What Is Mac Touch Bar | Customize Mac Touch Bar

Dany updated on Jun 01, 2023 | Home > Knowledge Center

Mac Touch Bar Full Instructions

If your Mac has the Touch Bar, you can configure the Touch Bar to suit your needs, including removing items, hiding the Control Strip completely, etc.

What Is Mac Touch Bar

Mac Touch Bar is a Retina display and input device on supported MacBook Pro models above the keyboard. Mac Touch Bar offers quick access to the functions of system settings or applications installed on your MacBook Pro. And you can decide what procedures to show on your Mac Touch Bar by customizing it.

Mac Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

A Mac Touch Bar can be divided into two main parts. One is the Control Strip on the right side, which can invoke Siri, and adjusts your Mac's brightness and volume. Another is the app and task region; you can place applications you often use to get convenient access.

How to Use Mac Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

The Mac Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro is built into many macOS applications, giving you convenient Mac keyboard shortcuts to what you do most often based on your current apps and activities. You can use gestures on the Touch Bar, such as tap, swipe, or slide, to adjust settings, access function keys, or use apps installed on your MacBook Pro.

Control Strip on Touch Bar

As a part of the Mac Touch Bar, the Control Strip locates at the right of it. Its functions include using Siri and adjusting standard settings. For example, users can quickly swipe left or right on the buttons for settings like brightness and volume. Users can also expand the Control Strip to access more buttons. For example:

  • Type the "<" icon to expand the Control Strip.
  • Press the "Fn" or "Globe" key on the keyboard to expand the Control Strip.
  • Tap the "x" icon to collapse the Control Strip.

tyep < icon to expand the control strip

In some apps, users can use the Touch Bar to quickly add emojis to their text. Just tap, and swipe to scroll through the emoji (organized by category, such as Frequently Used or Smileys & People), then tap the one they want to use.

How to Customize Mac Touch Bar

Touch Bar buttons display Apple's programs, such as Photos, iTunes, Maps, etc. The Touch Bar also supports third-party offerings.

You can change your Touch Bar to suit your needs. To customize your Touch Bar on a MacBook Pro, you can refer to the following steps:

Step 1. Click "File".

Step 2. Choose "New Finder Window".

Step 3. Click "View".

Step 4. Select "Customize Touch Bar".

drag it to the left end

If you want to remove a specific button from the Touch Bar, drag it to the left end, and release your finger when the "Remove From Touch Bar" reminder appears.

Which MacBook Pro Has Touch Bar

These MacBook Pro models have the Touch Bar to replace the traditional function keys with a touch-sensitive control that adapts to different applications and provides Touch ID login support.

  • Most 13-Inch MacBook Pro models, including A1706, A1989, A2159, A2251, and A2289.
  • All 15-Inch MacBook Pro models, such as A1707 and A1990.
  • All 16-Inch MacBook Pro models.

Note that the early entry-level 13-Inch MacBook Pro A1708 doesn't have a Touch Bar, and Apple did address the Touch Bar's removal when the 2021 MacBook Pro was published.

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Why Apple Removes Mac Touch Bar

Early on in the presentation, Apple said, "Users value the full-height function row on the standalone Magic Keyboard. And we've brought it to the MacBook Pro." Apple made it clear these keys replace the Touch Bar, saying they bring back "the familiar, tactile feel of mechanical keys that pro users love."

The main reasons that Apple removes Mac Touch Bar are:

  • Lack of support: over the past few years, for example, the MacBook keyboards were changed a few times, and with a recent update to the laptops, the trackpad got a bump in size, but the Touch Bar never got any chance in terms of upgrades.
  • Limited reach: with Apple giving it little attention and users reluctant to do the same, it needed to progress and change faster.
  • Annoying to many: many users had always considered the Touch Bar to be a nuisance. They could never get used to it, especially in its early days, when years were not used to it being there and would touch it by mistake—as a result, disrupting their workflow.

To make the Touch Bar less annoying, you can watch this video:

  • 01:20 How to keep Touch Bar awake
  • 01:30 How to customize the Touch Bar
  • 02:03 How to take screenshots
  • 03:06 Summary

Fix Touch Bar Not Working on MacBook Pro

Different reasons exist for various "MacBook Pro Touch Bar not working" or "MacBook Pro Touch Bar Missing" issues.

What may cause the Mac Touch bar problems that were not changing with apps, not lighting up, not showing volumes, not responding, freezing randomly, not showing app-specific functions, etc., are as follows:

  • Hardware issues
  • Severe usage of CPU, memory, or disk space
  • Running outdated versions of the macOS base system
  • Software errors
  • Incorrect settings
  • A recent keyboard replacement

Once you have an idea about what makes the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro not work, here are effective methods to fix it:

Fix 1. Restart your MacBook Pro

Fix 2. Update the latest version macOS

Fix 3. Adjust Touch Bar Settings

Fix 4. Restart Touch Bar Server with Activity Monitor

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

Fix 6. Force quit or reinstall the problematic applications

Fix 7. Connect Apple Support

Read this article to find detailed information and the solutions steps above.

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If your Mac has the Touch Bar, you can configure the Touch Bar to suit your needs, including removing items, hiding the Control Strip completely, etc. Touch Bar buttons display Apple's programs, such as Photos, iTunes, Maps, etc. The Touch Bar also supports third-party offerings, including 1Password, Day One, etc. You can customize the Touch Bar as you want.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written 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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