- 1 7 Best Ways to Fix MacBook Touch Bar Not Working
- 1.1 1. Force Restart the Mac
- 1.2 2. Restart the Touch Bar Server via Activity Monitor
- 1.3 3. Restart the Control Strip via Activity Monitor
- 1.4 4. Enable Show Control Strip
- 1.5 5. Uninstall Third-Party Apps Related to the Touch Bar
- 1.6 6. Update the macOS Version
- 1.7 7. Reset the PRAM on Your Mac
- 1.8 Get Your Touch Bar Back to Life
7 Best Ways to Fix MacBook Touch Bar Not Working
Apple introduced the touch bar on MacBook Pro in 2016, only to remove it from the 2021 model. While function key enthusiasts appreciate this move, others who used the touch bar will miss it. It was helpful, except when it froze or stopped working suddenly.
If you experience this often, don’t worry. There are simple solutions to address this problem. Here are the best ways to fix your MacBook touch bar and restore its functionality.
1. Force Restart the Mac
Restarting the Mac is the go-to solution for many issues. To force-restart your Mac when the touch bar is frozen, simply hold down the power key for a few seconds.
To restart your Touch Bar, press and hold the power key with the Touch ID sensor until the screen goes black and the Apple logo shows up. Once it appears, release the power key and wait for your Mac to boot. After logging in, your Touch Bar should work properly once more.
2. Restart the Touch Bar Server via Activity Monitor
The touch bar displays specific keys and functions based on the app you’re using on your Mac. Sometimes, the touch bar software may fail to function correctly. To fix this issue, you can end the TouchBarServer activity in the Activity Monitor. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press the command key and space bar together to open Spotlight Search on your Mac.
Step 2: Search for and launch Activity Monitor.
Step 3: Switch to the CPU tab in the window.
Step 4: Use the search bar in the top-right corner to search for “touchbarserver.”
Step 5: Click on the TouchBarServer activity and then click Stop.
Close the Activity Monitor and wait for the activity to restart. This should fix the touch bar.
3. Restart the Control Strip via Activity Monitor
Like TouchBarServer, there is another activity related to the touch bar. If restarting the previous activity did not help, you can try stopping the Control Strip process. This should ideally fix your touch bar issues. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press the command key and the space bar simultaneously to bring up Spotlight Search on your Mac.
Step 2: Search for Activity Monitor and launch it.
Step 3: Switch to the CPU tab at the top of the window.
Step 4: Use the search bar in the top-right corner to look for “control strip.”
Step 5: Click on the Control Strip activity and stop the button at the top.
Close Activity Monitor and wait for activity to restart. Touch bar should be back to normal.
4. Enable Show Control Strip
If your MacBook’s touch bar hasn’t frozen, but some options like media and brightness controls are missing, there’s a good chance that the control strip has been disabled. Here’s how you can turn it back on.
Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac’s screen.
Step 2: Select System Preferences.
Step 3: Click on Keyboard option.
Step 4: Tick the ‘Show Control Strip’ checkbox next to the ‘Touch Bar shows’ option.
This action will re-enable control keys on the touch bar.
5. Uninstall Third-Party Apps Related to the Touch Bar
The touch bar can display functions or keys from third-party apps. There are apps like TouchSwitcher and Touch Bar Piano that extend the functionality of the touch bar.
These apps may interfere with the touch bar’s functioning and cause issues. If you have installed third-party apps on your Mac, try uninstalling them to restore the touch bar. Check our guide on how to uninstall apps from Mac completely.
6. Update the macOS Version
Some versions of macOS may introduce bugs that can affect certain components on your MacBook. Upgrading to the latest version of macOS can resolve these issues. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Click the Apple logo on the top-left of your screen.
Step 2: Select the About This Mac option.
Step 3: Open the pop-up window with Mac details and click on Software Update.
Step 4: Wait for your Mac to scan for the latest update. If an update is available, it will be displayed.
Step 5: Click on Update Now and wait for the process to complete.
Wait for the update to install. Check if the issue is resolved.
7. Reset the PRAM on Your Mac
The PRAM (Parameter RAM) stores data about your Mac, like default values of the startup disk, virtual memory, and hardware components. Resetting the PRAM can help bring back the touch bar to the default state if none of the solutions worked.
Here’s how to reset the PRAM on your MacBook. This step only works with Intel-based MacBooks. Not with MacBooks with Apple Silicon since PRAM/NVRAM works differently on it.
Get Your Touch Bar Back to Life
These steps will help you restore your MacBook touch bar. The touch bar is useful for controlling Mac settings and features like predictive text and emojis.
As Fred Humiston, the author behind Twothirds.us, I focus on providing practical and easy-to-follow guides and solutions for a variety of technical issues that people commonly face.
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