How To Disable The MacBook Pro Touch Bar

How To Disable The MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Since last spring, new MacBook Pro models have replaced the function keys with the Touch Bar, a gimmicky touch-sensitive display along the top of the keyboard. It takes some getting used to, and you may find yourself groping for the delete key and cranking up your headphone volume, or idly resting your finger on the escape key and losing your work.

Photo by Aaron Yoo

OS X’s built-in keyboard settings let you customise the Touch Bar, so you can remove pointless functions such as keyboard brightness, and move others toward the middle of the bar where you’re less likely to graze them. But they don’t let you disable the escape key or the entire Touch Bar.

For that you need TouchBarDisabler, a GitHub project that lets you toggle the Touch Bar and automatically reassigns the brightness and volume controls to key combos.

Since Touch Bar Macs have no real escape key, you’ll need to reassign that too. TouchBarDisabler creator HiKay recommends using OS X’s keyboard settings to assign the escape function to the caps lock key. Or use the powerful keyboard remapper BetterTouchTool to assign it to a more convenient key such as ~’. All this remapping might feel janky, but so does grazing the Touch Bar and losing all your work (or your hearing).

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