I just got a Macbook Pro and to my astonishment the media keys (that's these keys) media keys

are no longer keys but touch buttons which will result in an incredible number of false positives. This is the worse idea I've ever seen Apple come up with. I roughly unintentionally hit these keys 3 times per hour causing a huge amount of frustration. I need to figure out how to disable them completely with command line. I never use them. Also, the key below on the left is somewhat useful (but not the one on the right)

other keys

but I would rather make them only usable when I hit Fn F3 for the one on the left but the one on the right I would like to disable that as well. I want to make it clear that I'm not interested in completely abandoning the control strip. For instance, the volume keys are useful, so I need to have this option in the preferences remain as is.


  • (FWIW, Apple has clearly listened to some of the complaints about the Touch Bar, because the latest Mac laptops have returned to physical buttons.)
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 23:19
  • Glad to hear that because that was a really bad idea.
    – bobsmith76
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 23:33
  • (Actually, that's one of several backtracks. I had a 2013 MBP, and held off getting a newer one for reasons including the replacement of physical keys with the Touch Bar, the butterfly keyboard, and the removal of MagSafe power connector and HDMI port and SD card slot. So when the new MBP was announced last year with all those changes undone as well as having the new ARM chip, I ordered one within minutes! It's a great machine — battery life and speaker system are both greatly improved too.)
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


Other than they are touch keys rather than physical keys, the method is identical to all Macs since Mountain Lion, a decade ago.

The pref has changed name slightly to include the term 'touch bar' - System Prefs > Keyboard > Keyboard

Monterey touch bar

enter image description here
Click for full size. From MacRumors: How to Show Function Keys on a Mac's Touch Bar

Mountain Lion, regular keys

enter image description here
From Mountain Lion: Use standard keyboard function keys, F1, F2, etc.?

Whichever way this is set, pressing the Fn [Globe] key as well, will flip the functionality]

  • That's not what I want to do. I need to disable the media keys completely. I'm not interested in using them at all. Too often I hit them accidentally. I like the volume keys and the brightness keys but that's because I don't him them accidentally. Let me be clear, whatever keys is above the number 7, 8 and 9 I want it to be not responsive. I don't want to change it to something else, I want to change it to a mute key.
    – bobsmith76
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:10
  • "rather make them only usable when I hit Fn F3" That exactly what you asked & exactly what this answer does. Pressing F-anything-else will do nothing at all.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:56
  • That only refers to the second set of keys, which are the ones which enable you to view all windows at one time. I refer two sets of keys, the first set I want to disable, the other I do not want to disable.
    – bobsmith76
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 21:09

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