Triggers Not Working


I'm new to the Mac world and KM I have the latest version of KM installed and my OS is El Capitan 10.11.4

My problem is that suddenly all triggers stopped working hot key, typed, application does not matter the macro runs if I use the try button at the bottom but without triggers I am stuck.

Read the help docs closest I can figure is that KM is not getting access to keyboard but if that's the case it's supposed to show up as an error in the app as a yellow triangle I don't see it also don't explain why application trigger don't work either if only keyboard is somehow blocked.

I even reinstalled KM and created a fresh test macro but no use, any help on this much appreciated.

Whenever a macro does not fire when expected, the troubleshooting process is the same (as described on the wiki Troubleshooting page). (in Keyboard Maestro 8.x, you can select Assistance from the Help menu and select “something expected is not happening” and Keyboard Maestro will walk you through the process).

Here is what to do:

  • Ensure the Keyboard Maestro Engine is running - the Keyboard Maestro status menu should show in the menu bar on the right hand side (unless you've turned it off).
  • Ensure you have accessibility enabled (click on the status menu and Keyboard Maestro will tell you if there is a problem).
  • Ensure the Macro Group is enabled, and is active in the application in question.
  • Ensure the macro is enabled.
  • Ensure the macro actions are enabled.
  • Add a status menu trigger, and verify that the macro is active by checking for its name in the Keyboard Maestro status menu.
  • Add a Display Text action to the macro to verify that the macro is firing.
  • Choose Start Debugging from the Status Menu, ensure Pause New Macros is turned on, and trigger the macro. Step through the actions to see where it is going wrong.

Basically, you have to discover if the macro is active, if the trigger is firing, or if the actions are failing.


@peternlewis I was having the same problem, and followed the steps you outline above. Everything checked out and the "Display Set" action was very helpful. Thank you. I realize this is an old thread, but the problem still occurs and this old thread still I the most relevant when searching for an answer.

No matter what, my hot key triggers would only work when I used the "Try" button in Keyboard Maestro's Editor.

I had set my Group up to use a floating palette, as can be seen below:

I decided to try disabling the floating palette, and now my triggers work again.

This may be a bug, I'm not sure. I will research further, but hopefully this helps somebody like me in the future, since there was no resolution posted here.


If a macro group shows a palette (as that one does), then the macro group is active if and only if the palette is displayed.

If you close the palette (with Option-K for the macro, or by clicking the close box, or by doing some other action that deactivates the macro group), then the macro group will no longer be active and the macros will not longer be trigerable.

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Changing the Activated pulldown back to Always Activated, then back to the prior state clears the issue for me...and the keycut is remembered. If it's been "closed wrong," it will deactivate, but not show as deactivated in the KM editor. You have to reactivate it to "Always" temporarily, then back to the way it was.

The Keyboard Maestro editor will never show whether a macro is activated or deactivated.

Activation state is a transient state held by the Keyboard Maestro Engine.

The editor will only show the enable/disable state, which is a semi-permanent macro state controlled by the editor.

For a macro to be active, the macro must be enabled, the macro group must be enabled, and the macro group must be currently active.

If you deactivate a macro group via some user behaviour (configured by the editor, handled by the Keyboard Maestro Engine), then you will likely need to re-activate it for the macro group to be activated. Typically this would be done with the same user behaviour. Changing the macro group to Always Activated and then back in the editor would also do this, since it will clear the deactivation status.