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Alfred main event loop / hotkey window delay in appearance when foreground app is busy


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  • macOS 11.2.2
  • Alfred


When hitting my main Alfred hotkey (F11) his window usually appears instantly.


But, I've noticed that during certain conditions, such as shortly after launching a slow-to-open app from the Dock (Excel, Photoshop, etc) the Alfred window does not appear. Instead, it seems to hang until the foreground app is in the "ready" state. (Not sure technically what this is called, but essentially it's ready to receive input - mouse clicks, key events, etc). This can also happen if the foreground app gets busy, doing some long running task etc.


Funny thing is, if I click to another app e.g. Finder and then hit the hotkey, Alfred appears immediately. Just wondering if there's any way to change this behavior so that the hotkey stays more responsive even during these busy times. 

Edited by luckman212
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  • luckman212 changed the title to Alfred main event loop / hotkey window delay in appearance when foreground app is busy
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to post a little note on this:


I discovered an option I wasn't aware of today in Alfred's Appearance > Options area:




I thought maybe this would have some effect on this problem, but alas I tested it and they are both affected by the thread lock. I'm now using Alfred v4.3.4.1229


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This isn't a widespread issue, but I am still really keen on fixing it... so as much info as possible would be handy, and if anybody else is experiencing this issue, if they could also help by providing any kind of hint if things they may have installed which could be the underlying or root cause.




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I've seen some issues with Alfred being unresponsive. In my case, I'm pretty sure it's when disk IO is bogging down and backed up. I don't recall Alfred ever being the only app that was affected. If Alfred isn't responding, chances are a bunch of my other apps aren't, either.

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Yes @godbout opening Xcode is another reliable way to trigger this for me too.


@Andrew it's most noticable on a cold start (after a fresh boot) of a "large" app like Xcode or Microsoft Excel. Another app that I can definitely repeatedly trigger this with is Setapp. I know this is a bit low-tech but I couldn't figure out another way to capture this, so I recorded a couple of seconds with my phone, so you can get an idea of what this looks like...





Excel... (around 9s is where the hang starts - Excel dock icon was still bouncing...)



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i was using XVim2. removed it some days ago, Alfred is not hanging anymore. at least in this case. not sure if because XVim2 was grabbing some keys while starting, or because Xcode had to be resigned with a personal certificate or whatever. clean version of Xcode, no worries. will let you know if it happens in other cases, and will give more info then.

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  • 6 months later...

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