How Can I Kill Keyboard Maestro Through the Terminal?


Since Catalina Keyboard Maestro opens the app switcher Window and then the whole Mac hangs.

I can't click anywhere anymore with the mouse. the mouse moves but I can't click any icons.
The window won't go away with Esc or any other keypress.
I can only progress to the next icon by using Cmd-Tab and nothing else.

I've tried the commands from this thread: The KM Editor Won't Open on macOS El Capitan
But they don't appear to work in Big Sur anymore.
Any idea how to get this done on Big Sur?

Here's a screenshot of the view that I have:


Here's a status update:

While I haven't managed to find an answer to my question, I have managed to open Keyboard Maestro and shut down Keyboard Maestro and the Engine, since I can control most actions through the keyboard.

Still no improvement. I can still move the mouse and move windows, but I still can't click any buttons like OK, or close. Clicking on the dock does not work either.

What I have done in the meanwhile:

  • Closed almost all other tools (one I don't want to close due to unsaved work).
  • Removed external mouse and keyboard.

I am not sure anymore that it's an issue with Keyboard Maestro. If someone has any input, do let me know.

Hey Boris,

What version of Keyboard Maestro?

kill and killall should both work on Catalina, although I can't test this personally. I'm still running Mojave on my old hardware.

I suspect you have not enabled all of the macOS permissions the Terminal needs – such as Accessibility, Full-Disk-Access, and Automation.


Catalina's permissions can be very problematic to set. They may look set and still not work, so it's a good idea to toggle them a couple of times.

If all else fails with permissions then the tccutil may help:

How to fix macOS Accessibility permission when an app can’t be enabled | Macworld

In the meantime I suggest you turn OFF Keyboard Maestro's app-switcher macro (search in the editor in the All Macros macro-group.

Then reboot your system.

This problem is not one I've heard of before, but I haven't paid close attention to Catalina issues – since I'l bounce to Monterey when I upgrade my hardware.

Oh, one thing you might try is cycling through your windows using Control-F4. If you have a hidden window in the mix that should reveal it.

Good luck.


Force-Quitting Keyboard Maestro: The KM Editor Won't Open on macOS El Capitan

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@peternlewis – does this issue ring any bells?

If the problem remains after you quit the Keyboard Maestro Engine and Keyboard Maestro, then it is almost certainly unrelated to Keyboard Maestro - Keyboard Maestro does not “install” anything, so when it is quit, nothing is left of its interactions with the system.

No, I have never heard of anything like this.

Sounds like maybe a mouse driver issue?

I would restart as a first course of action, and then check for any drivers installed (things like Logitech Control Center and such).

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