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macOS Mojave version: 10.14.6 (18G87)

I've been having a rather strange, but insanely annoying issue that occurs after a few days of uptime as of late with the following symptoms:

  • The Menu Bar disappeaars
  • All running applications are unable to receive focus keyboard input, mouse works and they disappear from the CMD+Tab menu. They still show up in Mission Control but most of them are unfocusable.
  • Multiple system services pop up windows, one after the other asking to unlock the "login" keychain
  • Randomly not able to start apps but even if they start they're sometimes unfocusable
  • Only apps started after the issue happened show up in CMD + tab
  • Cannot get any keyboard combination to show the log off window or restart to work
  • Newly started apps have the menu bar show up when focused, when bugged ones are somehow focused the bar disappeeaars
  • The Menu Bar has the name of another window that I'm trying to click on and focus on. The menu bar is usually non-responsive to clicks.

Sometimes I'm able to get an instance of Terminal to start up and focus on it so that I can just "sudo restart -t now" but it mostly doesn't seem to work. Neither does log-off.

Unfortunately starting Console after the bug happens only shows messages that happened after, not before so I'm unable to provide some detailed debug info. I haven't been able to find any reports that resemble mine anywhere unfortunately. It's almost like something crashes and that crash somehow macOS see running applications as not belongig to my user.

Please give me ideas on what to try as this issue is so strange, I'm out of ideas. Thank you!

  • Wild guess - does this coincide with Time Machine backing up? Keep Activity Monitor visible, sorted by CPU usage & see what hits the top as this happens. – Tetsujin Sep 5 at 7:14
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    @Tetsujin I did have Time Machine back-ups enabled for a short while! I programmed a visit to the Apple Store to have my MacBook cleaned while I was still in a country that has them and I made a back-up just in case. It started doing this shortly after I got home and disabled back-ups. Maybe there's a relation! I will keep an instance of Activity Monitor running to check this and get back to you in a few days. Unfortunately I cannot reproduce this issue faster, I have to wait for it to trigger. Thank you for your reply and for giving me a starting point! – Lehel-Zsolt Sep 5 at 11:46
  • @Tetsujin, it just happened! mdsync and Finder peaked on the CPU usage list at around 40-50% each. – Lehel-Zsolt Sep 7 at 14:48
  • I've been seeing similar recently. Yesterday I used Onyx & just blasted everything on the Maintenance page [watch you don't wipe browser history or form values etc, if you need them, see the 'options' button]. After several hours of Spotlight regenerating & the launch services cache rebuilding, which made everything laggy of course, today I appear to be sailing smoothly. – Tetsujin Sep 7 at 14:58
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    Thank you @Tetsujin! Onyx seems to have solved this problem. I haven't had any problems since I used it! – Lehel-Zsolt Sep 11 at 17:50

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