How to use the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro

The Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard on your MacBook Pro adapts to what you're doing and gives you intuitive shortcuts and app controls when you need them.

The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro gives you quick access to commands on your Mac, and changes automatically based on what you’re doing and which apps you’re using. The Touch Bar is available on MacBook Pro models from 2016 or later, excluding the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports).

Find system controls and settings in the Control Strip

When you start up your MacBook Pro, the Control Strip on the right side of the Touch Bar shows a few familiar buttons like volume, mute, and display brightness, as well as Siri. Tap the expand button in the Control Strip to access controls like brightness, Mission Control, Launchpad, and media playback.


16-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

To access the F1–F12 function buttons on the Touch Bar, press the Function (fn) button at the bottom left of your keyboard.

16-inch MacBook Pro with Touch bar has a dedicated Escape (Esc) key. With 13- or 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the Escape (Esc) button appears on the left side of the Touch Bar.


Explore the Touch Bar in apps

Many of the built-in apps on your Mac have Touch Bar controls that make common actions even easier. For example, in Mail, you can use Touch Bar for composing, replying, archiving, marking as junk, and flagging messages. 

While you’re composing emails, the Touch Bar predicts as you type—tap a word or emoji in the Touch Bar to insert it.

When you select text, the Touch Bar shows you formatting options like bold, italic, and lists.

Most apps, including most third-party apps, include shortcuts, tools, and controls in the Touch Bar for the tasks that you want to do. Tap around to see what you can accomplish quickly and easily.


Customize your Touch Bar

In many apps, like Finder, Mail, and Safari, you can customize the Touch Bar.

Choose View > Customize Touch Bar. The customization window appears on your display, allowing you to choose your favorite items:

When you're customizing the Touch Bar, its buttons jiggle. Use your cursor to drag items that you want from the display down into the Touch Bar.

You can also drag items left and right within the Touch Bar to rearrange them, or drag them up and out of the Touch Bar to remove them. Click Done on the screen when you finish.

Customize the Control Strip

You can also add, remove, or rearrange Control Strip buttons, including Siri.

In any app that supports customization (such as Finder), Select View > Customize Touch Bar. Touch the Control Strip region of the Touch Bar to switch to Control Strip customization.

Then use your cursor to drag items that you want from the display down into the Control Strip.

Drag items left and right within the Control Strip to rearrange them, or drag them up and out of the Touch Bar to remove them. Click Done on the screen when you finish.

You can also enter Control Strip customization mode by clicking "Customize Control Strip" in the Keyboard section of System Preferences.


Use accessibility options with Touch Bar

The accessibility features that help you use your Mac can also help you use the Touch Bar. Hold the Command key while you press Touch ID (power button) three times to toggle VoiceOver, which reads aloud Touch Bar commands. 

Learn more about using accessibility features with Touch Bar.

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