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?

8 Answers 8


You can turn off the Touch Bar with this open source utility: Touch Bar Disabler.

(The original repo of Touch Bar Disabler: https://github.com/HiKay/TouchBarDisabler was removed. An archive of the repo can be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20170609220926/https://github.com/HiKay/TouchBarDisabler)

Touch Bar Disabler disables the Touch Bar display, while mapping brightness controls onto Ctrl0, Ctrl1, volume controls onto Ctrl8, Ctrl9, Ctrl0.

Touch Bar Disabler's screenshot


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.

  • 2
    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?. Commented Dec 4, 2016 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? Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 23:44
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    @DisplayName I think he is asking for a source about the 45 seconds
    – William
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 2:27
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    @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 Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 22:49

A new alternative is "Hide My Bar". Hotkey can be changed, also if the Touch Bar is hidden, you can change Brightness, Keyboard Brightness and Volume from the menu bar (like w


screenshot screenshot 2


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
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 8:28
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    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
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 17:19
  • This is just not true. It stays on during no activity.
    – doublejosh
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 9:24

Here is a description of how to hide the touch bar with BetterTouch tool (link).

My configurations are:

  1. Settings > Keyboard Settings > Keyboard
  2. Better Touch tool > TouchBar. An empty action and its settings enter image description here Action settings Action settings

And now my TouchBar does not show anything until I press Control key.


setting "touch bar shows" in keyboard settings to "quick actions" and turning off "show control strip" checkbox worked for me.


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.


I faced the same problems that most of you described here. The DIY solution I ended up using was setting the Touch Bar keys to a minimum:

enter image description here

How to set up the Touch Bar to a minimum?

Go to Settings -> Keyboard and choose "Touch Bar shows: Expanded Control Strip". Then click on "Customize Control Strip" button below and add "Space" on each side while removing the other keys.

The advantage of this solution is that I would barely hit the keys by accident. The downside of it was I couldn't enjoy the cool features from the Touch Bar that come with some app.

I made an app to solve that problem that you can find through my profile but I don't want to promote it here 😀.

Hope it helps.


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