Problem With the "Hide All Applications" Action

I'm using "Hide All Applications" to clear the deck before I set up for a new context.

Sometimes when Safari is open and gets "hidden" by this action, the window that gets hidden goes into a Zombie state.

It's in the menu bar, but the image of it there is transparent. When I hover over it I see the page title, but there's no image of it there. When I click on it to activate it nothing appears to happen, but if I try to click on what's on the screen nothing responds -- it's as if there's a transparent Safari window over the screen!

When I quit Safari the Zombie goes with it.

It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does it's annoying!

Any ideas?

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Welcome to the forums! Glad to have you with us.

This is an odd problem that I haven’t seen myself, so I’m not sure how to suggest a solution. One question, you wrote:

It's in the menu bar, but the image of it there is transparent.

I'm not sure what image you mean… Safari doesn't usually appear as an image in the menu bar… did you mean the Dock?

When you click on the Safari icon in the Dock, does that help?

If you click on the Safari icon in the Dock, does Safari's menu bar menus show up at the top left? If so, what happens when you go to the "Window" menu and select the window that you are trying to use?

Last question / idea: Since there has to be some active application, try this as your "Hide All Applications" action:

  1. Activate Finder
  2. Command+Option+H to hide all other apps
  3. Command+Option+W to close all Finder windows

See if that achieves what you want. If so, see if Safari still exhibits the strange behavior you have seen.


Thanks for the welcome, I've been lurking for a while but I'm digging in deeper now!

Yes, I meant the DOCK.

Some more clues. I seems to happen when I hide all, then open a new safari window. Clicking on Safari only brings up the the newly opened Safari window, but the zombie window will still sit on top of it.

If I look under the window menu for safari only the newly opened window shows up, the zombie is not there.

It's like this window is partially there and partially gone.

I'll try your alternate and report back...


So I implemented TJ's suggestion of using CMD+Opt+H and I'm still seeing the issue, though now it's occurring with other apps too.

Here's an example where Slack is invisible! (I can tell it's there because when I hover over it the popup text appears. But when I click on it nothing changes on the desktop!

2021-05-04 at 10.33 AM

Any other ideas?

That’s super weird, and I can’t say that I’ve seen it before. Sorry I can’t be of any help.

If you disable transparency in OSX

System Settings > Accessibility > Display > Reduce Transparency,
does the icon display?

I disabled transparency and it doesn't display at all!


Really weird.

Hey Brad,

Freaky... I don't recall ever seeing that one before.

  • What version of macOS?

  • You're sure the icon on the dock is not a zombie, before you hide Safari?

  • What happens if you reload the page after unhiding Safari?

  • Do you have Safari permanently in the Dock or just when it's running?

This is old and may not be relevant:

If this is on a newer version of macOS I'd post feedback for both macOS and Safari.


I'm running Big Sur 11.3

Yes, running the KM macro is definitely what creates the zombie. It's not always the same app, could be Safari, or Slack, or Chrome or...

2021-05-24 at 10.05 AM

All of these apps are permantely in the dock, but it's the window that's a zombie. For instance when the Chrome window (attached) was in zombie mode I could activate Chrome and open a new window, but the window that's zombied won't show.

I'll check on those old posts.

Thanks for your help!


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Hey Brad,

See if this works without creating zombies.


Hide All Applications via AppleScript v1.00.kmmacros (5.4 KB)

I ran just that macro by itself and it created a zombie first try!

So weird.


I'd make a report to Apple, because that AppleScript was fully macOS.

I'm assuming Peter is using a completely open Apple API, so that too should be fully macOS.

Just for giggles – try running the AppleScript from Apple's Script


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Did you ever figure this out? It happens to me on occasion. I've found that filing Apple Feedback reports are like yelling at a wall telling it to move. I still file them on occasion, but with a 0% success rate over more than a decade of filing them, I don't expect results.

What solved it for me is getting a new mac. M1 Mac Mini FTW.

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