So I don't have a the new MacBook Pro here, but can you actually turn the TouchBar off, like you can turn off the backlit keyboard, when you're watching movie in example?

Searching on Apple.com to do some research didn't find any information about this function.

Can a tool or setting or script turn off the touch bar illumination on demand?


You can turn off the Touch Bar with this open source utility, Touch Bar Disabler. It disables the Touch Bar display, while mapping brightness controls onto Ctrl + 0, Ctrl + 1, volume controls onto Ctrl + 8, Ctrl + 9, Ctrl + 0.

Touch Bar Disabler's screenshot

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  • So it's completely dark? – CodeBrauer Apr 24 '17 at 13:04
  • Yes! It turns completely dark :D – Kay Apr 24 '17 at 13:43
  • Does this save battery? – Harry Sep 21 '17 at 14:25
  • If it is off, then yeah. Though it's probably not much savings. – trusktr May 25 '18 at 5:34
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    Github repo seems to have disappeared... :( – Matt Fletcher May 23 '19 at 21:20

You can't actually turn it off manually but it will automatically after 75 seconds of inactivity (Trackpad or Keyboard). It could be nice to turn it off manually or at least change the duration. I hope it will be implemented in the future.

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    Considering you have just recently joined and therefore haven't yet gain any appreciable reputation, maybe if you add an authoritative reference to your answer it might get some up-votes. As it stands now, I'm not inclined to up-vote it. You might what to read How do I write a good answer?. – user3439894 Dec 4 '16 at 0:53
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    Well, there is no official documentation from Apple stating it is possible. So how is he supposed to link to something that does not exist? – DisplayName Jan 5 '17 at 23:44
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    @DisplayName I think he is asking for a source about the 45 seconds – William Apr 24 '17 at 2:27
  • @user3439894 Well, you might as well test it for yourself by grabbing a timer and validating the claim... Given the following two facts: 1. Apple has no official documentation on this 2. End-user cannot change the duration OP shouldn't have to cite his sources here regardless of the level of specificity this post has. Although things may have changed since 3 years ago – spicypumpkin Apr 2 at 22:49

Touch Bar will turn off after 60 seconds of inactivity. It's impossible to turn it off manually ATM.

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    This adds nothing that hasn't already been said, in more detail – Tetsujin Mar 18 '18 at 8:28
  • It's OK to have a wrong answer - especially when a clear comment can explain how precisely how it's wrong. It might get down votes, but it's OK to have wrong answers. I'm curious why one answer says it turns off at 75 seconds and this says 60 seconds. Might be some good information in both of these answers in addition to the answer with code that can turn it off on demand. – bmike Jul 28 '18 at 17:19
  • This is just not true. It stays on during no activity. – doublejosh Dec 11 '18 at 9:24

I think that Apple has updated it over a software update. When you click in System Preferences -> Keyboard and then click the keyboard backlight box on and reduce the time, Touch Bar will be affected too. Touch Bar will fade away even if your backlight has set to zero brightness.

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In the off-chance that Apple reads these, I'll just write that I am a current victim of the disastrous Touch Bar. The feature is a nightmare. I cannot count the number of times that I have accidentally refreshed my webpage while reaching for the number "4" key. It's also a regression in my opinion to not have sound controls available permanently on my keyboard, since it's the most used feature, at least for me. Grrr....

What I have done is customized my touchbar for each app, and simply removed all the functions that annoy me, which is most of them.

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  • Apple doesn't read this site. If you want to post where Apple does read the comments, got to apple.com/feedback. As far as your answer goes, it's 75% rant and 25% sorta-answer. It might be helpful if you expand on how you customize your Touch Bar. – Allan May 26 at 17:48

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