s speaker, and that’s the full code.
You should never install a shortcut that you do not trust. However, this harmless (in addition to scaring your friends) shortcut in three steps only plays a sound.
Scroll down and tap “Add Untrusted Shortcut.”
The “Play Scream” shortcut is added to your list in the shortcut app. To test it, just tap the speaker icon.
Step 2: Build Scream Automation
Next, we need to connect the “Play Scream” shortcut with the action of connecting (or disconnecting) your iPhone. The option to create an automation was introduced in iOS 14.
If you do not already have “Shortcuts”, open it and then press “Automation” at the bottom.
If you already have an automation, press the plus sign (+) and then press “Create personal automation.” If this is your first automation, just click “Create Personal Automation”.
In the “New Automation” panel, scroll down and press “Charger”.
On the “Charger” screen, you can decide which behavior you want to trigger the scream. If you want your iPhone to scream when you connect it, tap “Connected.” If you want it to scream when it is disconnected (which is much more disturbing), press “Is disconnected.”
You can also choose both if you want. When you are done, press “Next”.
We now define the action that will take place when the charger is connected. Touch Add Action.
Type “Run Shortcut” in the search box, then press “Run Shortcut”. This allows you to trigger any shortcuts you already have on your iPhone.
When the “Run shortcut” action appears, you will see a space where you can define the shortcut that runs when the automation is triggered. Press “Shortcut”.
In the list of shortcuts, tap “Play scream”.
Then you see an overview of the entire automation program; press “Next”.
Turn off the “Ask before driving” button. If this is enabled, a pop-up message is displayed each time an automation is triggered, which destroys the effect.
Tap “Do not ask” in the pop-up window.
Press “Done” and your shout automation is set. The next time you connect (or disconnect) your iPhone, it will scream.
Step 3: Hide the automation message
The only downside to this fun is that every time you trigger an automation, a message appears on the screen, like the one shown below.
As of this writing, it is impossible to disable shortcut notifications in the Settings app. Hopefully this will be corrected in a future update. In the meantime, however, you can turn them off until the next time you restart your iPhone via screen time.
To do this, you must first enable screen time in Settings and then run the automation (by connecting or disconnecting it) a few times to generate any messages.
Wait a few minutes, then touch Settings> Screen time> View all activity.
Scroll down to the “Messages” section and tap “Shortcuts.”
Switch the “Allow messages” button on / off and then press “Back”.
You can now exit the settings. The next time you trigger the automation, your iPhone will scream without notification. Pretty freaky!