How to Fix MacBook Pro Touch Bar Not Working with 7 Easy Ways in 2024

Dany updated on Jan 11, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

Are you trying to find a way to fix MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working? Here are some solutions that can help you resolve the problem:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Restart MacBook Pro Hit the Apple menu and click "Restart". Opt for the Restart in the dialogue box to validate the action...Full steps
Fix 2. Update macOS Hit the Apple logo on the top-left side of your screen. Choose "About This Mac" under the apple logo...Full steps
Fix 3. Adjust Touch Bar Settings Hit System Preferences, and choose "Keyboard". Opt for App Controls from the dropdown...Full steps
Fix 4. Restart TouchBarServer You can use the Mac Spotlight shortcut to open Spotlight Search on your Mac, simultaneously...Full steps
Other Solutions Your Intel-powered MacBooks have a chip called the System Management Controller (SMC)...Full steps

Why Is My MacBook Pro Touch Bar Not Working

Is the touch bar of your Macbook Pro not working? If yes, the article will show you the necessary fixes to quickly eliminate this problem! However, MacBook Pro's touch bar is an OLED multi-touch strip offering a top-notch way to rapidly access app-oriented and system-level functions.

Despite its maximum usability, the issue of the MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working could appear anytime out of the blue! However, there could be thousands of reasons for an unresponsive touch bar on your MacBook Pro. The most common reasons are the following:

  • Water damage
  • Malfunctioning apps
  • Hardware issues
  • Severe usage of CPU, memory, and disk space
  • Running outdated versions of the macOS base system
  • Software glitches

This article has listed the top 7 fixes to eliminate the "MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working water damage" issue. Therefore, if the touch bar isn't lighting up, freezes frequently, and remains unresponsive, these are the must-try fixes.

Fix MacBook Pro Touch Bar Not Working [7 Best Methods]

Are you wondering how to fix MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working issue? This detailed guide comprises seven amazing solutions you desire to resolve this issue in different scenarios.

To understand MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working issue better, and get rid of that quickly, take a look at the video and its main timeline:

  • 00:14 Restart your MacBook Pro
  • 00:29 Reset MacBook Pro Touch Bar
  • 01:30 Use Monitor Activity to fix the issue

Fix 1. Restart Your MacBook Pro to Fix the Touch Bar

In several instances, a hassle-free restart can assist you in resolving minor issues on your Macbook Pro. Some minor bugs are messing with your MacBook, which is why its touch bar is unresponsive. Luckily, you can fix the Touch Bar not working issue by restarting your MacBook Pro. The steps are the following:

Step 1. Hit the Apple menu and click "Restart".

restart your Mac

Step 2. Opt for the Restart in the dialogue box to validate the action.

On the other hand, if your MacBook Pro's screen has frozen, you need to press & hold the Command button along with the power button to initiate a force restart.

Fix 2. Update the macOS to the Latest Version on MacBook Pro

Bugs in some versions of macOS could affect the functionality of specific parts of your MacBook. These problems can be resolved by updating to the latest macOS Version. The steps are shown below:

Step 1. Hit the Apple logo on the top-left side of your screen.

Step 2. Choose "About This Mac" under the apple logo.

macOS About This Mac option

Step 3. A pop-up window will open with comprehensive details about your Mac. After that, you must opt for "Software Update." If the macOS Monterey update stuck, you can find multiple solutions by clicking this link.

update macOS Monterey

Step 4. You need to wait until Mac scans the available updates. In case any latest update is available, it will be demonstrated.

Step 5. Choose the "Update Now" option, and wait a few minutes to get it done. You can download macOS Ventura from App Store if the update is not showing.

update macOS Monterey

Step 6. Wait for your Mac to restart and for the update to install. Verify the problem has been resolved.

Fix 3. Adjust Touch Bar Settings on MacBook Pro

Since we've already ruled out software flaws and problematic programs, if your touch bar is still not working, you must have a look at a more technical problem. Let's check if your settings are correct.

Step 1. Hit System Preferences, and choose "Keyboard".

Step 2. Opt for App Controls from the dropdown list that the touch bar demonstrates.

Step 3. Make sure the Control Strip is enabled.

adjust MacBook Pro Touch Bar settings

Fix 4. Restart TouchBarServer with Activity Monitor

The touch bar is configured to show a particular set of keys and functions depending on your Mac application. It's possible for the software controlling the touch bar's functions to stop functioning as planned occasionally.

Ending the TouchBarServer activity in your Mac's Activity Monitor is one solution to this problem. However, follow the steps below to restart the touch bar server with the activity monitor:

Step 1. You can use the Mac Spotlight shortcut to open Spotlight Search on your Mac, simultaneously pressing the command key and the space bar.

Step 2. Look for Activity Monitor and click on it to open the program.

open macOS Activity Monitor

Step 3. Go to the CPU tab at the window's top.

open the CPU tab at the window's top

Step 4. Then, check for TouchBarServer using the search box in the top-right corner.

type in TouchBarServer to find it

Step 5. Click the Stop button at the top after selecting the TouchBarServer activity.

stop and restart TouchBarServer

Wait for the activity to restart before shutting down the Activity Monitor. The touch bar should be fixed as a result.

Fix 5. Reset SMC/NVRAM/PRAM on MacBook Pro

Your Intel-powered MacBooks have a chip called the System Management Controller (SMC) that manages several operations and features connected to the hardware, including the power button, LED indicators, battery, CPU, and keyboard.

Hence, you can attempt MacBook Pro resetting SMC if Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro has frozen, become unresponsive, or stopped working.

Follow the steps to reset SMC on T2 Chip MacBooks (MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models introduced after 2018):

MacBook Pro resetting SMC

Step 1. Switch off your MacBook.

Step 2. Ten seconds after pressing and holding the Power button, let go of it.

Step 3. Turn on your smartphone after a little delay.

If your MacBook Pro's Touch Bar continues to malfunction, try resetting the SMC by following the instructions below:

Step 1. Switch off your Mac.

Step 2. Press and hold Control, Option (Alt), and Shift on the built-in keyboard. Your gadget might start up.

pree three keys to reset SMC

Step 3. Hold the three keys down for a further seven seconds. Press and hold the Power button while doing this. Your MacBook will now switch off if it is currently on.

Step 4. Hold the four keys down for a further seven seconds.

Step 5. Wait for some time after releasing the keys.

Step 6. Switch on your device.

On the other hand, the default values for the starting disk, virtual memory, and even some hardware components are stored in the PRAM (Parameter RAM), a crucial storage space for information about your Mac. If none of the aforementioned fixes worked, resetting the PRAM can help restore the touch bar to its default settings. Here's how to make PRAM reset Mac:

Step 1. First, shut down your Mac, and you don't have to remove the battery or unplug the power cord.

Step 2. Hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys while turning on your Mac.

NVRAM Reset Keys

Step 3. Keep all four keys pressed until you twice hear the startup sound. You have reset the PRAM if the starting sound plays twice.

Fix 6. Force Quit or Reinstall the Problematic Applications on MacBook Pro

Imagine that after switching to a specific app, you discover that the Mac Touch Bar is not functioning or displaying controls. The program is probably creating minimal issues and crashing hidden processes, which could prevent Touch Bar from functioning correctly. In that scenario, closing the troublesome app with force is necessary to fix the Touch Bar on a MacBook Pro. The steps are given below:

Step 1. To open the Force Quit Dialogue, concurrently press Command + Option + Esc.

force quit problem applications on MacBook Pro

Step 2. Click Force Quit after choosing the app that's creating the Touch ID issue.

If forcing the app to close didn't work, keep reading to learn how to fix MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working issue.

Fix 7. Fix Touch Bar Issues with Apple Support

It's time to seek professional assistance if you've tried everything to resolve MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working issue that Intel or M1 powers. Sometimes, a serious issue arises that cannot and should not be resolved at your end.

If your MacBook Pro has hardware or water damage, you can experience issues with the Touch Bar. It is advised to have your Mac diagnosed at the Apple shop in such circumstances. Please avoid using low-cost substitutes since they can damage your MacBook beyond repair.

contact Apple Support

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Data Lost While Fixing Touch Bar Problem

MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working issue may lead to data loss while trying these aforementioned fixes, especially fixing the problem by updating the macOS. The update may get stuck and cause data loss. But you can eliminate this issue right off the bat when you have top-notch data recovery software! We're talking about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, the best software to retrieve endless data after unforeseen deletion.

This professional tool can recover files of all sizes, including a single Office Word document and a large number of photos that you store on your Mac, from various data loss scenarios. The following advanced recovery features help your Mac's data recovery:

If you want to recover lost data from MacBook Pro with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, you just need to follow the tutorial below:

Step 1. Select the location to scan

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac and choose the hard drive, SSD,  SD card, USB flash drive, or TF card where you lost data. Click "Search for lost files" to start scanning.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your Mac to avoid further data loss. After backing up, the software can recover data from the Mac backup, and your computer can wirte new data again.

select a location and click search for lost files

Step 2. Filter lost Mac data

The software will automatically scan for lost data on MacBook/iMac. When the scan completes, filter wanted data through the "Type" and "Path" buttons.

filter lost files in types

Step 3. Recover lost data or files

Double-click a file to preview it. Then, click the "Recover" button to restore the lost data to another place. 

click recover to recover lost data


This marks the conclusion of our tutorial on how to resolve the MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working issue. We hope these seven efficient workarounds have helped you resolve those problematic issues and that your Mac Touch Bar operates without a hitch. If your data is lost accidentally while trying the fixes, this EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is worth using.

MacBook Pro Touch Bar Not Working FAQs

The FAQs are listed below to understand the topic better:

How do I fix the unresponsive touch bar on MacBook Pro?

You may try quitting your MacBook Pro forcefully. On your screen, click the Apple logo in the upper left corner. Hit Force Quit. Click Force Quit after selecting the app where the Touch Bar isn't functioning. Verify that you wish to shut off the app once more.

How to download the latest macOS version on MacBook Pro?

You can update or download macOS Ventura by following this tutorial:

  1. 1. Choose the Apple menu and click "System Settings", then you should choose General in the sidebar (you might need to go down).
  2. 2. Then, click Software Update on the right to download the latest macOS upgrades.
  3. 3. Click the Apple menu to update any software you've downloaded from the App Store.

How do I unfreeze my MacBook Pro Touch Bar?

You can unfreeze your MacBook Touch Bar by following this tutorial:

  1. 1. Start the Finder, then type "activity" into the search bar. When you find Activity Monitor in the Finder, double-click it.
  2. 2. Look up "control" in the Activity Monitor. Select Control Strip when you see it.
  3. 3. After clicking the X at the top of the Activity Monitor window, choose Quit to terminate the service. It will restart right away.

Why is half of my Mac Touch Bar not working?

Hardware issues or any software glitch might be the reasons why half of your Mac touch bar is not working. Try to find the hardware issues by contacting Apple Support.

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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