KM Action to Turn On & Off Stage Manager?

Hi, I'm a brand-new user of KM. I've been aware of the app for a couple of years, but a recent "deep dive" session in MacSparky Labs pushed me over the edge and I purchased it. I'm working through David Sparks Keyboard Maestro Field Guide.

One of the macros I'd like to make is to open two apps (Ulysses and Mindnode) on the right/left screen at the same time.

The problem I've encountered is that I'm using Stage Manager, and that mode won't allow KM to open two apps at the same time on the screen. It's only one or the other. The only way I can get around this is to drag one of the apps into the screen while the other is open, but that defeats the point of the macro.

I've looked for actions in KM to close Stage Manager at the beginning and reactivate it when I'm done, but don't see any. In looking at other posts about Stage Manager it appears that this may not even be possible -- is that accurate.

Does anyone have any workarounds?


Hey Jim,

Welcome to the forum and to the the wide and wild world of Mac Automation!  :sunglasses:

Stage Manager is new, and Apple hasn't provided developers with any APIs for working with it – nor are they good about doing so (witness Spaces and Mission Control).

You can create a keyboard shortcut to toggle Stage Manager on/off though:

How to Enable/Disable Stage Manager with Keyboard Shortcut in macOS 13 Ventura on Mac 🤩 - YouTube

System Settings > Keyboard > Mission Control

I'm still using Mojave, so I can't test this feature – however I don't think there's an intelligent means of detecting whether SM is active or not.

Someone is trying to detect its status with JXA, but it doesn't look like he's had any success.

You can use a global variable and save the SM state for use in macros, but you'll need to toggle the state with a KM macro to make sure the SM state is properly updated.

Good luck.



@ccstone Thanks for the link to the video about setting up a keyboard shortcut to turn on/off Stage Manager.

For my KM macro to open and place two apps side-by-side, I inserted at the beginning a Keystroke action to turn off Stage Manager. I have to turn it back on when I'm done. So that solves my problem.

Thank you!

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