Unwanted Delay on Macro Triggering

Hello, I’m hoping to have some help with a problem I’m encountering with Keyboard Maestro. I have Mac OS X El Capitan version 10.11.6 and I have version 7.3 of Keyboard Maestro.

I started running into an eight second delay every time I initially trigger any macro. The delay between actions is typical and according to what I set. The issue is only with the initial trigger and not any subsequent actions. So, the eight second delay only pertains to an unwanted delay when I initially trigger a macro and not any subsequent actions. I have not set any sort of initial delay.

I’m still learning a lot about how to use Keyboard Maestro in my daily workflow and I have several hundred macros. This problem seems to have just appeared, but I must’ve messed something up. The problem pertains to every macro that I have tested. Might somebody have a direction in which I should look to resolve this issue?

In advance, thank you so much for being willing to help another fan of this program.


Jon, this is very unusual. I have not seen it previously reported.

Just to checkoff the obvious, have you restarted your Mac?
Does this happen with all KM macros?

Next, let’s make sure some other macro is not also being triggered.
Goto the Keyboard Maestro Status menu, and select “Start Debugging”

  • This will display the debugger, and wait for you to trigger a macro
  • Trigger your macro, and observe the KM Debugger
  • Does it show the macro that you triggered? Anything else?

In the past 1-2 weeks I’m back to having VERY long delays only in activating macros. This starts after using the Mac (a Macbook Pro) for awhile–seems to be increasingly shorter periods before it starts up, but not sure.


  • ONLY delay is in starting the macro after the hotkey is pressed. Very long macros run just fine after they’ve started, but even very simple macros can take up to 10 seconds to launch (with toolbar icon being stuck on alternative image)
  • it happens PERIODICALLY (but frequently) when happening–not every time a macro is called
  • logging out reliably fixes this (doesn’t require full reboot)
  • FYI I run Word 2011, Excel 2011, Citrix-served app, Airmail, Bartender, Default Folder X, aText [I also tried killing all those non-app processes and restarting just Keyboard Maestro but have the same problem]. I also have many macros that are called very frequently, eg Cmd+arrows replacing Alt+arrows, which I use constantly…

I tried watching the console and don’t see any explanation, though there are a lot of seemingly unrelated messages suggesting things could be cleaned up… (i was able to fix a couple little things, but I’m from the PC world until last couple years so not much experience w/this.)

I beg for any help w/diagnosis and treatment! :slight_smile:

@Jonathan_Sturtz, @ajg23 -

Delay in all KM macros, or just some?

If just some, please post a few examples.
(Just first few actions enough).

Here I am seeing intermittent delays, too, BUT in NeoOffice.
(No problem in KM macros.)

Also using Macbook Pro (late 2013).

In my case, problem is delay in arrow keys.
Physical arrow keys, nothing to do with KM.
Yes, I type fast, so maybe something to do with “n-key rollover”??

Restart solves the problem here, too

In the morning, computer still cool, no problems.
After a few hours using, case very warm, problem sometimes.
Shut down for lunch, after lunch, cool computer, no problem.

I don’t know where to look either.

I have MBP late 2013 too. No problems with heating up or arrows. The exception of course is if I use like Cmd+Arrows which trigger KM macros.

Seems quite haphazard when it happens: I can Cmd+Arrow and F11/F12 (which km makes home/end) a lot without the delays, but sometimes they happen, and it seems to be increasingly frequently (but difficult to say–maybe I just get more impatient :slight_smile: ). Seems to happen with any macro (although again intermittently),

Thanks, @ajg23, for those details.

Based on that, I will guess that what we are seeing is saving in the background.

My spreadsheet program auto saves every 10 minutes.
If save is in progress when I trigger a macro, then there is a delay.
I never thought about it before reading this topic.

Does that fit any of what you are seeing?

Not for my situation because it can happen when all big apps are closed; also no way it can correspond to saving because too frequent, and one app saving in background wouldn’t make KM hang (as evidenced by the icon state being stuck for up to 10 seconds) even if I were in another app…

No idea.

Try creating another user on the Mac and see if it has the same problem, if not, then it is probably some sort of corruption or installed software on your account.

Look in the Engine.log file for any reports there, or the Console log for any reports there.

where’s engine.log?

Hey Aaron,

Searching the forum for “engine.log” would give you more than a few hints to that.

Look in the Keyboard Maestro Editor’s Help menu for “Open Logs Folder”


I think I actually figured this out. If you run debugger, there’s a little checkbox that one can click that forces a delay I had inadvertently checked this checkbox. So, if you go to debugger, you may want to. check to see if. you’ve done likewise. Good luck!

Forces a delay?

I see the "Pause" check box, but nothing about forcing a delay.

And does this mean you have the debugger running all the time???

What am I missing?

Thanks for the idea but that’s not the problem. When that box is checked, it puts any macros that are called into debug mode so you can step through/debug them.

Thanks :slight_smile: I’d used finder before and didn’t see it.

Unfortunately there are no clues when I watch the log and experience the delays :frowning:

Well, I finally got around to creating a new user account, and partially getting the system up to speed.

Same problem happens. Again, toward end of work day.


I have a feeling I could wipe the system and reinstall office, etc, and the same thing would happen :frowning:

Any other recommendations welcome, though not expecting miracles :slight_smile: I have one more idea I’m going to chase down.

A new tidbit on this problem: I recently changed my keyboard expansion utility from aText to Typinator.

aText didn’t hang when Keyboard Maestro hung, but Typinator does. (Both Keyboard Maestro and Typinator work again after the delay.)

Hoping this gives somebody an idea…

One more tidbit about this problem: Typinator (which gets stuck w/KM) runs as a background process, whereas aText (which didn’t get stuck w/KM ran as a foreground app.

So maybe there is a common roadblock for both Keyboard Maestro Engine and Typinator as a background app.

Lead to any ideas?

(SUMMARY: happens after hours of use; when it starts, it happens frequently but not every time; delay is between TRIGGER of KM or Typinator and the resulting action; keys and key combinations (eg Cmd+tab) not associated with KM or Typinator DO work; logging out and back in fixes it.)

[Next time this happens, if I don’t have to logout/login immediately (which I often do), I will run atext in background mode and see if it gets stuck!]