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Secure Text Entry locked

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Since upgrading to Sierra, Alfred always shows (under snippets) the following red message: "loginwindow seems to be preventing text expansion by locking secure entry".


Text expansion does not work. Not only for Alfred, but for every text expansion programme. Even the macOS own text snippets (keyboard system pref) does not work.


Now, I thought it was Chrome due to issue 258882. But quitting Chrome doesn't fix it. Rebooting the computer does of course, but I was not able to find another solution so far.


Any suggestions?

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Not much you can do apart from avoid the application causing the issue and notify the developers whose bug is causing the problem. 


Rebooting is the only way to get snippets to work again, AFAIK. If an app forgets to disable secure entry, you've generally had it.

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If you open Alfred Preferences > Features > Snippets, it says in red text which application has enabled secure input.




No idea if it's Chrome. I stopped using it in favour of Safari quite a long time ago (the secure input bug being one of the reasons).


Certainly, when Chrome forgot to disable secure input, quitting the application often didn't help. Quitting iTerm does disable secure input, but I have no idea if that's the app tidying up after itself or if the secure input API has been updated to handle that.


Edited by deanishe
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On 11/27/2019 at 7:38 PM, Elliott said:

I had luck with this:

  1.  --> Lock Screen.
  2. Unlock the screen with a password or TouchID

Much faster than logging out for me. Might knock something loose during unlock?


macOS Catalina 10.15.1

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)

This worked for me too, probably because of often unlock my mac with my watch.


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Snippets had occasionally stopped working for me as well. After searching for answers I gradually discovered logging out and in, and then later, that merely triggering the screen saver and then re-authenticating (usually with Touch ID) was the fastest way to restore expansion functionality. Recently though it's been happening more often, up to several times a day, and becoming very annoying. Team Alfred - is there anything to be done? It's really starting to get annoying. 🤨 Latest builds of Catalina and Safari.

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@SJ2K @Alfred User As explained above by @deanishe, when this occurs, it's down to another app, plugin, or macOS feature locking secure input - and potentially not correctly releasing it when it's done.


A few people make reference to Chrome earlier in this thread, and certainly some Chrome plugins (off the top of my head, I know LastPass was an issue at the time) don't correctly release secure input when it's done.


Alfred doesn't interfere with the macOS secure input feature and, needless to say, cannot "cancel" or remove another app's secure input, as this would defeat the purpose of that feature.


Based on our daily use of Catalina on numerous Macs and generous testing of Big Sur so far, we haven't come across this issue; Snippets are life for me, I don't go an hour without using them, so you can trust we're testing this very thoroughly :D 


I'd take a look at what non-native apps, plugins and helpers you have running on your Mac. Then create a brand new user account temporarily, and ensure that none of these apps or background tools are running there. What behaviour do you see on that second account? 


It is difficult to troubleshoot when "loginwindow" is all macOS reports, and much easier when there's an obvious culprit like in the example above where macOS reports that iTerm 2 has secure input, but with the steps above, you should be able to work out what's the cause of your recurring secure input issue.



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