Force run an automation?

Is there a way to run an automation on demand? Or with a scene? (Like I did when they were just routines in the old app)

What would you want to happen when you ran an automation on demand? Would you want it to behave like a Routine and just run the actions, the ‘then’ part? If so you can get some of the way there by using Scenes. Unfortunately not all Automation actions can be placed in a Scene.

Or would you want it to test the conditions too? That you can’t do.

You can, of course, do other tricks with virtual buttons and switches and things to get stuff to happen when you want it to, but I think of that as running different automations.

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I use virtual switches to run what I want when I want. At least the virtual switches appear in Google Home.


Backing up Inge_Jones advises for using Virtual Switches as the trigger for Automations where scenes can’t do what I need.

And because Virtual Switches are available to both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, a big plus to using Virtual Switches as the Automation trigger is that I can then use voice commands via Alexa or Google Home to toggle on/off the Virtual Switch that is the trigger for the Automation. Using Virtual Switches as the trigger can expose most everything that SmartThings can do to voice control, including controlling the STHM. Not to mention that using Virtual Switches makes the voice command more natual to say to ‘turn on’ or ‘turn off’ something since voice controlling a scene sometimes just isn’t normal to natural speech.

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This. Also, as I just discovered, virtual switches are visible to webCoRE, whereas scenes are not.

This is making me reverse some of my automation flow: I used to have scenes which were activated by Google Home, which would do stuff including flipping a virtual switch (which I was using as an additional “mode” type variable in other automations). Now I have Google Home flip the switch, which triggers the scene to be run.


Not natively no, but you can just run a web request if you don’t want to faff around with switches and automations

Thanks all. I’m not familiar with virtual buttons. Is it only available with Google Home and Alexa (which I do not have)?

Regarding the WebCoRE, did I see that support for that is going away?

There is a Virtual Device Creator SmartApp. I see it listed in the new SmartThings app SmartApp section just like the SmartThings Home Monitor SmartApp is listed, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve already used it from the old SmartThings Classic app first.

I select the Virtual Device Creator SmartApp and give the new virtual switch a name and select done to save it. Then I can use the virtual switch as the trigger for Automations.

Quick example of using the virtual switch.

Virtual Switch Name: Home Security

Automation for Home Security Switch Off
Control device, Home Security = Off
Change Security Mode = Disarmed

Automation for Home Security Switch On
Control device, Home Security = On
Change Security Mode = Armed (Stay)

I can then use Alexa or Google Home voice commands to enable Armed Stay and Disarm the SmartThings Home Monitor via voice command. "Alexa, turn on Home Security" , "Alexa, turn off Home Security" .

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Thanks! Yeah, had to install in Classic first, but it now works in the new app great.

Thanks all!

I’ve heard lots of doom and gloom about how Samsung is going to lock/dumb the platform down. That seems to be a recurring theme, but they haven’t done it yet… and I’m not particularly worried because my investment is in my devices, not in SmartThings per se. I chose SmartThings because it provides a good balance: I like to tinker and make my devices work exactly the way I want them to – while still being reasonably-priced and convenient device. Should that ever cease to be the case, I would simply switch to a fully open-source system like HA, and the only device that I won’t be able to continue to use would be my v3 hub.


Thanks @James_Mason!

FYI: figured out the virtual button, that helped a lot. Thanks all!

And what is the reason for the forced launch? I don’t know what kind of automation you use. I manage mine from my iPhone through the “Home” app. This is very convenient for me because I can run automation depending on the time of day, my location, the activation of the sensor, or the accessory’s action. I used to use pre-configured automation from the Home app, but I want to create my own automation. For automation, I used Allen Bradley Panelview - Panelview Plus 6 - Page 1 - Automation Webstore. Tell me more details so I can help you.

I don’t recall, it’s been a year. But I wanted to mimic the features of the old app.