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Alfred Search / Window is Hidden


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I have an issue where the Alfred search bar is hidden when opening. I press my shortcut key to open Alfred but nothing happens visually. I can, however, still type into an invisible window and Alfred still "works" generally.


  • What you were doing when the issue happened
    Seems to happen more when waking from sleep.
  • Whether you were able to replicate it a second time by performing the same action
    Issue seems to resolve itself after restarting Alfred, but, I can close and open the search bar indefinitely with the same issue.
  • Include any screenshots that might help us
  • Include the Alfred version & build number you are using
    4.0.1 [1131]
  • Include your OS X version
    Catalina 10.15.2
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Hello, I am having the same problem with Alfred disappearing and behaving the same way.


However, it only happens intermittently when attaching a secondary 4K monitor via USB-C.  If I unplug the monitor, Alfred will start appearing again.  Plug it back in, it will intermittently decide to show up again.


The only way I have found to resolve the issue reliably when it happens is to quit and re-open Alfred, and it begins working again.


I've been using Alfred for years and this issue is new to Catalina.


I'm running macOS 10.15.2 and Alfred 4.0.7 [1131].

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I've yet to be able to reproduce this issue, but I am determined to, so that I can work around the issue.


I'm sure this is a bug in Catalina, as we have had reports that it also happens to Spotlight's window. I theorise that macOS Catalina incorrectly caches the screen sizes reported to currently running apps. Alfred is using these screen dimensions to position himself, so as far as he is concerned, he would be showing in the correct place.


If and when I can get this reproduced, I can see if there are any hints which will help Alfred know when this state happens and what he can do about it. It would also help me report something to Apple.




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@Matt V if it's ok, could you pop an email to our info@ address. I can create an Alfred build which will write some stats every time you show Alfred. I'm mostly interested in what NSScreen is doing before plugging the external display, after plugging it and things going wrong, then what happens after things start working again!


Thanks for your help :)




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@Matt V @giorgiof While we're preparing a build for this, would you be able to let me know what your specific setup is?

  • What's your setup when it happens? Are you using an external screen, then removing the external screen? If so, is the external screen your primary display while plugged in? 
  • What is your order of operations for unplugging AND replugging the display? Do you unplug while your Mac is awake? Do you unplug and replug before or after the Mac's screen has been put to sleep?
  • In Alfred's Appearance > Options, what are your settings on the right for a. Save Position when dragging Alfred main window (checked/unchecked), and b. Show Alfred on default screen, mouse screen or active screen?
  • Does it make a difference if you fully wake your Mac and plug the external display after it's awake and logged in?
  • Are there situations where the issue doesn't arise and Alfred/Spotlight appear as normal after unplugging the external display?

The more we can work out a reproducible case, the easier it'll be for us to work around any Catalina bug causing this. 


Also tagging @ionstorm to answer the questions above, as he was very helpfully testing things out in December and might have some useful input too :)


Thanks all!



Edited by Vero
Added a couple more question :)
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  • 4 weeks later...

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