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Hotkey capture is disabled in OS X 10.9 #30

alunbestor opened this issue Oct 13, 2013 · 2 comments

Hotkey capture is disabled in OS X 10.9 #30

alunbestor opened this issue Oct 13, 2013 · 2 comments


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alunbestor commented Oct 13, 2013

Boxer attempts to capture OS X hotkeys that will interfere with games, like Ctrl+arrowkeys: ensuring the keypresses go to the DOS game instead of triggering system shortcuts. In order to do this, Boxer needs to be granted additional accessibility permissions from the system.

In OS X 10.8 and below, all this requires is to check "Enable access for assistive devices" in OS X's Accessibility Preferences. Boxer 1.3.2's Keyboard Preferences panel gives instructions on doing this, and standalone Boxer applications (as used by will recommend that the user enable this option when they first launch.

In OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”), that option has been removed: instead applications must be granted accessibility permission individually by the user in Security & Privacy Preferences. Boxer's UI instructions are worded incorrectly for 10.9 and will direct you to the wrong preferences pane.

You can re-enable Boxer's hotkey capture by doing the following steps:

  1. Open OS X's System Preferences and switch to the “Security and Privacy” pane.
  2. Select the “Privacy” tab and click on the “Accessibility” heading.
  3. Click the lock icon to make changes to privacy settings. (It'll prompt you to enter an administrator password.)
  4. Click the checkbox next to Boxer in the list “Allow the apps below to control your computer.”
  5. Restart Boxer so that the changes take effect.

Screenshot of OS X 10.9 Security & Privacy Preferences panel

This same process is also necessary for's standalone game apps. However, each standalone game app will appear separately in the list and must be enabled individually. Apps may not appear in the list until they have been launched at least once under 10.9.

After restarting the app, Boxer's hotkey capture will resume working as normal.

@ghost ghost assigned alunbestor Oct 14, 2013
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alunbestor commented Nov 8, 2013

It appears that for some users, Boxer (or a particular standalone game app) may not appear in the list even after having been launched several times. In such cases an OS X restart may be required to get the app to show up; I'm still investigating this, so if you're affected by it please get in touch.

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vicchi commented Feb 12, 2014

I've just come across this very issue. Running Boxer Version 1.3.2 | build 20120713.1, OS X 10.9.1 on a mid-2010 MacBook Pro.

Boxer has never appeared in the Security & Privacy / Accessibility pane, either across an app restart or across a full system restart.

That said, disabling the default "move left a space" and "move right a space" key bindings works around this admirably (and I never use those key bindings anyway so there's no impact on my other use of the OS) and runs my DOS game perfectly.

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