How to Run an Automator Workflow After Inactivity

This recipe shows how to get an Automator workflow to run after a period of user inactivity. If the Mac is left idle, you can use Power Manager to automatically run a Automator workflow. A workflow can be used to present warnings, clean up files, or run complex sequences of tasks.

Create an Automator After Inactivity Event

Let's create an event that runs an Automator workflow after 15 minutes of user inactivity.

  1. Launch Power Manager.app
  2. Click Add… to create a new event
    Click Add… to starting creating an event

    Click Add… to starting creating an event

  3. Select the Run an Automator workflow after inactivity task in the Schedule Assistant
    Select the Run an Automator workflow after inactivity task

    Select the Run an Automator workflow after inactivity task

  4. Choose or drag and drop your workflow onto Drop an Automator workflow here
    Choose the Automator workflow to run

    Choose the Automator workflow to run

  5. Continue to the After Inactivity step
  6. Adjust the period of inactivity to wait.
    Adjust the amount of inactivity required

    Adjust the amount of inactivity required

  7. Continue through the Time Constraints and Interactive Constraints steps; we will skip constraints for this recipe
    Skip through the time constraints

    Skip through the time constraints

    Skip through the interactive constraints

    Skip through the interactive constraints

  8. Continue to the Why step
  9. Name your new event and provide any notes
    Name and add an optional description for your event

    Name and add an optional description for your event

  10. Add to create your new idle Automator workflow event
    Confirm the event can be created and scheduled

    Confirm the event can be created and scheduled

    The event to run an Automator workflow after inactivity is ready

    The event to run an Automator workflow after inactivity is ready

Your event is created and immediately scheduled. If you leave your Mac alone for 15 minutes, the Automator workflow will automatically run for the active user.

If you need to perform tasks when no-one is logged in, consider scheduling a shell script.

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Published by Graham Miln on