How to Add a Contact to the Home Screen on iPhone

At the core, iPhones are communication devices. So it makes sense that you’d want to put the people you talk to the most front and center. We’ll show you how to create home screen shortcuts for your favorite contacts.

Surprisingly, Apple doesn’t make it clear that it’s even possible to do this. The functionality is buried in the powerful Shortcuts app. It takes a bit of work to set up, but it’s not super complicated. Let’s get started.

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There are basically two different actions that can be associated with contact shortcuts. You can have the shortcut give you the option of how you want to contact the person—Message, Call, FaceTime—or it can jump straight into one of those. We’ll cover both.

Create Shortcuts to Contacts

First, open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.

Open the "Shortcuts" app.

Go to “All Shortcuts” if you’re not taken there right away.

Go to "All Shortcuts" if you're not taken there right away.

Switch to the “Gallery” tab in the bottom bar.

Switch to the "Gallery" tab in the bottom bar.

Do a search for “Contact,” and select the “Contact on Home Screen” Shortcut.

Do a search for "Contact" and select the "Contact on Home Screen" shortcut.

Now, tap the “Add Shortcut” button.

Now tap the "Add Shortcut" button.

The next screen is where we’ll select a person for the Shortcut. Tap the + button.

Tap the + button.

Find the person you want to use for the Shortcut in your contacts list.

Find the person you want to use for the Shortcut in your contacts list.

Tap “Done” to finish.

Tap "Done" to finish.

Go back to the “My Shortcuts” tab, and you’ll see the newly added Shortcut. Touch and hold to bring up some options.

Touch and hold to bring up some options.

Select “Details” from the menu.

Select "Details" from the menu.

Next, select “Add to Home Screen.”

Next, select "Add to Home Screen."

Tap the text to enter the name that you’ll see under the icon on the home screen.

Then, select the icon to choose a photo for it.

Once you’re done customizing the icon, tap “Add” in the top-right corner.

Tap "Add" in the top right corner.

The icon will be added to your home screen. When you tap it, a menu with communication choices will appear. Simply do this for all of your favorite people!

Create Shortcuts to Message, Call, or FaceTime a Contact

For an even more direct Shortcut, you can jump straight into a text message, phone call, or FaceTime from the home screen.

First, open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.

Open the "Shortcuts" app.

Go to “All Shortcuts” if you’re not taken there right away.

Go to "All Shortcuts" if you're not taken there right away.

Tap the + icon in the top-right corner.

Tap the + in the top right corner.

Select “Add Action.”

Select "Add Action."

Now, you can search for “Messages,” “Phone,” or “FaceTime,” depending on what you want the Shortcut to do.

Note: There are a number of third-party apps—such as WhatsApp—that can also be used as Shortcuts. Search for an app to see whether there’s a Shortcut available.

Search for the Shortcut you want to use.

The available actions will appear, which in this case is simply “Send Message,” “Call,” etc.

Select the Shortcut action.

Next, you’ll be able to choose who to contact. Some of the Shortcuts will have extra options as well, like the ability to pre-write a message.

Select the recipient.

When selecting the person, you can simply search through your contacts. It’s possible to choose multiple people for some of the Shortcuts.

Find a contact and tap "Done."

With the details filled in, tap “Next” in the top-right corner.

With the details filled in, tap "Next" in the top right corner.

Give the Shortcut a name and tap “Done.”

Give the Shortcut a name and tap "Done."

The Shortcut has been created, so now, let’s add it to the home screen. Touch and hold to bring up some options.

Touch and hold to bring up some options.

Select “Details” from the menu.

Select "Details" from the menu.

Next, select “Add to Home Screen.”

Next, select "Add to Home Screen."

Select the icon to choose a photo.

Once you’re done customizing the icon, tap “Add” in the top-right corner.

Tap "Add" in the top right corner.

The icon will be added to your home screen. When you tap it, the action you chose will immediately launch.

While these steps might seem a bit convoluted, they’re the best way to get this functionality on an iPhone or iPad, and it does work well once configured.

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