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I have this strange symptom in which all of the apps registered under the automation privacy & security preferences sometimes are non-existent after unlocking my MacBook. I have similar problems with SecureInput messing with keystroke-based utilities such as 1Password or Keyboard Maestro, and I'm guessing this relates to it because what happens is that I cannot run anything depending upon System Events. I must log out and back in again for the SecureInput issue to resolve, and I need to restart for the automation preferences to come back.

Before After

I have an installation of macOS Monterey 12.5.1, which is almost new and fresh (a 100% clean installation), with no unique add-ons that could mess with the system in such a manner, so I am not 100% convinced that my apps should be the problem, rather than the system messing up since I have had the same issues in my previous installation.

Concerning SecureInput getting "stuck", it is this app and path that is the culprit: /System/Library/CoreServices/loginwindow.app/Contents/MacOS/loginwindow console

Seems to be related to this post.

I have yet to figure out what app or process causes the Automation preferences to disappear temporarily.

Any thoughts regarding this could be helpful since it is pretty annoying.

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    Fascinating hang or bug you’ve uncovered. How are you interacting with secure input subsystem and preferences/settings?
    – bmike
    Aug 30, 2022 at 17:13
  • If I understand you correctly, the only way I am interacting is simply via LoginWindow.
    – max1mvs
    Aug 30, 2022 at 17:58
  • So, let me rephrase. Other than typing in normal places, why did you say “ I have similar problems with SecureInput messing with keystroke-based utilities such as 1Password or Keyboard Maestro” and “ the SecureInput issue to resolve, and I need to restart” as part of the problem statement?
    – bmike
    Aug 30, 2022 at 18:40
  • Ah yes. I was not clear there. At times, LoginWindow somehow triggers SecureInput, which renders the ability to use accessibility-driven shortcuts or inputs/outputs impossible. That is why I think the problem is related, even though it isn’t SecureInput that messes with the Automation settings as far as I am aware. Both get triggered by a login and relate to automatisation.
    – max1mvs
    Aug 30, 2022 at 20:15
  • I forgot to mention that to disable SecureInput, I need to log out and then back in again. But the missing Automation preferences need a restart before they pop up again. Both problems occur individually. I haven't yet experienced them both being triggered at the same time.
    – max1mvs
    Aug 30, 2022 at 20:33

1 Answer 1

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The easiest way I know to check whether this is enabled is to open the utility Terminal.app and check / toggle it in the Terminal menu

Secure Keyboard Entry selected in Terminal.app

Chasing down which program "left it on" is a bit more tricky since they send a message to the loginwindow process to enable and disable this and I haven't found a log entry to punish the guilty parties.

Here's an answer with a one line script I wrote that lets you know if it's on or off if you need that programmatically instead of visually.

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    Thank you, @bmike! I got a script running via Keyboard Maestro using the same method. A step in the right direction, although It still doesn't solve the other problem with the automation preferences disappearing.
    – max1mvs
    Oct 3, 2022 at 9:55
  • Excellent and minor bummer @max1mvs I was hoping perhaps it all resolved around secure input. I typically use fast scripts on machines that need lighter keyboard automation than the very powerful maestro allows.
    – bmike
    Oct 3, 2022 at 10:04

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