Hide All Action Not Working

As a newcomer to KM, I'm trying to work through MacSparky's Keyboard Maestro Field Guide, and can't get the First Keyboard Maestro Script to work. I've set the hotkey ⌃⌥⌘H to trigger the Hide All action, but nothing happens. I've tried:

  • isolating the problem to the action rather than the trigger by switching the Hide All action something else, like opening a Finder window, which works
  • using an At Time trigger, with no results
  • disabling and reenabling Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine in Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Accessibility
  • relaunching KM, and restarting macOS (I'm on 10.5.6 Catalina)
  • running through the Interactive Help checklist with no results.

Have I missed anything?

After further testing, it's specifically the Hide All action that doesn't work. Hide a Specific Application and Hide Other Applications work. Has anyone else run into this?

Going to need a bit more info. Hide All Applications works for me in a simple test macro. This is on the latest version of Big Sur with Keyboard Maestro 9.2.

What exactly is "not working"? For example do you mean some apps do hide, but others don't? or that nothing at all happens.

If some apps hide, but others don't, do you have any apps in your Excluded applications list? (Keyboard Maestro Preferences > Excluded tab). You can turn on the "Hide applications on the excluded applications list" if this is the case and you want to hide those apps. The excluded list is empty by default and since you're just starting out I doubt this is the case but might as well double-check.

If it's the "nothing at all happens" I'd make sure your macro is actually triggering. Add a pop-up window to the beginning of the macro to clearly indicate it at least got that far.

I frequently find the most common reason "nothing happened" for me is that I chose a hot key that conflicts with something else in the system and it's blocking KM from seeing the hotkey.

You can paste an image of your macro by selecting it in the Macros column of the KM Editor and go to the Edit menu and select Copy As > Copy as Image. Then paste it into a reply here.

Thanks for the reply. I have nothing in the Excluded tab in Preferences, and don't have Hide applications on the excluded applications list checked.

By "not working" I mean that no apps are hidden at all when I either use the hotkey or the Try Action option. If I switch the action for Hide a Specific Application or Hide Other Applications, they work as described, but not Hide All Applications.

I've ruled out hotkey conflicts by swapping the Hot Key Trigger with Time of Day and Typed String triggers. It's definitely the action rather than the trigger, and specifically the Hide All action rather than any other action. I've worked through a number of KM tutorials last week, and haven't encountered another unresponsive action.

That is very strange. This action is working as expected for me
Running Keyboard Maestro 9.2 on macOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)


Have you tried using the KM "Interactive Help" (KM Editor > Help > Interactive Help)?

If you are still having issues, see Troubleshooting -- KM Wiki.

I did run through the Interactive Help (OP, last bullet point). I should probably try using the debugger, but the learning curve looks a little steep.

Is this macro in the Global Group?

I've tried a couple of macros that wouldn't run in another folder that do run in the Global Group, and I don't understand why since I explicitly set those groups to Enabled.

But in the case of this particular macro, no. I first created the macro in a new Sample Group folder, then transferred it to the Global Macro Group to see if it would run there, but it doesn't.

Something really doesn't sound correct. One last thing, have you made sure your accessibility settings according to this post?

See OP bullet #3. I've tried disabling and reenabling KM and the KME in the accessibility settings during and prior to running the them, as well as prior to restarting macOS. Maybe I'll tried uninstalling and reinstalling them.

I saw the OP. It sounds like you have done everything I could think of. I can't get mine NOT to work. All I can say, at this point, is email support@stairways.com for a full assessment.

Agreed. It's weird, because it's only that one action that doesn't work. I'll definitely email Stairways and report back if they or I find anything.

The Hide All Applications action is essentially:

  • Switch to the Finder
  • Hide Other Applications

(you cannot actually hide everything, since something has to be visible).

Do you have the Finder running?

Is anything reported in the Engine.log file?

Does Activate a Specific Application action for the Finder work?

Does Hide Others work when you are in the Finder?

Bingo. I run Path Finder as my default file manager, and have it quit Finder. Once I opened Finder, Hide All worked. Thanks!

I just added an Activate Finder action before Hide All.

:unamused: I didn't see PathFinder in your OP... That would have been valuable intel...

True—my apologies. I'm so used to having Path Finder running instead of Finder that I generally think of it as a first-party utility, even though it isn't.

hahaha, actually I use PathFinder too, but I don't have it quit the Finder (tried it years ago and it was really annoying, I think mostly because OS X kept relaunching Finder anyway). So even if I had known you were using it I probably wouldn't have thought about the quit Finder option.

BTW, you can emulate what Peter does, somewhat, without activating Finder, by activating Path Finder, hide other applications, then hide Path Finder.

I say somewhat because I had weird issues Microsoft Teams where it would end up the activated app after the Hide Path Finder and show it's window. Other apps seemed to work fine.

(I tested this after quitting Finder from Path Finder)

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Oh, if you don't need to hide Path Finder too, eliminate that last step and I think that fixes the Teams thing (but any Path Finder windows will remain visible)