How to toggle the Touch Bar On/Off on macOS

Apple’s MacBooks still have the Touch Bar that was added some years ago. To this day, this small hardware strip has found little utility. It’s helpful to have at times and the dynamically changing soft buttons make navigation easier but the hardware is glitchy and users often have trouble with it that requires restarting the Touch Bar to fix.

If you have a MacBook with a touch bar, but do not use it or it’s broken, you can disable it fairly easily. To make it easier to enable and disable the Touch Bar, you can install an app called Hide My Bar.

Toggle Touch Bar On/Off

The Touch Bar turns on when you boot your MacBook and there’s no way to turn it off out-of-the-box. 

  1. Download and install Hide My Bar.
  2. Run Hide My Bar.
  3. Enable Accessibility access for the app.
  4. Once running, you can toggle the Touch Bar by tapping the Command key twice.
  5. You can also enable/disable the Touch Bar by checking/unchecking it from Hide My Bar’s menu bar icon.

how to toggle the touch bar on off on macos How to toggle the Touch Bar On/Off on macOS

Hide My Bar

Hide My Bar isn’t free. The app costs $3.99 but it has a trial version that allows you to test the app out for ten days. If you like what it does and how it works, you can buy a license for the app.

The Touch Bar does have one niche use; if your Mac doesn’t have an Escape key, you can add one to the Touch Bar. Hide My Bar knows this and has an option to allow just the Escape key to remain On, on the Touch Bar while all other controls are removed. You can enable this from the app’s preferences.

Hide My Bar doesn’t physically turn the Touch Bar off. You will continue to see the backlight however, the soft buttons on it will no longer show.

You can change the keyboard shortcut that’s used to toggle the Touch Bar. Go to the app’s preferences and select the Hot Keys tab to change the keyboard shortcut.

how to toggle the touch bar on off on macos 1 How to toggle the Touch Bar On/Off on macOS

Conclusion

The Touch Bar is now a standard hardware component on MacBooks. Newer MacBook Air models carry it as well. This component isn’t exactly locked or restricted which means developers can create apps for it to make it more useful. It just seems there hasn’t been much progress on that end. Apple doesn’t seem likely to call it a bad idea any time soon so it may remain a part of the hardware of a MacBook for a while. 

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