Global "Mute" Shortcut for Video Conferencing WITH VISUAL FEEDBACK

Short Summary
A keyboard shortcut globally mutes and unmutes your microphone, no matter what video conferencing software you are using.
The menu bar will change from green to red accordingly.

Longer Summary
When in a meeting I always used the global keyboard shortcut of Zoom to mute e.g. when I'm coughing or talking to someone who just walked in.
But I never really trusted it and double-checked, which kind of was annoying.

So I build a macro that just mutes the microphone system-wide (by using Apple Script).

In this mechanism I had slightly more trust but I still wanted something visual, for that extra peace of mind.
So I changed the desktop background/wallpaper to green or red so that the menu bar is a huge microphone state indicator.

Plus, as soon as Zoom/Skype/Microsoft Teams etc. are quit another macro sets my wallpaper to my default one again.
The path for all the default mac OS wallpaper is: /System/Library/Desktop Pictures
This also works with those new fancy dynamic wallpapers that change based on the time of day, as those are all stored in one file.

On Air


Global mute shortcut for video conferencing with visual feedback.kmmacros (6.5 KB)


Here's an overview of the macro in Keyboard Maestro.

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Using a global shortcut is great when Zoom is not on front, and using the background as an indicator is very useful.

Modified it a little bit, added a way to create a background inside KM


Smart edit. Actually didn't know this "create new image" action existed.
KM never stops to amaze me.
Thank you!

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Just figured I'd share the Macros I'm using.

This combines the posts above to generate the images if needed. It also stores the current desktop image when you open Zoom, and restores that image after quitting Zoom.

You can easily modify this to work with other apps.

The last thing it does is a legacy solution I was using for this same purpose - it updates Swiftbar to show/hide the Mute icon. I'll attach the script for that too. I think he background change is a better fit, but the Swiftbar part is neat (and can be easily removed from the macro if you're not using it).

Mute Macros.kmmacros (14.7 KB) (883 Bytes)


Im a newbie with Keyboard Maestro. Does this macro still work. Im trying to get a global keyboard shortcut to toggle muting and unmuting zoom. This solution sounds great if it can also colour the background to indicate if mute is active.
I downloaded it. Double clicked it to open it in Keyboard Maestro. I enabled the macro group it is in ie enabled the Other macro group.
I changed the shortcut to trigger the Mute/Unmute Microphone macro to ⇧ ⌃ ⌘ A ... but nothing happens when I hit this shortcut whilst on a zoom call. Any help appreciated

I haven't been using Zoom as much, so I wasn't depending on this as much lately.
It should still work though.

I'd recommend trying first to see if the shortcut is running the macro at all by adding some other action in. Like something to make a sound, or display an alert or something - that way you can figure out if the macro is failing, or just never being activated (for example if something else is using that shortcut).

You may need to update the paths where the images are stored too, since it's probably hard coded to my user path.

Have you gotten the store/restore scripts to work in Ventura?

Yeah, store/restore are working fine in Ventura. Just be sure to set the correct paths for the files.

Hey @jon123 - Sonoma? Can you store and restore the desktop in Sonoma? I can't seem to get it.