How can I send/type/simulate the Pause/Break Key?

Hi there

How can I make KM's *Type a Keystroke macro type/send/simulate the Pause/Break Key?

Many thanks for any pointers!

Background: I need this because I a small Apple keyboard on my mac (no Break key). And with a Remote Desktop (RDP) session inside a VMWare client I have to send Ctrl-"Alt"-Break in the VMWare client to get the RDP session out off fullscreen. - I tried mapping this inside VMWare without luck: VMWare seems to expect that you have a real Break key on your keyboard...

Hey @halloleo,

The best I found with a little Google time:

Don't know anything about this one.

“In complex modifications -> rules -> add rule -> remote desktop -> swap command and ctrl”

This seems likely given the capabilities of Karabiner, but I have not actually done it:

RDP for Mac: How do I map the Command button to Windows Ctrl button?


Will look more into Karabiner.

Was just hoping KM would be able to do it somehow.

Comprende – but I haven't seen a method that works.

That doesn't mean there isn't one though.

If you can find the proper macOS KeyCode it can probably be sent via System Events, but I don't know of any direct method using Keyboard Maestro.


Unfortunately I do not have a PC Keyboard (one with a Break key). - If I had one I could at least connect it to my Mac, press the Break key and see what KM or any other tool thinks this key is…

You could try the various Simulate Hardware Keys. I have no idea if any of them map to a Pause/Break key.

I looked online and got all sorts of answers:

  • Fn-Enter
  • Fn-Escape
  • Control-C
  • Control-X
  • F16
  • Fn-Shift-F12

I have no idea what it might be, and whether Keyboard Maestro can simulate it, either as a regular key or a hardware key with or without some modifiers.

Thanks for looking into it.

I tried the key-combos as far as I could, but no avail.

Maybe I can borrow a PC keyboard at some stage to get more insight...

Quick follow up:

Tried Karabiner: I mapped F12 to Pause and alternatively to Ctrl-Alt/Opt-Pause, but neither helped me to issue Ctrl-Alt-Break inside VMWare to un-maximise RDP windows, but there are many other potential layers where things go wrong...

So what I did instead, is using mouse automation via the Click on Found Image action looking for the Un-maximise/Restore button:

Screen Shot 2021-09-14 at 11.34.32 am

Not ideal and pretty fragile of course, but it works.

Even though I had go down a different route, thanks heaps for all the chiming! :slight_smile:

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