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Why is Typinator disabled even though "Enable access for assistive devices" is turned on?

This can happen temporarily when you are typing in a password field. In this case, macOS disables monitoring of keystrokes to prevent malicious programs from stealing passwords. The Typinator icon in the menu bar will then appear in gray with two black bullets.

If Typinator is disabled generally and independently of password fields, this may be caused by certain applications that disable the keyboard monitoring function of macOS in situations when they should not do this.

We currently know about the following applications:

  • Some Unix terminal applications (like Apple's Terminal or iTerm) have an option "Secure Keyboard Entry" (in the "Terminal" or "iTerm" menus) that blocks Typinator, sometimes even when other applications are active. Turning the "Secure Keyboard Entry" option off fixes the problem.
  • There is a known problem in 1Password that affects Typinator as well as other similar utilities. 1Password sometimes does not reset "secure keyboard mode" after entering a password. The only "fix" is to quit the application in which this happened. To prevent the problem, try confirming entry in 1Password fields with clicks rather then by hitting the return or enter keys.
  • There is a known issue caused by "1Password mini", which sometimes enters secure keyboard mode when it shouldn't. To work around this problem, open 1Password's preferences, disable the option "Always keep 1Password mini running" in the General section and close the 1Password window without enabling 1Password mini. Then verify that Typinator works. If it does, you may be able to turn the option back on in 1Password.
  • Using 1Password to fill a password field in Google Chrome disables keyboard monitoring in all applications. This problem is caused by the password dialog of the Chrome extension. If you encounter problems that might be caused by 1Password, try updating 1Password to the latest version.
  • Using LastPass to fill a password field in Safari or Google Chrome disables keyboard monitoring in all applications. When this happens, click in a password field in the browser, then click outside the password field such that the password field loses the keyboard focus.
  • PasswordVault turns off keyboard monitoring when you leave it running in the background. Quit PasswordVault to enable Typinator again.
  • Quicken's Scheduler globally breaks keyboard monitoring. Disable the scheduler to solve the problem.
  • Check Point's VPN-1 SecureClient disables keyboard monitoring when you start a VPN connection. Quitting the VPN client restores normal operation.
  • xGestures causes a similar problem that can be solved only by uninstalling xGestures.
  • Boxee has a background service called "boxeeservice" that conflicts with keyboard monitoring. To solve the problem, switch off the "run all the time" option in Boxee's settings and quit Boxee.
  • Hulu Desktop disables Typinator for some users. Quitting Hulu Desktop fixes the problem.
  • Site-specific browsers created with Fluid incorrectly leave keyboard monitoring disabled when you close a browser window while the text cursor is in a password field. Quitting the Fluid browser restores normal behavior.
  • XHub has an option "Use Apple Remote" that deactivates keyboard monitoring. This problem has been reported to the developers of XHub. Until they come up with a fix, you cannot use the Apple Remote with XHub when you wish to use Typinator.
  • Notational Velocity has an option "Secure Text Entry" that disables keyboard monitoring for all applications. Quitting Notational Velocity or turning the "Secure Text Entry" option off fixes the problem.
  • Webroot breaks keyboard monitoring under certain circumstances. This can be fixed by disabling "realtime shields" in Webroot's Mac Security box.
  • Mailtab for Gmail by FIPLAB reportedly gets stuck in secure keyboard mode after some time and logins with multiple Gmail accounts. Quitting Mailtab may help to resolve the problem.
  • Keybase can permanently activate secure keyboard mode system-wide for all applications, which blocks Typinator. Terminating Keybase fixes the problem.