Alfred 5 is here - Find out what's new

Automation Tasks

New in Alfred 5

Automation Tasks are an exciting new feature in Alfred which allows you to build even more complex Workflows without a line of code.

There are automation tasks to perform a wide variety of tasks; From changing your wallpaper or opening a new Safari tab to moving windows and converting dates and times.

Automation Tasks


How can I use Automation Tasks?

Open Alfred's Preferences to the Workflows preferences. In the Palette on the right, expand the Automations section and add an Automation Task object to your workflow.

The first time you use an Automation Task, you'll need to get the Automation Tasks by clicking the "Get Tasks" or "Update Tasks" button in the bottom left of the Automation Task preferences.

Update Tasks button

Setting up an Automation Task

Some objects are useful on their own. Set Dark Mode, for example:

Hotkey connected to Set Dark Mode Automation Task

But Automation Tasks shine when they’re chained. A Get Most Recently Added Path of the Downloads folder connected to a Send to Trash deletes your most recent download:

Hotkey and two Automation Tasks connected

We can do better. How about getting rid of all those downloaded DMGs you’ve accumulated?

Hotkey and three Automation Tasks connected

  • List Folder Contents of the Downloads folder.
  • Get Matching Arguments set to match files ending in .dmg.
  • Trash them.

Automation Tasks interact with other Alfred objects too. Let’s play a random movie:

Hotkey, two Automation Tasks, and Open File connected

  • List Folder Contents of the Movies folder.
  • Get Random Argument to pick one entry at chance.
  • Open File to play it.

You’re not limited to interacting with files; Automation Tasks can change your wallpaper, manipulate text and URLs, edit images, resize windows, interact with apps, and more! The list keeps growing. Grab the demo Workflow to play with the examples.


Understanding Automation Task colours

The Automation Task object in the Workflow Editor can be one of four colours:

Four states of the Automation Task

  • Grey: No task set
  • Turquoise green: Task set and ready to use
  • Orange: Task needs to be configured; Open the object configuration and fill in the details needed
  • Red: Task missing; Open the object configuration and click "Update tasks" or "Get tasks"

Automation tasks are always evolving

New Automation Tasks will be added over time, and some may change. If a workflow containing Automation Tasks doesn't appear to work, check that your ATs are up to date

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