Help - Zombie Macro/Process?

Regardless of what I do, the engine keeps running a process which I can't stop. According to the engine log the process/macro is: HScreenArea::CaptureCGImage


  • I have no macro that has that string based on searching in editor (I am not that good in search within KM editor)
  • The menubar KM shows no running macros
  • I have re-started the engine and it still happens
  • I have re-booted the Mac and it still happens

Here is the log:

Here are the search results from Editor:

Have you granted permissions to KM in MacOS System Preferences Security & Privacy > Screen Recording?

Try if this helps

Yes, definitely (Big Sur, 11.3.1)

I also got this, if it means anything:

I am wondering why is it running at all in the background?


This is a question best addressed by @peternlewis.

I had a few macro groups of examples I had downloaded from the forum. They were inactive.

One of them was this:

Which (I think) uses the HScreenArea command in it which is what the log references. Even though they were inactive, I deleted them, restarted Editor and Engine and the problem went away. Not sure why this was happening.

Something very similar happened to me a few months ago with another set of example macros I had downloaded from the forum and the "inactivation doesn’t work, you must delete them" solution did work in that case as well.


Keyboard Maestro Engine is searching the screen for an image.

Since it starts before the first macro is executed and is happening every second, I'd guess it is because you have an condition action displayed in the editor window which is trying to evaluate whether the condition is true or not.

The problem is likely that the Screen Image actions don't work at all due to permission errors - use the Screen Capture action to capture the whole screen which should probably the system to ask for screen capture permission, and then ensure Screen Recording is enabled in the Security & Privacy permissions.

But it might also be dependent on the specific details of the action, trying to select a window that is not currently available.

Peter, I am sure you are right with the editor trying to evaluate the condition, since when I close the editor, the issue went away. All the Mac permission are set properly for NM. Next time, this happens, I will check the find image conditions (I dont use any screen capture actions on my macros) to see which one is causing this. Thank you so much for your response.


I just replied to another post of yours

in which your macro plainly uses screen capture!!

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Check the actions that are visible in the Editor - if you collapse the actions, or turn off Edit mode, the messages in the log should stop.

Exactly the issue. All fixed. Thank you!