Touchbar breaks my external keyboard, and the option to use all fn keys as fn keys is gone. Is there a way to do so anyway? For me the whole touchbar thing is completely useless, and I'd prefer only having it while I hold the fn key, like it works when I add a single app in the settings

Sierra 10.12, 2017 model

  • Didn't realise you couldn't do that anymore. I don't have a Touch Bar MBP though so I can't really help.
    – Andre
    Feb 14, 2018 at 17:27
  • 1
    here apple.stackexchange.com/questions/262828/… they suggest to use the karabiner-elements app... doesn't it work for you? Feb 15, 2018 at 0:07
  • @GioValerio I was facing issues with Karabiner - completely broken fn key. So for me it's also not the best option (as I don't have an eject key but need sleep/lock hotkey). However, it's the closest solution I see at this point Feb 16, 2018 at 13:38
  • Have you tried Touch bar shows F1, F2, etc. Keys in Keyboard settings?
    – JBallin
    Feb 19, 2018 at 18:35
  • @JBallin UPD This option is only available for "Press Fn key to". I want it to be active by default. Feb 21, 2018 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


If you go to Settings > Keyboard, in the Keyboard pane, the box "Touch Bar shows" select "F1, F2, etc. Keys" as the option.

The touch bar will now just show Fn keys as if it was a normal keyboard. (They will dim and appear black sometimes.)

Then, you can change the setting directly below, "Press Fn key to" and select "Expand Control Strip" or "Show App Controls". This will fulfill your request to "only have it while I hold the fn key."

Hope this helps!


In addition to Bens answer, I found a new option which is more to my liking: I can use F1 etc as usual on my external keyboard and leave the original setting on the macbooks keyboard. This is good for me, since I use fn keys only when coding, and I only code with a proper keyboard. When I am on the road, I usually write, so it's fine to have the touchbar as it was designed.


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