How to Customize Touch Bar on MacBook

Want to learn how to customize Touch Bar on Macbook? 

Introduced in 2016, Touch Bar is a thin touch strip that is positioned above the number keys on your Macbook. Although it is merely a narrow display strip, you shouldn’t underestimate all that it can do. From managing the screen brightness and Siri with its Control Strip to executing specific in-app functions, it can perform almost anything you want.

But it doesn’t just stop here. MacOS allows you to customize the Touch Bar according to your own preferences. You can add or remove certain buttons and the order in which they appear for both the Control Strip and third-party apps. 

If you’re wondering how to do that, you’re at the right place. To learn how to customize Touch Bar on Macbook, continue reading this guide. We’ll go over all the ways in which you can make Touch Bar more useful for you.

So without any delay, let’s dive right in!

1. Customize Your Mac’s Touch Bar. 

Your Mac’s Touch Bar contains two parts. One on the left is app-specific and changes according to the app you’re using, while the Control Strip is located on the right. While you can change their settings one by one, Apple also allows you to customize the overall task and appearance of the Touch Bar. 

Here’s how you can control what to include in your Macbook Touch Bar:

  1. Start by clicking on the Apple menu from the top bar. 
  2. After that, select System Preferences
system preferences
  1. Locate and click on Keyboard.
keyboard in system preferences
  1. Now, go to the Keyboard tab, and click on the drop-down menu next to Touch Bar shows
touch bar shows option
  1. Choose what you want the Touch Bar to show. The options that you can pick from are as follows:

App Controls: This option allows you to see specific in-app tasks in the Touch Bar while using a third-party app. 

Quick Actions: It helps you instantly navigate to the automated Quick Actions. 

Expanded Control Strip: This option expands the Control Strip so that it takes up the whole Touch Bar, leaving no room behind for specific app shortcuts. 

Spaces: You can view the Spaces in just one click by selecting this option. 

F1, F2, etc. Keys: If you don’t want to see the Control Strip or other shortcuts through the Touch Bar, you can pick this option to view the traditional function keys on top of the number keys. 

  1. If you want to hide the Control Strip, uncheck the box next to Show Control Strip.
show control strip
  1. Once done, close the System Preference window by clicking on the X from the top-left corner. 

2. Change Control Strip Settings.

As stated earlier, the Control Strip is located on the right side of the Touch Bar. It lets you control general settings, such as screen brightness, volume, Siri, etc. Moreover, you can add and remove buttons from the Control Strip according to your convenience. 

Here’s how to edit the Control Strip buttons:

  1. Head to the Apple menu from the top-right corner and select System Preferences.
  2. Next, click on Keyboard
  3. Ensure you’re on the Keyboard tab and click on Customize Control Strip. Alternatively, you may go to Finder, click on View and then select Customize Touch Bar
customize control strip
  1. The Touch Bar buttons will show up on your screen. To add a button to the Touch Bar, simply click on it and drag it to the bottom of the screen, into the Control Strip. The buttons in the Control Strip will slightly wiggle as you do this. 
  2. If you wish to remove a button, drag them upward from the Control Strip to the screen. You may also remove it by holding it and dragging it all the way to the left. Release it once you see Remove from Touch Bar.
  3. To rearrange buttons in the Touch Bar, use your finger to drag and move the buttons to where you want them to appear. 
  4. After you’re done adding, removing, and moving buttons, simply click on Done from your Macbook’s screen or the Touch Bar. 
Touch bar options

3. Customize the Touch Bar for Apps. 

The Touch Bar is not only handy for managing system settings, it can also be used to create shortcuts in third-party applications. However, you may only follow this method if you have selected App Controls from the “Touch Bar shows” in the Keyboard settings, as mentioned in the first method of this guide. 

Furthermore, keep in mind that not all third-party apps provide an option to customize the Touch Bar, as some don’t even support it at all. However, the pre-installed Mac apps do, so follow these steps below to customize it: 

  1. Go to the app that supports the customization of Touch Bar, and click on View from the top. 
  2. Next, click on Customize Touch Bar
Customize Touch Bar on MacBook
  1. Add buttons by using the trackpad or mouse of your Macbook. Simply drag and drop the buttons from the screen to the Touch Bar. 
  2. To remove a button, drag it from the Touch Bar to the screen with the help of a mouse or touchpad. 
  3. If you wish to rearrange the buttons in the Touch Bar, drag them one by one and set them wherever you want them.
  4. Once you’re done, click on Done
customize touch bar

4. Use A Third-Party App To Customize Touch Bar on Macbook.

By using a third-party app, such as BetterTouchTool, you can take your customization game to a whole new level. It offers you unlimited options and ways in which you can personalize your Macbook’s Touch Bar. 

Customize Touch Bar on MacBook

The app allows you to put your creative skills to use by creating custom Touch Bar buttons, adding haptic feedback to the Touch Bar icons, and much more. All you have to do is download the app and start with a 45-days free trial. Simply customize the buttons by making your own custom buttons or download presets made by others. 

This concludes our guide on how to customize Touch Bar on Macbook. Hopefully, by now, you’re well aware of the different ways in which you can add, remove, and rearrange the Touch Bar buttons. If you run into a problem while following any mentioned method, feel free to utilize the comments section below. We’ll do our best to assist you further. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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