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How to control your devices using Apple Home automations

 The Apple® Home app allows you to control all your HomeKit®-enabled devices manually using a single app.  However, if you want to have certain tasks happen automatically, the Home app automations allows you to automatically turn OFF lights.  When you leave, turn them ON when you return home or have them controlled based on the sunrise or sunset.  Home app automations allow you to automate your devices to do what you want, when you want.
    
This article will walk you through the types of automations available, how to create them, how to edit them, and how to remove them.

Before you get started, you must have a Home hub-compatible device set up on the same network as your HomeKit devices before you can set up any automations.

Home hub compatible devices

 
  • Apple TV®
  • HomePod®
  • HomePod Mini
  • iPad®

For more information about Home hub-compatible devices, click here
 

Types of Automations

Below are the types of automations available to you in the Apple Home app.  Click on the name to know how to create an automation.
Action-based automations are triggered by devices doing something such as turning ON, turning OFF or detecting motion.  You can use an automation to have other devices or scenes react to another devices action.
Location-based automations are triggered by people arriving and leaving a location.  This is all done using the location data of their iOS device.  As long as the users are sharing their location they can cause this automation to control devices and scenes in your home.
Time-based automations run at a specific day and time.  This allows you to turn ON and OFF devices using the time of day, day of the week or even dynamically based on sunrise or sunset.  This is the most basic type of automation available.

For steps on how to configure your automations, click on the links below:

How to edit an automation
How to enable or disable an automation
How to delete an automation
 

How to create an action-based automation

Step 1:  Open the Home app and tap on Automation

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Step 2:  Tap on Create New Automation or the plus (+) icon located in the top-right corner of the screen.
 
Step 3:  From the list, choose the type of trigger you would like for your automation.
 
  • Choose An Accessory is Controlled to turn ON or OFF a device.
  • Choose A Sensor Detects Something for a sensor-type device.

NOTE:  If a sensor is not present in your Home app, you will not be able to choose the A Sensor Detects Something trigger option.

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Step 4:  Choose the Accessory that will be the trigger for this automation.

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Step 5:  Choose how you want the automation to be triggered.  Tap Next to continue.
 
  • Turns On – when the trigger device is turned ON
  • Turns Off – when the trigger device is turned OFF
  • Time – when you want the automation to be available to run
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Step 6:  Choose which devices or scenes you want this automation to control.

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Step 7:  Choose what actions you want this automation to perform on the devices or scenes you have chosen.  Each device will have its own set of actions it can perform based on the device type.  Tap Done when finished.
 
  • Test This Automation – Allows you to test what the automation will do to the devices it is set to control.
  • Turn Off – Devices or scenes controlled by this automation can be turned OFF after a set amount of time.  If Never is chosen, it will remain ON until another automation controls them, or if they are controlled manually.
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How to create a location-based automation

Step 1:  Open the Home app and tap on Automation.  

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Step 2:  Tap on Create New Automation or the plus (+) icon located in the top-right corner of the screen.
 
Step 3:  From the list, choose the type of trigger you would like for your automation.
 
  • Choose People Arrive when people return to a location.
  • Choose People Leave when people leave a location.
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Step 4:  Choose the Location where this automation will be triggered at and a Time that this automation will be available to be triggered.  Tap on Next to continue.
 

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Step 5:  A list of devices available at the location you selected will be shown.  Choose which devices you want this automation to control.

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Step 6:  Tap and hold on each device tile to set the action for that specific device.  When you are ready to save the automation, tap on Done.
 
QUICK TIP:  You can tap on Test This Automation to ensure things are functioning how you want it before finishing.

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How to create a time-based automation

Step 1:  Open the Home app and tap on Automation.  

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Step 2:  Tap on Create New Automation or the plus (+) icon located in the top-right corner of the screen.

Step 3:  From the list, choose A Time of Day Occurs.

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Step 4:  Choose the functions you wish to have for this automation.  Tap Next to continue.

When:
  • Sunrise will trigger the automation based on the sunrise time in your location
  • Sunset will trigger the automation based on the sunset time in your location.
  • Time of Day will trigger at a specific time.
 
REPEAT:

Choose which days you would like this automation to be active on.  You can choose as few as one or for the entire week.  Tap on the latter for the day to enable or disable that day.

People:

 
  • Off will run the rule regardless of your location.
  • When I am home allows the automation to run only when you are in your home location.
  • When I am not home allows the automation to run only when you are not in your home location.

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Step 5:  Choose which devices you would like this automation to control.  Tap Next to continue.

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Step 6:  Tap on and hold on each device tile to set the action for that specific device.  When you are ready to save the automation tap on Done.
 
QUICK TIP:  You can tap on Test This Automation to ensure things are functioning how you want before finishing.
 

How to edit an automation
 
Step 1:  Open the Home app and tap on Automation.  

Step 2:  Tap on the automation you wish to edit then tap on any items you wish to change.

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Step 3:  Tap Done to save changes. 
 

How to enable or disable an automation

Disabling an automation does not remove it from your Home app.  When you disable an automation, it will still exist in your automations list but will not work until it is enabled again.

 
Step 1:  Open the Home app and tap on Automation.  

Step 2: Tap on the automation you wish to edit.

Step 3:  Toggle the Enable This Automation button to enable or disable the automation. 

 
  • The goggle button is green when the automation is enabled.
  • The goggle button is grey when the automation is disabled.
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Step 4:  Tap Done to save changes. 
 


How to delete an automation

Deleting an automation will remove it from your Home app.  When you delete an automation, it will no longer be available, and you will have to create it again.  

QUICK TIP:  If you want to stop an automation from running but not delete it, you can disable it instead.

 
Step 1:  Open the Home app and tap on Automation.  

Step 2:  Tap on the automation you wish to delete.

Step 3:  Scroll down and tap on Delete Automation.

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Step 4:  A confirmation pop-up will appear.  Tap on Delete Automation to remove the automation from your list.

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