Beach Ball on KM Editor Interaction?

I recently updated to MacOS Catalina. Now, if I open the KM Editor and click on most* parts of the interface, the beach ball comes up for 15-30 seconds. Every time. Is there something I can do to remedy this?


*the beach ball doesn't come up if I click on the keystroke field. But anything else brings the spinning ball. Correction; now the beach ball shows up when I click the keystroke field as well.

You might want to give this a try:

Can’t guarantee it’ll work for you but perhaps it will help!

Thank you for the tip -- unfortunately, it was already off.

Oh well - :frowning_face:

Things I would try:

  • Restart
  • Download a fresh copy of Keyboard Maestro from - quit Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine, replace the Keyboard in the Applications folder using the Finder, and then launch it.
  • Use the Activity Monitor utility to get a Sample of Keyboard Maestro while it is beachballing which would indicate where it is and what the problem might be.

Restart and reinstall didn't help.

Here is the sample -- I'm not a coder, so I can't make heads or tails of it.

Sample of Keyboard Maestro June 16 (49.4 KB)

Maybe @peternlewis can shed some light?

There is nothing there that shows much time spent, about the only thing that stands out is a reference to an application in a Hide a Specific Application action that seems to be taking a longer time than expected to save. It is possible it is referencing an unmounted file system?

Mostly Keyboard Maestro looks to be idle during the sample.

So you can check any Hide Specific Application actions and verify they are referencing existing applications.

Or you can try to get another sample.

Thanks, Peter. I just went through all the macros that had Hide a Specific Application in them, and while none referenced an unmounted file system, there were a handful that had an outdated application name. (Like Photoshop CC 2021 instead of Photoshop CC 2022.)

I went through and changed them all, and when the beachball did come up, it seemed quite a bit shorter. I'll take another sample if the beach ball returns.

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I'm back to beachballing for 30+ seconds every time I adjust something in KM. I tried to get a sample, but Activity Monitor wouldn't sample, saying KM was not responding. I tried sampling first, then provoking the beach ball, and I've attached that sample file.

Thanks for your help.

Sample of Keyboard Maestro (48.6 KB)

ADDED: There is definitely something wrong here -- I quit the KM Editor, went up to the menu bar to quit the KM Engine and the menu froze in the down position for about three minutes. Other menus would work, but the KM Engine menu stayed frozen. When it finally woke up and quit, I relaunched KM and I got a beach ball.

I will reinstall KM again, and see if it helps.

Okay, the dreaded beachball has returned. 30-45 seconds per interaction with KM Editor.

Here is an Activity Monitor sample:

KM Sample 7-5-2022 (26.9 KB)

Thank you for your help.

@peternlewis when you have time, could you please take a look at the Activity Monitor sample, and see if there's any clue why KM is beachballing on every interaction? Thanks.

Sure, sorry, I don't always see every post.

The spin is happening looking for an application referenced from a Select or Show a Menu Item action.

So likely there is a reference to an application on a network disk that the OS is then trying and failing to reference.

There isn't any easy way to find which Select Menu Item action it is, so you likely have to select the All Macros group, and the search for select menu. Only actions that reference a specific application need to be checked, so any action that is just "Front Application" should be fine.

Thanks very much for your help. I went through all the macros containing Select or Show a Menu Item, and assigned as many as I could to "Front Application". (For the few that needed a specific application to function properly, I made sure the correct app was assigned and living on the boot drive.)

Already, there seems to be less beach ball activity. I'll report back soon with more results.

Many thanks.

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@peternlewis I found about 300 macros containing Select or Show a Menu Item, and I went through them a second time. I changed all but one to "Front Application". The remaining macro needed to stay application specific because it sends the menu command when another app is in front. To be sure, I reassigned the application using the Other submenu, to make sure the application was located on the boot drive.

The only change with the beach ball is that now, instead of showing up after every click on the interface, it sometimes lets me click a couple of things before appearing. Then it reappears with every interaction.

Here is another Activity Monitor Sample - is there anything else I can do to fix this?

Sample of KM (63.5 KB)


@anamorph , how big is your Keyboard Maestro Macros.plist file?

@kcwhat , what solution do you have in mind?

I’ll need to know the size before I suggest.

Perhaps you could phrase it as "you could try ABC if your plist file is < x"

That way we could all learn from you even if your solution does not apply to my specific situation this time.


I see. Obviously, you don’t want to answer my question so I’ll disengage from the thread. I won’t play cat and mouse games. You will figure it out.

Take care.

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That sample shows nothing, Keyboard Maestro is idle during the sample period.

You could try looking at a copy of the Keyboard Maestro Macro.plist file with a text editor, find all the lines with .app in them, see if any reference /Volumes/ or otherwise indicate applications that might be in odd places.

But the new sample doesn't show any issues, so you may have resolved the previous issue and now be having some different issue.