The KM Editor Won't Open on macOS El Capitan

For the past few days (perhaps since upgrading to El Capitan 10.11.6?), the Keybard Maestro editor won't open on my Macbook Pro (Late 2011).

When I try (either from the Applications folder, the Dock, or the KM engine mac menu-bar menu, nothing happens.

Thinking it might help to restart the KM engine, I quit it from the drop-down menu. But no change.

Any idea what I can try?


What version of KM are you using? If you can’t tell, then what OS/X version did you update from?

The reason I ask is that Yosemite/El Capitan require KM version 7.

Thanks for the reply!

I’m using KM 7.2.1. I believe that I upgraded my Mac from the most recent previous version of El Capitan. I know that Keyboard Maestro was working fine under El Capitan until recently.


Huh. Have you tried reinstalling KM?

This may be obvious, but have you tried restarting your Mac?

Sound of palm hitting forehead: Duh!

When I tried to restart, I discovered that KM was running and prevented reboot. Several tries to force quit failed. Finally, I had to force restart by holding down the on key.

Upon restart, all is well!

Thanks for bearing with me through my duh-ness!

LOL. We’ve all been there. No worries.

No problem. But write this down:

Restart is the first line of recovery in response to strange new problems.


I’ll have it tattooed on my palm, so I see it when I’m about to slap my forehead!



Hey Doug,

How did you go about force-quitting?

Did you use the force-quit dialog or the Activity Monitor?

The next step is to gird your loins and use the Terminal:

If you’re unfamiliar with the Terminal it’s a bit scary when you first do this, but if it works it’s better than a forced-shutdown. (Only very rarely have I seen a kill command fail on OSX.)

Searching for the process:

ps auxc | egrep -i "key"


myUserName   212   0.2  1.1  2615472  88512   ??  S     6:17AM   0:19.89 Keyboard Maestro Engine
myUserName   272   0.0  0.0  2471156   3956   ??  S     6:17AM   0:00.03 CloudKeychainProxy
myUserName   247   0.0  0.2  2534616  17624   ??  S     6:17AM   0:00.12 Keychain Circle Notification
myUserName  1243   0.0  1.1  3789456  89764   ??  S     8:12AM   0:05.09 Keyboard Maestro

That gives me the process names and ID numbers.

From there:

killall lets you use the process name.

NOTE – quotes are needed due to spaces in the process name.

killall 'Keyboard Maestro Engine'

kill uses the PID (Process ID) of the process:

kill -9 212

-9 is the baddest of the kill codes:

9  KILL (non-catchable, non-ignorable kill)

See “man kill” and “man killall” in the Terminal for the man (manual) pages.

The StackOverflow article has some fairly comprehensive information.


1 Like

Thanks so much! This is very helpful.

When I needed to force quit KM, I tried Activity Monitor a couple times. No luck. I also tried the command key combination, just in case.

I use Terminal for SSL, so I’m not shy to use it. But I often neglect to think of it for Mac problems.

Your suggestion and instructions are very helpful.

I’ll keep them in Evernote, so I can access them the next time I need them!