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Possible macOS Automation preferences problem/issue on macOS 10.15

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Vero, Alfred support team:

 

I'm running the Catalina beta in a separate APFS partition from that which is running Mojave and, from within Catalina, I've installed Alfred (currently running v 4.0.3). This morning I updated to beta 4 of macOS 10.15 (19A512f).

 

Once Catalina rebooted, I tried launching Alfred's search bar by using its keyboard shortcut (CMD-SPACE in my case), which *did not* bring up Alfred's (actually, any) search bar. So I launched the app by using macOS's built-in Spotlight search interface. Even after having launched Alfred, its keyboard shortcut did not work. So I used the toolbar icon to launch its search bar. Alfred's request to deliver notifications (which I approved) did come through almost immediately -- as seems to be the case for lots of apps this morning now that Catalina beta 4 is running -- after I started Alfred via Spotlight.

 

I then opened up Alfred's preferences and saw that all permissions were now unset, which was caused, I am guessing, by my upgrading to the new Catalina beta (it would have, of course, been nice to have the previously set permissions stick around between Catalina's beta versions; but, I'm guessing, that was out of your control).  The program's preferences were remembered, so the search bar shortcut (CMD-SPACE in my case) worked as expected now that I had manually launched the program. In retrospect, maybe I had been too impatient upon macOS 10.15 b4's initial rebooting, and Alfred would have started on its own had I given it a little more time. 

 

Nonetheless, I definitely had to give Alfred the permissions it needed if I wanted it to work as I expected. When I got to  "Open macOS Automation Preferences,"  the correct panel opened up (System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Automation), but Alfred *was not* listed as a member. I expected it to be present, but unchecked, and for me to be able to enable the permission---or for me to be able to add Alfred to the list. But it was not listed nor could I add it. 

 

To be honest, I can't recall whether Alfred was listed in this panel in previous Alfred or macOS 10.15 builds, so I do not know whether this is a bug/problem. But given that I cannot seemingly add Alfred as a member of the applications that are present in this Automation panel and, yet, there is a button on Alfred's "Request Permissions" panel to "Open macOS Automation Preferences," I thought it would be wise to send this report to you.  

 

===

 

p.s. Are you aware that once a person completes the reCaptcha/Security Check widget on this submission form when they are not yet logged into the forum (at least when using the form on macOS 10.15 b4 using Safari Technology Preview Release 87), it takes only 1 min for a successfully checked captcha control to "time out" and, thus, force the submitter to go through the TOTALLY IRRITATING job of navigating the reCaptcha wizard again? I'm happy to prove that I'm a human and, thus, help you avoid bot-generated submissions to your forum, but, increasingly, these captcha's come off more as helping Google add to their image-tagging knowledge-base than they do of anything else. I eventually realized that I should have logged into the forum *before* beginning my submission, but until I came to that realization it seemed as if I needed to navigate this captcha control a couple of times. And each time I was forced through a cycle of three subjects (fire hydrants, cars, traffic signals, etc), whose navigation is, as you might know, intentionally slowed down, so it takes about a minute to complete. On third attempt through the reCaptcha wizard I finally realized that I could postpone competing the reCaptcha requirement until I was done with the rest of the form, and had I realized that sooner, I would have only had to navigate it once. Of course, before I submitted by report,  I realized that I should first log in to the forum, which, thankfully, once that's done, eliminates the captcha control entirely. Neverthless, you might want to consider placing the security check BELOW the message body field of the form, which will help persons who have not logged into the form from encountering the problem I had. 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.16.43 AM.png

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@LeaXDC As stated in the "Request Permissions" preferences that you provided a screenshot for, "macOS will automatically request the options the first time they're needed" As such, if Alfred isn't listed in Automation, you haven't used any feature that requires it. :) Is there anything in particular that's not working for you that may have made you think you needed Automation?

 

Also, yes, it's up to Catalina to grant permissions and retain these permissions between beta updates; This isn't up to the third-party apps.

 

As for the PS relating to the captchas, this forum is based on a platform called IPBoard; We haven't designed it and have limited control over the precise layout and design of it. Unfortunately, I can't redesign the signup page. 

 

Cheers,
Vero

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@Vero thanks for the answer. Actually, my very simple workflow has broken. It uses "Copy to clipboard" block. Now "Automatically paste to front most app" doesn't work (though the text is being copied to clipboard correctly). That's a pity, I thought it could be automation issue.

Edited by LeaXDC

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@LeaXDC Alfred requires Accessibility in order to paste to frontmost app, not Automation, so that's not the issue :)

 

If you've upgraded to Catalina, you may want to go back to the Accessibility permissions and remove/re-add Alfred, just in case Catalina has fluffed something (it's unfortunately still fairly buggy, even in its public release form).

 

Are you having issues pasting to all apps or only specific ones? Are you running any other clipboard tools or keyboard modifiers that could be interfering with Alfred's normal operation?

 

Beyond this, you can also try creating a temporary new user account on your Mac and test it there to ensure it's working as expected.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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I'm also having this problem. Have tried removing / re-adding alfred in all macOS permissions panes.

Still can't expand snippets or use the clipboard manager.

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@daniel333 Could you please also go through the standard steps for Snippets and Clipboard, ensuring you've activated the features themselves?

 

https://www.alfredapp.com/help/features/snippets/auto-expansion/

https://www.alfredapp.com/help/features/clipboard/#clipboard-history

 

Once you've done this, if the issue persists, please provide more details as to the issue you're seeing so that we can help you further, starting with the version of Alfred and macOS you're using.

 

Snippets:

  • Are your snippets definitely ticked for auto-expansion? 
  • What happens when you type your snippet shortcut? Does it disappear? Do you hear the beep for expansion, or an error beep? This will help establish at which stage the issue is happening and what may be misconfigured on your Mac
  • What application are you testing this in? We recommend TextEdit as a basic native app to test in, to avoid the external factors brought in by non-native apps or website.

 

For the clipboard:

  • When you show the Clipboard History, are items being copied to it?
  • Do you use any hotkey modifiers (e.g. something where Cmd + V isn't used to paste), another clipboard manager that may be interfering, etc

The more information you can provide, the more likely we can help you out.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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Ran through all of those steps (including the troubleshooting, and rebooting my machine).

 

Alfred Version: 4.0.5 [1118]

macOS Version: 10.15 (19A583)

 

Reponses to questions:

 

  • Are your snippets definitely ticked for auto-expansion? 
    • Yes, I went through and unchecked & rechecked everything
  • What happens when you type your snippet shortcut? Does it disappear? Do you hear the beep for expansion, or an error beep? This will help establish at which stage the issue is happening and what may be misconfigured on your Mac
    • Does not disappear, no sound, don't find anything relevant in system.log or otherwise in console.app
  • What application are you testing this in? We recommend TextEdit as a basic native app to test in, to avoid the external factors brought in by non-native apps or website.
    • Safari, TextEdit, Xcode, Wunderlist, Pages. All of these used to work :(

 

 

  • When you show the Clipboard History, are items being copied to it?
    • Yes, it saves correctly and I can search my history, just does not paste when I select the item.
  • Do you use any hotkey modifiers (e.g. something where Cmd + V isn't used to paste), another clipboard manager that may be interfering, etc
    • No, not as far as I'm aware.
Edited by daniel333

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Follow up, I updated to the supplemental catalina update and I noticed that I could not revoke the accessibility permission for Alfred.

 

I was able to fix everything by manually resetting the permissions with the following:

 

tccutil reset Accessibility
sudo tccutil reset Accessibility

Laptop froze after the first command, after a reboot and running the second, everything is working again.

Both my clipboard manager + snippets are now working, so I'm pretty sure this isn't an Alfred bug, just macOS.

 

Thanks for the help!

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