A small fraction of the time, perhaps one in ten or twenty, I will press a touchbar button and it will highlight (the background of the button changes from dark grey to light grey for the duration of the touch), but the button will not perform its action. This happens with at least the Play/Pause button and the Lock Screen button, possibly with others that I haven't noticed. It only happens the first time I press the button (or perhaps any touchbar button) after a period of not doing so; once a button has worked it will continue working flawlessly if I repeatedly tap it.

Why does this happen? Is there any logging facility I might engage / reconfigure / utilize to capture the raw events and see what, if anything, is being emitted on the failed presses? How can I prevent the misbehavior, and make the touchbar more reliably responsive to my taps?

PS: This problem is not new and predates Catalina. I encountered it on my first touchbar MBP (around OSX 10.12?), and am now experiencing it on a 2019 13" MBP running OSX 10.15.

  • Do you know anyone else with this problem? If so, then you can tell Apple about this problem at apple.com/feedback. If not, then it is possible that your Applications might be causing this. Use Safe Mode to check this. If it still happens in Safe Mode, then do an Apple Diagnostics. Check out the links for Safe Mode and Apple Diagnostics. Apple Diagnostics: support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731. Safe Mode: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201262.
    – Todd
    May 5, 2020 at 18:42
  • @Todd Did you see the part where it happened on two different laptops, three years apart, running different OS releases?
    – Sparr
    May 5, 2020 at 20:59
  • Yes I did. That is why I mentioned Safe Mode because I thought you might have had similar applications on both Macs that might have caused the issue with the Touch Bar. Did you try Safe Mode?
    – Todd
    May 5, 2020 at 21:00


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