When Triggered by a KBM Macro, Firefox Automatically Opens in Safe Mode


The very basic macro below has always worked for all apps.

I cannot figure out why since possibly one of the latest version of Firefox, it causes Firefox to open in safe mode, which I don't want.

I rechecked that the activate action chooses the correct version of firefox.

If I start firefox via spotlight, it opens normally.

Thanks very much for your time and help.


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Hey @ronald,

When confronted by this sort of issue ALWAYS suspect the keyboard shortcut you’re using.

Change it to something very innocuous like F1, and see if that doesn’t fix the problem.



Firefox is opening in safe mode because you have some modifier pressed that is saying “open in safe mode” - presumably one or more of the modifiers in your hot key.

Figure out the modifier, and then start the macro with “Pause Until modifier (whatever) is not pressed”.

Or change your hot key.


@peternlewis @ccstone
thanks very much to both of you.
My shortcut did indeed include the safe mode modifier (Opt).
I reconfigured my macros to make us of an ‘activate app’ palette which solves the problem, and it easier than remembering so many app shortcuts.

May I just pick your brain about a new issue I have with Firefox.
Just in case the answer is obvious for you. Don't waste any time on it.
In the newest version of Firefox, I can access the Mac services menu via the top Menu ➜ Firefox ➜ Services, but there are no Services in the context menu.
I have been trying to troubleshoot this issue for the past 2 days.
Would you have some idea which would put me on the right track to finding the solution.
I tried completely uninstalling Firefox (including all support files) and reinstalling.
Thanks very much



Hey @ronald,

Forget about troubleshooting the issue – there's nothing you can do. This is a failing of Firefox.

What you can do is create a macro to open the services menu, so you can type-select whatever service you want.


Menu » Services Menu.kmmacros (1.9 KB)

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Your macro is fantastic !! thanks very much.

I used to have to create one action per service menu item which is quite fastidious. Now it's great.

I have 2 follow-up questions:

1- how to navigate in the services menu: once in the services menu with your macro, would you have a trick to trigger a specific services menu item ? Typing the first letter is not useful. The only alternative I could think of is quite tedious: enter the corresponding number of down arrows to navigate to a specific item, followed by Enter.

2- I only use Firefox occasionally and for specific tasks. I usually use Chrome, and your macro does not appear to work in Chrome for some unknown reason the macro fails to find target: notification below.
Note that I works fine in both safari and firefox
thanks again very much

If I can solve these 2 problems, it would make a huge difference in my workflow.

error message in Chrome:


  1. You were very close. Just insert the entire name of the service you want to use via typing (not pasting, in this case), followed by Enter.

  2. Assuming you only want to use this macro in browsers, change APPLICATION in the Menu Title field to Safari|Chrome|Firefox
    If there are any other browsers you want to include, you can add them with a pipe character | and the name of the app as it appears next to the File menu.


Your solution is absolutely fantastic. Incredible !
Instead of creating many Services macros for each app palette, I created a generic Services palette for all apps.
And I can add as many apps as I want with the pipe sign.
A huge step forward for me in terms of workflow.
Thank you so much !
@peternlewis please give this man your highest award !


You don't need the whole name – just enough of the name to make the typed text unique.

Using the whole name frequently does NOT measurably affect the speed of the macro though.


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thank you

The menu title of the macro is
Safari|Chrome|Firefox|Scrivener 3
and it works fine in all 4 applications, the insert via typing as per your instructions.
I very much like the idea of a services palette

I discovered one minor issue which is where one ends up at the end of the macro.

What I want in terms of workflow: I will usually be working in a browser like Chrome ➜ trigger the macro to Add highlighted text to evernote ➜ want to continue working in Chrome (not in Evernote).

When I trigger the macro, for example in Chrome, I noticed that can end up at one of many places: where the services menu action took me (for example in Evernote if I triggered Add highlighted text to evernote in the services menu), but also back in the browser, in the KBM window itself, in System Preferences Keyboard. It’s unpredictable even when I trigger the macro within the same application (like Chrome).

Is there an action I can add at the end of the macro which would ensure that I end up where I started, for example in Chrome in the example above, but also in Firefox if I triggered the macro initially in Firefox, etc ? I would like to preserve your idea of a generic services menu group/palette with Safari|Chrome|Firefox|Scrivener 3

thanks very much

This is true; however, with so many service menu items, taking the time to figure out exactly how many characters of each name you need to insert is much more time-consuming than just using the entire name. And as you say, using the whole name does not measurably affect the macro's speed, so in practice I don't see much reason not to do so.

P.S. Good to see you posting here again :slightly_smiling_face:

A set of two actions, but yes, and it's actually quite easy to do. At the start of the macro, add a Set Variable to Text action, with the text being the token for the name of the front application:

Save Frontmost App.kmactions (381 Bytes)
15 PM

Then add this action at the end of the macro to restore the application originally saved (you may want to add a Pause or Pause Until action to ensure that the macro waits until after the service has finished doing whatever it's done so that switching back to the original app doesn't affect its task):

Restore Saved App.kmactions (382 Bytes)
50 PM

If you only ever switch away to a single other app, you could also just try adding the built-in "Activate Last Application" action, which does exactly that, at the end of your macro:


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works perfectly ! exactly what I was looking for. Thank very much.

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Thanks on January 29, 2022, ccstone.

I was getting the "Safe Mode" window for an Apple Music "Activate" macro.

I did what you said-- switched to an F4 keystroke, and no more "Safe Mode" messages.

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