How to use function keys on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Learn how to use function keys on MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar.

The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) and later and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and later replaces the function keys at the top of your keyboard and gives you quick access to commands on your Mac. It changes automatically based on what you’re doing and apps that you’re using. 

If you need access to function keys (F1–F12), hold down the Function (fn) key at the bottom-left of your keyboard. Touch Bar changes to show the function keys for you to select, and then it returns to its previous state when you release the Function key.

For some apps, you can make the function keys display permanently in Touch Bar:

  1. In System Preferences, choose Keyboard.
  2. Click Shortcuts.
  3. From the left sidebar, select Function Keys.
  4. Click the “+” symbol, then navigate to the app and select it.

Now when you open or switch to this app, Touch Bar always displays the function keys.

     

You can also use an on-screen keyboard to access function keys:

  1. From System Preferences, select Keyboard.
  2. Check “Show Keyboard, Emoji and symbol viewers in menu bar”.
  3. Choose the viewer icon  in the menu bar, then choose Show Keyboard Viewer.

An on-screen keyboard appears with function keys that you can click.

Using function keys in Windows

When you use Boot Camp to run Windows on your MacBook Pro, the function keys work the same as they do in macOS. Hold down the Function key on your keyboard, and the function keys appear.

You can also use the Windows on-screen keyboard to access function keys:

  1. From the Windows menu, select the Windows Ease of Access menu item.
  2. Click On-Screen Keyboard.
  3. Click the fn key. The function keys appear in the on-screen keyboard.

You can also make the function keys appear continuously in the Touch Bar while using Windows, without having to hold down the Function key: 

  1. In the Windows System Tray, click the up arrow to show additional icons.
  2. Click on the dark grey diamond-shaped Boot Camp icon.
  3. Select Boot Camp Control Panel from the menu that appears.
  4. Click Yes to allow the Control Panel to run.
  5. Click the Keyboard tab.
  6. Select "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys" to make the function keys appear continuously in the Touch Bar all the time. Deselect the checkbox to return the function keys to standard behavior.
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