I have a 13-inch 2017 MacBook Pro (Intel Core i5) with a Touch Bar. I've noticed, that it occasionally disappears, and then after a few days re-appears.

It is not a hardware problem, as killing the touch bar server is affecting the Touch Bar: The buttons come back in a 'grayed out' colouring, but they are not affected by touch sensory. Unsure if the following information may be relevant: My behaviour, when I go off, is to close the lid of the computer overnight. I don't leave my computer powered at 100% battery and never let it run down to 0%. (If the Touch Bar has its' own battery, it should always be powered.)

Another observation I've made is, that it seems to be most of the time browser (Chrome) - or more specifically YouTube related, but it also once happened when I did not have the browser open.

Usually the touch bar re-appears the next day. The question is, why does this happen, and what options do I have on preventing it, without sacrificing quality of life (for example, without always turning off Mac)?

  • To clarify: It dies (fades out) (1) whilst the Mac is in use, or (2) after you've put it to sleep after watching a YouTube video, and then when you wake the Mac, the touchbar has died..? Possibly unrelated, but I've killed a few older Macs (or rather the GPUs) by running an HD video, causing the Mac to heat and then putting it to sleep immediately (maybe even during video playback), without letting it cool down first (i.e. sleep caused the fans to stop)- so maybe heat related due to video playback?. Also, the TouchBar reappears (1) whilst Mac is on, or (2) upon waking up? Commented Feb 25 at 18:41
  • 2
    There could be many issues to manifest like this, so perhaps take it to a repair shop to get it evaluated properly.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 25 at 19:10
  • 1
    The Touchbar is a separate display driven by the T2 chip and running BridgeOS. It is very likely a hardware issue; it’s not prudent to rule out hardware without proper diagnostics. I’m hesitant to make a sight unseen diagnosis, but based on my experience with these models MacBook Pro, I wouldn’t be surprised if you needed to replace the TB assembly
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 25 at 23:07
  • @Greenonline mostly after I re-open the lid, the touch bar is black, I do play videos in the background, but during their stream, the touchbar may be slow, but never disappears. I don't think there's opportunity for the mac to properly cool, before I close the lid, that may be right. (2): One day Touch Bar disappears, after a few days, I open the lid, and their magically back.
    – Someone
    Commented Feb 26 at 10:11
  • In recent days, being completely off YouTube, I noticed the Touch Bar not dieing. Seems to be video-related.
    – Someone
    Commented Feb 26 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


Usually, performing an NVRAM (https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204063) and/or SMC reset (https://support.apple.com/en-us/102605) helps in such cases. If the issue persists and still annoys you, re-installing macOS also re-installs required software components to address the touch bar.

  • 4
    Don’t do this! First, there’s nothing in NVRAM related to this condition. NVRAM holds pre-boot environment values, not runtime. Secondly, reinstalling macOS does nothing but waste time. A much better option is to boot into Safe Mode which will disable all 3rd party apps and kexts leaving a clean macOS to see if the issue is OS related.
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 26 at 15:38

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