I have MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019).

Recently I noticed a very weird touchbar issue. It looks like it is pressing some buttons on its own. I recorded a small video:


I have no idea what triggers this... Tried to close all apps and restarted the laptop several times but it didn't help.

Any ideas how to fix it?


1 Answer 1


It's a capacitive screen much like the touch screens on cell phones.

The first thing to do is rule out 3rd party apps/software/drivers that could be causing it. Boot into Safe Mode (Hold ⇧ Shift while booting). If the problem stops, then it's a 3rd party app. Start investigating things like:

  • Login items (System Settings → Users & Groups → Login Items). Disable each one. See if the problem goes away. Yes? Re-enable each one individually and test/observe if the problem comes back. Repeat until you've found the item causing the problem.

  • Issue the command sudo launchctl list | grep -v apple. This will list any LaunchAgents or LaunchDameons that are running excluding anything that has "apple" in the name (i.e. com.apple.coreduetd) which are native Apple daemons.

  • Create another User account and see if the problem exists there. If so, it's definitely system wide.

You can also try resetting the Touchbar by killing it's processes:

    $ pkill "Touch Bar agent";
    $ killall "ControlStrip";

If the problem returns, it's definitely hardware.

However, from experience, it's most likely it's due to a physical problem with the touch screen itself. Unfortunately, it means it has to be replaced.

  • Tried to restart touchbar with these commands: medium.com/zenchef-tech-and-product/…. I do not fully understand what these commands do but they seem to fix this problem. At least for the time being...
    – Levani
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 20:05
  • You beat me to it! Those comands restart the TouchBar by "killing" the daemons (services) and forcing them to restart. It will "reset" things, but if it comes back (usually quickly) the TB is bad.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 20:11
  • Yep, it came back. Looks like I'm in trouble.
    – Levani
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 6:49
  • So sorry to hear that. It’s an inexpensive part that requires you changing the whole top case; an expensive part.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 15:14

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