Enter Key (Or fn-Return) Not Working as Trigger?

Hi all.

Short version:

Macro with Enter key as hot key trigger won't fire under any circumstances.

Long version with more detail:

MacBook Pro keyboard -- so no actual Enter key (ie. the one that's normally on the extended keyboard). But in every app I've tried it in macOS registers Fn-Return as Enter.

KM registers that as well. If I want to create a trigger that is to be triggered by the Enter key, I hit Fn-Return in the hot key trigger box, and it registers that key combination as Enter -- so it reads "Triggered by any of the following: This hot key: [Enter] is pressed". I get the same result by choosing Enter from the little popup menu next to the hot key box, suggesting no issues with my keyboard doing anything weird or whatever.

However, under no circumstances have I been able to get the macro to actually trigger/fire.

All else being equal (group enabled, macro enabled, appropriate application in foreground, etc. etc) using Return for the trigger works (not desired, but shows everything else appears to be set up correctly), but using Enter does not.

I found this: How can I use the Enter Key inside of a Typed String? describing how to include Enter key in a typed string trigger. If I implement my macro that way, it does indeed fire but the non-swallowing nature of typed triggers makes this method no good for the purpose of the macro.

I have my macros synced between two Macs. The macro appears on both. Same issue on both.

To try a very basic test I created a new macro that does nothing but type an 'X'. Set Return as the trigger, the macro fires and the X appears. Set Enter as the trigger and the macro doesn't fire. The Interactive help confirms the macro is not firing, as does the menu bar icon animation (not animating in this case).

So... is there some known issue with using Enter as a trigger? Am I doing something wrong?

I'd welcome any help or ideas.

Hey David,

This doesn't work on either my Mid-2010 17"MacBook Pro running Sierra or my Mid-2012 MacBook Air running Mojave.

The external keyboard on the MacBook Pro will fire when the actual Enter key is pressed – but no other “equivalent” keyboard shortcut works.

Interestingly – I set the hotkey using fnReturn...

I suspect there's something funny going on at the hardware level.

See this thread:

If that is unsatisfying search for:

“fn key” on the forum.

If you're still unsatisfied then contact support.

Contact Keyboard Maestro Support


It just worked for me on a late 2012 Mac mini with the extended keyboard running 10.11.6 (El Capitan). Just a simple setup whereby a palette is presented and pressing a key (Enter or FN-Return) opens a specific document. It also works if assigned to other macros.

Unless someone else gets to it first, tomorrow I will run the same test at work on a 2013 MacBook Air also running 10.11.6 but without an external keyboard to help determine if it's OS-related.

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Yes, I can confirm that it doesn't work, Fn-Return ➤ Enter does not work as a hot key for Keyboard Maestro.

Has anyone tried this in any other apps that accept hot keys to do something when in the background? Does Fn-Return work as a hot key for them?

I tested on a 2013 MacBook Air running 10.11.6 and FN-Return does work as Enter on the internal keyboard, just like it did in my earlier post with a Mac mini and the same OS with the Apple Extended Keyboard.