Use accessibility features with Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro

Every Mac comes standard with assistive technologies that can help you use macOS. Learn about the accessibility features built into the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) have accessibility features that help users who are blind or have low vision enjoy the features of Touch Bar.

Use VoiceOver with Touch Bar

VoiceOver tells you what’s on your screen, and walks you through actions like selecting a menu option or activating a button using your keyboard or trackpad. It can also tell you what's on your Touch Bar.

To turn VoiceOver on or off, hold the Command key and triple-press the Touch ID button, which is on the right side of Touch Bar at the top of your keyboard:

 

After you turn on VoiceOver, you can use these gestures with Touch Bar:

  • Move one finger over the Touch Bar to change the Touch Bar focus and have VoiceOver announce the element under your finger.
  • Swipe left or right with one finger to move the Touch Bar focus to the previous or next Touch Bar element.
  • Double-tap anywhere on the Touch Bar to activate the element under the Touch Bar focus.
  • Split-tap (touch an item with one finger, then tap the Touch Bar with another) to activate the element under the first finger you use.
  • Double-tap and hold to enter direct touch mode for the element under the Touch Bar focus. This allows you to adjust sliders.

Use Touch Bar Zoom

If you use the Zoom feature on your Mac, you can also turn on Touch Bar Zoom.

Select Apple () menu > System Preferences. Then click on Accessibility, select Zoom, and turn on Enable Touch Bar Zoom.

Here's what you can do after you turn on Touch Bar Zoom:

  • Touch and drag with one finger on the Touch Bar to see a zoomed view of the Touch Bar on your display.
  • Change the magnification level by holding down the Command key and using a two-finger pinch gesture.
  • While panning with one finger, quickly tap with a second finger to synthesize a tap where your first finger is. Hold the second finger down and move both fingers together to synthesize a tap down and drag where your first finger is.
  • Hold your finger still in one location to enter direct-touch mode, which allows you to interact directly with the control under your finger.

Use Switch Control with Touch Bar

You can use Switch Control to display Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro screen. This lets you access Touch Bar elements with standard pointer controls.

First, turn on Switch Control:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Switch Control.
  2. Click General, then select Enable Switch Control. The Switch Control Home Panel appears on your desktop.

Next, toggle Touch Bar:

  1. In the Switch Control Home Panel, click System.
  2. Click Toggle Touch Bar to show or hide Touch Bar.

Learn more about using pointer controls.

Use Accessibility Options to turn on other features

macOS features an Accessibility Options window that lets you quickly turn on or off common accessibility features like Zoom, VoiceOver, Sticky Keys, and more.

To bring up this window on your MacBook Pro, triple-press the Touch ID button.

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