I have the MacBook Pro and several times the touch bar will just hang on me — freeze. I wont be able to control anything from it and it's pretty much unresponsive.

Is there a way we can restart it or something where I don't need the whole system to restart.

  • same issue here on a 16" MBP 2019 - none of the explained fixes seem to do the job for me :/ I always have to fully reboot the system. Any other ideas?
    – themenace
    Jul 2 '20 at 5:54

You can Force Quit the "Touch Bar agent" using Activity Monitor, or with

pkill "Touch Bar agent"
  • 8
    Choosing this as answer. Anyone trying this may also need to run the following. "killall ControlStrip" on terminal without the quotes
    – KD.
    Jul 28 '17 at 15:02
  • 3
    These commands did not work for me, but force quitting TouchBarServer in Activity Monitor did. I’m on macOS High Sierra.
    – Alan H.
    Oct 23 '17 at 0:26
  • 8
    In Catalina 10.15.1 this is not enough. Server comes back but touch bar is still frozen. Also no ControlStrip process exists when frozen.
    – Efren
    Nov 15 '19 at 5:01
  • 3
    Had to restart to recover ControlStrip to work again in Catalina. I blame the multiple monitors disconnections since this OS version introduced sidecar for ipad
    – Efren
    Nov 17 '19 at 23:39
  • 1
    More or less this doesn't work if you glitch your mac out. To do this, let your mac run out of battery power (once it hibernates) turn it back on. Tada, no touch bar, pkill doesn't work. Can't fix it without rebooting. OSX 10.15
    – Greg432
    May 18 '20 at 20:02

On 10.13 High Sierra.

sudo pkill "TouchBarServer"

You can also Lock your Mac with Control + Command + Q and use TouchID to unlock. It's the easiest way for me


I made this app that will sit in the menu bar and allows you to refresh the Touch Bar with a mouse click.

It basically automates pkill "Touch Bar agent"; killall "ControlStrip".

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