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I have a 2019 MacBook Pro 15 inch with touch bar. I change the volume a lot when watching youtube videos. This makes the Touch Bar lag and then crash.

This has been a major issue since I was listening to songs through iTunes and the Touch Bar lagged off while I was changing the volume. Just to try to get it to respond I tried increasing it the max and min. The volume throttle didn't move so I assumed it wasn't responding. But after about 2 minutes music was played at full volume.

Is there any way I can reset the Touch Bar just like I have the ability to reset NVRAM. I am aware that the touch bar is totally controlled by T2 chip. So I think resetting the T2 chip will most probably solve the issue.

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I’ve had issues with my touch bar too. (See Touch Bar not turning on after waking computer from sleep.)

Here are some things that didn’t work for me, but they might work for you:

  1. Open Activity Monitor, find and select TouchBarServer, then press the Stop button. Then select Force Quit. It should restart automatically and your touch bar should be back to normal speed and responsiveness.
  2. If step 1 doesn’t work, try resetting your SMC: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295
  3. If step 2 doesn’t work, try resetting your NVRAM/PRAM: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063
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  • I cannot find TouchBarServer from the Activity Monitor. I tried 2 and it worked for a couple days and it's slow again.
    – Qian Chen
    Aug 12 at 20:09
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You could try toggling on/off touch bar zoom in Accessibility. From the Apple Community:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom
  2. Toggle on/off Enable Touch Bar zoom.

You can read more information about Touch Bar Zoom if interested.

(Answered separately as this is a different potential solution and doesn’t require a restart.)

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  • Wow, I can't believe this worked. Bravo @chharvey! Nov 13 '20 at 19:35
  • this fixed it for me! True that OP
    – cmarangu
    Oct 12 at 4:29
  • true that OP was having problems with touch bar actually crashing, however my problem was more with touch bar just lagging when I change the volume slider on it. This was super annoying because It could me make make my volume suddenly go to max on accident because there was not proper feedback indicating what volume I was setting it to. :/
    – cmarangu
    Oct 12 at 4:31
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EDIT: Resetting the SMC did not work for me. But installing pending macOS updates completely resolved the issue. My touchbar works again now!

Previous Answer:

You could try to reset the SMC, that is:

  1. shutdown the Macbook
  2. on the left hand side of the keyboard, hold shift + control + option for 10 seconds, then release
  3. laptop will automatically boot back up after a few seconds

Unfortunately, resetting the SMC solved the problem for me for only 1 day, the problem was back the very next day.

I suspect it's an issue with the device getting too hot. Therefore, to get a responsive TouchBar back, you could try closing unnecessary applications or browser tabs, and unplugging external monitors.

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