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ℹ️ Compatible with iOS & iPadOS 14.0–14.4.2
When theming home screen icons became popular, a common complaint people had was that the themed icons opened the Shortcuts app before launching the actual app. However, in iOS 14, Apple introduced the ability to create profiles that launch apps without a redirect (except for system apps), so I created Icon Themer to make use of this feature.
Starting from iOS 14.3, shortcuts added to the home screen no longer redirect to the Shortcuts app. However, Icon Themer still provides a superior experience for multiple reasons:
- You won't see the annoying completion banner on top of the screen when opening apps
- You can create a single profile for all your icons instead of tons of shortcuts
- You can import themes instead of having to choose the icon manually for each app
- You can share the created profiles so that you can install them again later or share them with friends
Please note that simply installing Icon Themer will not fix your existing shortcut icons. Watch the demo video to see how to recreate them using the shortcut.
How it works
Icon Themer creates configuration profiles containing web clips to launch your apps. This was already possible on earlier iOS versions, but before iOS 14 you couldn't launch them without a redirect.
After you finish creating your custom icons, you'll be redirected to the Settings app and prompted to enter your passcode to finish the installation.
Most apps should work fine without a URL scheme, but may not work as expected. 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.
If an app doesn't work properly, feel free to report it and I will try to fix it. There is also an option for advanced users to specify the URL scheme manually, which may be also useful to open an app to a specific page or open a webpage in a custom browser.
Starting from version 0.9.0, profiles created by the shortcut will show as "Signed by iconthemer.app". When you're installing a profile that you just created with the shortcut, you should always make sure it shows Verified. However, if you're reinstalling an old profile that you saved to Files a while ago, it may show as Not Verified if the certificate has expired in meantime. This is nothing to worry about, you can still install those profiles after an extra confirmation step.
In either case, Icon Themer's profiles will only ever contain web clips. If they contain anything else, they're probably fake. You should not install random profiles that are not from Icon Themer unless you know what you're doing.
Unfortunately, Apple doesn't allow us to skip the redirect for built-in system apps that are preinstalled on your device (and any apps in the App Store that are made by Apple). Icon Themer can still theme system apps, but they'll have a redirect – or in some cases even two redirects, which is unavoidable due to Apple using private URL schemes for those apps.
As of iOS/iPadOS 14.5, Apple limited the functionality Icon Themer uses to enterprise managed devices, therefore it will no longer work properly. There will be a redirect even for third-party apps, not just system apps, and the themed icons won't work at all without a URL scheme. There is most likely no way to fix this.
The recommended way on iOS 14.5 and above is to just create your icons using Shortcuts and follow this guide.
(Icons that were themed before updating or restored from a backup will continue to work, but you won't be able to use Icon Themer to theme any new icons.)
As of May 3, 2021 it is no longer possible to downgrade to iOS 14.4.2.
Known problematic apps
These apps may show an error message or exhibit other weird behavior when themed with Icon Themer, but there is currently no known fix for them.
- GoodNotes 5
- Google Classroom
If you don't want to manually choose the icon for each app, you can import a theme either from a
.zip file that directly contains icons (no subdirectories), or a
.deb file with a traditional jailbreak theme structure. In both cases, the filenames must contain the bundle ID of the app (case sensitive). If multiple icons are found for an app, you will be asked to choose one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I remove the shortcut completely?
The created home screen icons can be removed like any other icon. If you want to get rid of the installed profiles entirely, go to Settings → General → Profiles and remove them there.
Can I have transparent icons?
This is not currently supported in Icon Themer. You can use Blank Icon Maker instead. Note that it requires you to take a screenshot of your home screen to give an illusion of transparent icons, as iOS does not support truly transparent icons.
Can I get notification badges on the themed app icons?
No, this is not possible without a jailbreak.
Can I theme TestFlight apps?
Yes. If the app in question is also available in the App Store, simply use the "Search in App Store" option. Otherwise, you will have to find the app's bundle ID and use the "Custom app" option.
Can I theme sideloaded apps?
Yes, but you need to know the app's bundle ID. If you're using AltStore, just open AltStore and tap on "App IDs" to find the bundle ID, then enter it in the shortcut under the "Custom apps" option.
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, then create a shortcut with a single Nothing action or add one from the gallery, and run it. After that, you should be able to enable the option and install Icon Themer.
Couldn't Run "Choose from List" because the runner quit unexpectedly
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 or restore your device from a backup. (If you get an error that says "Unable to Install Shortcuts", disable any proxies/VPNs – especially ffapple.com – and try again.)
Shortcuts app crashes
This usually happens because you used an image that is too large. You can recover from a crash using the "Restore unfinished profile" option. Try using a smaller image, or use Files instead of Photos or vice versa. If the issue persists, try rebooting your device or reinstalling the Shortcuts app (see the previous question for caveats).
This action requires an updated version of Safari
This is a misleading error message, it's just a glitch that happens randomly. Use the "Restore unfinished profile" option and try again. If all else fails, you can use the "Save and install" option and open the profile manually in the Files app to install it.
Your icons are probably too big or an unsupported format. The shortcut should do the conversion for you in most cases, but try manually converting them to PNG and make sure they're no larger than 400x400. (Bigger icons may work, but this is the recommendation by Apple.)
The shortcut only connects to RoutineHub to check for updates, Apple to search apps in the App Store, and my own server to retrieve other information about the apps (default label, bundle ID, URL scheme) and generate signed profiles to ensure authenticity. The website does not use any cookies, and profiles are deleted from the server after 24 hours.
Note: Early versions of the shortcut checked your IP address locally to determine whether there's an active internet connection and check for updates. This information was never sent anywhere, and the shortcut has since been updated to remove that code and use a different method to check whether you're online.