The Easiest Way to Run Mac Shortcuts on macOS Monterey

Leveraging Mac's menu bar to run shortcuts

by: - Last updated on: January 11th, 2022
Key Takeaways
  • With the Shortcuts app, you can drag and drop actions to create workflows for different operations/actions. Alternatively, you can find pre-made shortcuts in the gallery or other Shortcuts resources and use them.
  • Ideally, to run a shortcut, you need to open the Shortcuts app and execute the shortcut from there.
  • However, there’s a much efficient way to do this, and it involves using the Mac menu bar, as demonstrated in the guide below.

Shortcuts is a visual scripting application that lets you drag and drop actions to create workflows for different operations/actions. It’s been available on iOS and iPadOS for quite some time, and now, with its latest software release—macOS Monterey—Apple is bringing Shortcuts to Mac.

Mac Shortcuts app

Using Shortcuts, you can now automate various operations/actions on your Mac, everything from resizing and batch renaming images to sending delayed text messages and tiling app windows.

Not just that, though, Apple is also offering you the ability to run shortcuts from your iPhone/iPad on Mac—that too, right from the menu bar. So now, you don’t have to open the Shortcuts app every time you need to run a shortcut on your Mac.

Follow along as we walk you through the steps to run Mac shortcuts from the menu bar.

How to Run Shortcuts From Menu Bar

Shortcuts is available on macOS Monterey, so make sure you’ve updated your Mac to Monterey. Once done, follow the steps below to run a shortcut from the menu bar.

Step 1: Add Shortcuts to Your Shortcuts Library

There are a few different ways to add new shortcuts to your Shortcuts library: you can find new shortcuts in the Gallery section on the Shortcuts app, download one from various Shortcuts sources online, or create one yourself.

If you’re a Shortcuts user on iPhone/iPad, turn on iCloud Sync to get your shortcuts on those devices to your Mac. Use the following steps to do this:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and select Shortcuts.
    enable iCloud sync
  3. Toggle on the button for iCloud Sync.
    enable iCloud sync

In case you’re just getting started with Shortcuts, you can add new shortcuts to your Shortcuts library using the following steps:

  1. Open the Shortcuts Gallery on your Mac.
    Mac Shortcuts gallery
  2. Click on the shortcut you want to add to view its details and tap on the Add Shortcut button on the following page. Alternatively, tap the plus button on the shortcut itself to add it to your Shortcuts library.

    add shortcuts to Mac Shortcuts library

  3. Click on All Shortcuts to go to your Shortcuts library.

Similarly, if you have experience working with Shortcuts, you can create one to perform your desired operation, and it will appear in your library.

As of writing, downloading shortcuts from third-party Shortcuts websites/sources only works on iPhone and iPad. So you’ll need to, first, add a shortcut to your  Shortcuts library on your iPhone/iPad—and have iCloud Sync enabled—to get it on your Mac Shortcuts library. And then, follow the steps above to pin it to the menu bar.

Step 2: Pin Shortcuts to Menu Bar

Most Mac shortcuts can be run from the menu bar. When you add a new shortcut to your Shortcuts library, you’ll see the option to pin it to the menu bar.

Irrespective of how you’ve curated your Shortcuts library, follow the steps below to pin a shortcut to the menu bar:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your Mac.
  2. Double-click on the shortcut you want to pin in the menu bar for instant access.
  3. When it opens, click on the Shortcut Details button on the top-right.
    pin a shortcut to menu bar
  4. Check off the box next to Pin in Menu Bar.
    pin a shortcut to menu bar
  5. Close the window to save the changes and return to the Shortcuts home screen.

Step 3: Run Shortcuts From Menu Bar

Once you’ve pinned a shortcut to the menu bar, you should now see the Shortcuts icon in your Mac’s menu bar. Click on it to see the shortcut you just pinned. As you pin more shortcuts to the menu bar, here’s where they will appear.

With your shortcuts pinned, you can run these shortcuts from the menu bar using the following steps:

  1. Click on the Shortcuts menu that appears in the menu bar to view all your pinned shortcuts.
    run a shortcut from menu bar
  2. Click on the shortcut you want to execute to run it. If the shortcut requires an input, enter it in the following prompt. If it doesn’t, it will execute and return the output.
    run a shortcut from menu bar

Using Shortcuts Efficiently on Mac

Shortcuts can help you simply and automate a wide range of operations on your Mac. This guide takes the entire process one step further and helps you pin shortcuts to the menu bar for even easier access.

So follow the instructions and add your most frequently used/favorite shortcuts to your Mac’s menu bar and run them quickly and efficiently.

If you’d like to do more with Shortcuts, you may want to use Shortery to automate shortcuts execution on your Mac.

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