How do you delete keyboard shortcuts?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Taco1933, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Taco1933, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    Taco1933 macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2014
    I really have no idea where to put this. I Apologize if this is the wrong place. I put it here because I believe it's icloud backups causing the issue.

    Keyboard shortcuts crash my iOS 8 devices. I can delete them, but the list keeps repopulating. It's incredibly frustrating. I've been on the phone with apple multiple times but they seem to not know. I've tried deleting them, then deleting the iCloud backups. No luck. I tried deleting them from the settings->keyboard area on my Mac. They're back again. I really don't know where to go from here. I just want them gone forever and I'll be happy to never use another shortcut again.
  2. rsphotocreation macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2011
    Try to log out from iCloud on all your devices (iOS and OS X). Restart them, login to iCloud on one device, then delete your shortcuts. Wait to see if they come back. If it's OK login back to your other devices. Otherwise, delete them from your Mac maybe it's coming back from there...

    Otherwise it's an iCloud issue, there are a lot of issues related to iCloud nowadays... for instance the safari history sync doesn't work in my case and reminders on shows me a "2" on the badge, but I have no reminder at all...

    Ask Apple to reset your iCloud account if they can, or create a new one.
  3. Matth3w macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    I have this same issue. I have three devices, an iPad, two iPhones, and only one of the phones have the same stupid damn shortcuts that I'm trying to delete...and sure as crap, I delete on that one device over and over to no avail.
  4. mklement0 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    I have the same problem, and I suspect that the "keyboard shortcuts" (knowns as "symbol and text substitutions" on OSX) data has become corrupted in my iCloud account.

    Since there's no way to delete this data from iCloud explicitly, as a workaround you can try to create a NEW iCloud account, as @rsphotocreation already suggested: I.e., set up a NEW APPLE ID and use that from now on, which MAY solve the problem.

    This is obviously not just a pain in the neck (you need to use a different email address, although you can switch them later via a 3rd email address), but you need to make sure that your data is migrated to the new account:

    On a Mac signed into your iCloud account, move the contents of your iCloud Drive to a safe place for restoring later. Note that there may be *hidden* folders, so be sure to move them, too.

    Then use one of your iOS devices to perform the switch:

    I suggest turning "iCloud Drive" OFF before signing out of your iCloud account, because I suspect that the corrupted data is part of that category.

    Sign out of your iCloud account but be sure to opt to KEEP data on your iOS device when prompted.

    Still, note that you'll lose your photo streams and iCloud backups that way.

    Sign back in with the NEW Apple ID and opt to MERGE data.

    Sign all your other devices/computers into the new account, opting to delete the old data on signing out.

    Restore the iCloud Drive data on the Mac where you saved it.

    If everything works as expected, you can change the original email Apple ID's email address to a third, temporary one (it needs to be a working address, however, because you need to respond to a verification email), and then assign the original email address to the new Apple ID.

    As you can see, that's a lot of work and fraught with risks.
    It is, however, the workaround that Apple recommended after investigating my problem (the investigation is ongoing).
  5. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    I've got the same infuriating repopulation problem.

    This is super bush league that this issue hasn't been addressed for several years now.
  6. ErikGrim macrumors 68040


    Jun 20, 2003
    Brisbane, Australia
    Especially egregious for me as way back in the day I decided to see if I could make double space turn into a "." to mimic iOS. Did not work, but had the unfortunate side effect of turning EVERY space into a "." if I moved the cursor back further and then add a space.

    Needless to say I've deleted the offending shortcut hundreds of times. Tried manually editing the .GlobalPreferences.plist to no avail. iCloud will sync the offending shortcut to my mac (and only to my Mac) over and over. :mad:
  7. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2013
    Thats horrible.
  8. mgpg89 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2008
    Also looking to get this fixed ...
    Will follow this thread.
  9. kdum8 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    Anyone know of a solution to this issue yet? I have the same problem. I cannot delete the shortcuts as they keep coming back.. :(
  10. mklement0 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    The problem still exists, sadly, but here's a pragmatic workaround:

    Define the unwanted substitutions to expand to themselves - the net effect will be as if they weren't defined.

    For instance, if you wanted to get rid of substitution "ttyl" that is replaced with "Talk to you later", simply define the replacement value as "ttyl" as well.
  11. kdum8 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    Yes that's it! Obvious when you think about it. Thank you! :D
  12. mklement0 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    My pleasure. Re obvious: :) I've had the problem for quite some time, and this solution only occurred to me very recently...
  13. Matth3w, Nov 8, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015

    Matth3w macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    No, this doesn't work. The reason is because the corruption is stored on your phone, it will eventually come back. What you will end up with is what I had at one point, which is like 25 shortcuts all supposedly doing the same thing. It just duplicates.

    I've finally fixed this, although I can't take credit.

    Follow the instructions to a "T".

    Here's the kicker, just delete every damn file in the keyboard folder. Yes, all of it.

    Here are the cliffnotes:

    1. Backup your phone and ALL devices affected.
    2. Download the free, malware free software iBackupBot and open up your backup
    3. Navigate to System files > KeyboardDomain > Keyboard
    4. Delete EVERYTHING in the keyboard folder
    5. Restore from the modified backup where you deleted everything from the keyboard folder, and now delete the shortcuts that are giving you troubles
    6. Problem solved. Although I'll tell you, it seems to come back anytime I upgrade iOS. So every time I upgrade iOS, I upgrade, then I backup, then I delete the keyboard folder, then I restore from backup. It's a pain in the butt, but after several years, it's the only thing that has worked permanently. Also once or twice I've had to backup, delete the keyboard folder, restore, delete the shortcuts, backup, delete the folder, restore, delete the shortcuts, but after a few times they stayed gone.
  14. Matth3w macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    That solution won't work in the long term, the zombiecuts will come back to life. Except instead of having one jacked up shortcut, you'll have like ten.

    As an example, I had a shortcut I created for the highway here in Hawaii "H1". I called it "hone" (so I wouldn't have to switch to the number section), but mistakenly made the shortcut phrase h1 instead of H1. So I deleted the shortcut, which eventually came back (do a hard reset by holding down the power and home button, or just wait a few weeks, it WILL come back). So then I thought I would be sneaky, and instead of deleting and creating a new one, I changed the shortcut phrase to H1. One hard reset/several weeks later, I now had two shortcuts. One was hone = h1 and one was hone = H1.

    Before I realized this, I had tried to do this a bunch on other shortcuts (I have over 500 keyboard shortcuts easily), and I had an absolute MESS.
  15. Matth3w macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    Oh, and if you're like me and too lazy or hesitant to do this whole process, you're going to suffer with it forever. You have to break down and do it, on all the devices affected. There's a thread with 600+ replies and 84k views on the Apple forums to attest to that.
  16. mklement0 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2014
    Thanks for posting the detailed instructions.

    I should mention that my original symptom has changed: my phone no longer crashes when I try to view / edit the text substitutions, now that I'm on iOS 9.x.

    My define-the-substitution-to-expand-to-itself trick - which I've only tried with *one* substitution *from my OS X 10.11.1 Mac* so far - was correctly propagated to my iPhone and iPad (both running iOS 9.1) - so far, so good. A hard reset of my iPhone didn't make the old definition reappear - neither by reverting nor as a duplicate.
  17. Matth3w macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    Oh well the problem usually exists from the mobile devices. So you should be good from that aspect. The problem usually starts on mobile and moves to the computer not the other way around from what I've seen.

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