Reinstall Keyboard Maestro After a Crash

I had to reinstall OS X on my Mac Pro. I have a Timemachine copy and a Sparseimage on a NAS so somewhere my old KM must be "waiting for me". But Where and how can I import all my trusted macros?

The Keyboard Maestro preferences are in the

~/Library/Application Support/Keyboard Maestro


You can get to ~/Library in the Finder by holding down the shift (or option) key and selecting Library from the Go menu in the Finder.

~/Library is generally /Users/yourusername/Library.

You need to quit Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine, restore that folder, ensure the ownership and permissions are correct, and then launch Keyboard Maestro.


To be clear, that folder contains the entire definition of all of your Macros, KM Variables, and KM Named Clipboards.

You may also want to restore your User Preferences stored in these files:

  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.editor.plist
  • ~/Library/Preferences/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.engine.plist
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Could you please give an example of appropriate permissions? e.g. rwx --- ---

Owner should be you (your username), and you should have write permissions.

Typically group will be something like “staff” but doesn't really matter.

Directory permissions are generally drwxr-xr-x and file permissions -rw-r--r--

Group and other permissions generally don't matter as far as Keyboard Maestro’s operations are concerned.

Thanks a lot

It’s now installed properly!

Venlig Hilsen/Kind Regards
Stig Christensen

Esperhave 34
3060 Espergærde
tlf. +4526212425


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I have done the above but I am probably doing something wrong, because it does not work with me! Does anyone have a suggestion? The macros do not appear.
Thanks in advance

I'm not one of the wizards here, but I like to help people. I'm not sure what to say. You said "it does not work". I think we will need more details. I can imagine several different things that you could mean when you say "it does not work". If you tell us exactly what you have done OR what exactly the problem you are encountering is, or both, we would have a chance at giving good advice.

Thank you for your prompt response.
What I did is the following: First of all made a backup with Timemachine. Then I formatted my drive and installed a new OS X system. Then I dragged Keyboard Maestro from the backup of Time machine and brought it to the new folder "programs".
Finally, from the backup I also retrieved the “library” folder (user-> Peter-> library -> application support) the KM folder and replaced it in the new system by dropping it into the above folder.
However, at startup the info screen and the standard macros appear, but not my macros. Is it wise to make a new install?
It has happened to me more often in recent years that I had to rebuild my macros because I could not find e. I hope you have a suggestion. I am gradually becoming very attached to KM.
Thanks in advance,

That's all fine and good, but you didn't mention if you did this: "ensure the ownership and permissions are correct" as stated above. I will infer that you did not because you didn't mention it.

How should I do this?
I bought KM neatly a few years ago, but I must confess that I am not really very useful in making macros. But that is another problem.
Can you tell me how I can properly arrange ownership and permissions?

There are command line commands to do that. But why would you want to learn those things when there's a much easier way? If you have ever made a backup of your macros by "exporting them" into a file, then you can import them by just double clicking on the file names and it's all perfectly imported with no further work to do with file permissions.

If you have made backups using this method, then we don't need to discuss file permissions. It's a wise thing for making your life easier. However if you tell me you don't have exported backups, I'll try to explain the answer in detail.

I have been so stupid to think that a backup with Time machine or CCC is enough to reinstall the macros. So I never exported them. Unfortunately. I also hope that I will not have to do all the tricky actions now.

Let me tell you how stupid I am,
I just look in the Preference and there is a box with "Sync Macros".
Only 1 push of a button and the miracle has happened, I am saved.
I would like to thank you sincerely for the effort and time I have robbed you.
Kind regards,

Oh cool. Don't worry, nobody is stupid. You didn't rob me of anything, I'm here for fun. I will have to read up on that box/button you used. I have no idea what it does.

If you change your mind and want to come back for help, I will help.

A CCC backup should indeed be enough, assuming you backed up ~/Library/Application Support/.

Look for the KM-related folder there, it should contain everything to restore your macros.