Trying to Troubleshoot CRON Which Does Not Trigger


I wrote the basic display text macro below. I tried 20 times and the CRON does not trigger.

  • purpose: the macro simply displays text in a window (very useful to create important reminders when associated with CRON)
  • when I run the macro by clicking on run, it works normally
    - engine log: nothing is recorded at the moment the macro should trigger (I tried multiple times)
  • I checked both the CRON syntax and the macro group config many times.
  • I triple checked that both the macro and the macro group are enabled
  • I restarted KBM and rebooted my mac
  • keyboard maestro engine is running

thank you very much

It’s 10:21 am on the east coast (US). Where is it 11:58?

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I am currently in Switzerland.

:joy::rofl: So Funny.

Ok. So at the time I posted today, it was 10:21AM (US EST) which is 3:21 PM in Zurich. The CRON job in your post was well past 11:58 AM. Can you try 6:45 PM to see if it fires?

I will try, but everything has always worked perfectly at all times of the day for the past year or more.
thank you for your post

Addendum to my question:

I ran more tests as @ccstone taught me, and found that after running the macro below which activates the group, everything works perfectly which suggests that at some point the macro group was deactivated.

My question becomes: how does one ascertain the activation status of a macro group or a macro? Everything has always been enabled which is visible in the context menu. I am referring to the "activated" status.

Thank you

Hey @ronald,

You surely know most of this already, but the most obvious clues are as follows:

Note the bolder and dimmer names of both macro-groups and macros (this is even more pronounced in Light themes than Dark themes).

See also the “Triggered by...” checkmark in the macro – it's off and thus the macro is disabled.

Note that my test group is off:

I have keyboard shortcuts to enable/disable macros and macro groups, and it's not all that difficult for my fingers to do the walking and toggle the status of an item without my explicit consent. This doesn't happen often, but ever once and a while...

That's why my first troubleshooting step is:

  • Make certain sure both the macro and its parent macro group are enabled.

My second troubleshooting step is:

  • Make absolutely certain my macro group is active in the context where I want it working.
    • Sometimes groups can become disconnected from the app they're supposed to work with – and there are other ways a group context can be broken.
    • One quick way of doing this is switch to the group context (global or app-specific) and run my Trigger Macro by Name macro and then search for the macro in question. Trigger Macro by Name only displays macros that are available in the current context, so if the macro I'm looking for is missing then something is clearly amiss.

Keep these two words in mind:

Enabled vs Active

Enabled means the item is enabled in the Keyboard Maestro Editor.

Active means the macro is available in the current context.

If I remember correctly I have never seen a case where a macro or macro group showed as enabled but actually wasn't.

Another troubleshooting step I always take is to make sure the Keyboard Maestro Engine is running. On a few occasions I beat my head against the wall trying to troubleshoot a macro only to realize after much grief that the engine wasn't running (nearly always my own fault too).

It's a good idea to run the Interactive Help from the Keyboard Maestro Editor Help menu, because it runs a number of these tests for you on the selected macro or macro group.


thank you Chris for your detailed reply.

I found the solution which may interest you.

As you can read in my initial note (see below) below, I had already done quite a lot of troubleshooting before posting.

My question was about what if those basic steps don't work.

thank you for the tip about trigger macro by name. I will create a trigger macro by name palette (one with each option active, enabled, etc)

I also found it useful to check the engine log.

I think that I "found" a new source of problems with active/inactive and would be curious to know what you think.

The macro has always worked for years. I suddenly remembered that just before the problems appeared, I had created another macro last week, the purpose of which was simply to display the reminder palette, to allow me to manually run or edit (opt click the macros).

that macro contained a single action

When I run that action, the Macro Group is displayed for one action and then permanently inactivated.

I have to run the following to activate it.

thanks again

Just for the benefit of the forum members, here is what @ccstone means by using the trigger macro by name to identify enabled and active macros


Keep in mind that Trigger Macro by Name supports Keyboard Maestro's search string syntax, so you should be able to get by with only one variant of the macro.

manual:Search Strings [Keyboard Maestro Wiki]

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