MacBook Pro touch bar not working? 7 Ways to Fix it

Is your MacBook Pro Touch Bar Not Working? Read this article to solve the issue further.

If you have got the new Mac Book Pro, you will find the touch bar above the Mac keyboard. We have often read the forums on people complaining about the Mac Book Pro touch bar not working properly.

A touch bar is a mini OLED display that offers various features and access to functions like swipe, slide, access to Siri, and various shortcuts for the app.

Now, there might be several problems and possible solutions for the Mac Book Pro touch bar not working sometimes or permanently.

Here, we have shown the 7 solutions to fix this problem.

Why is Touch Bar not working on my MacBook Pro?

The Touch Bar of Mac Book pro may be caused by various reasons that would cause it to stop permanently or temporarily.

This may leave your touch bar unresponsive, freeze it, or sometimes does not show app-specific buttons on the touch bar.

Here are some quick reasons as to why the touch bar might fail to function properly on mac Book Pro:

  • Malfunctioning applications
  • Heavy usage of memory, CPU, disk space
  • Software glitches
  • Running older versions of macOS
  • Water damage
  • Hardware problems

Mac Book pro touch bar not working

So, what are the solutions to these problems? Read below to find out all these solutions.

How to Fix Mac Book Pro Touch bar not working: 7 Best Solutions To Fix

If your Mac Book Pro touch bar is freezing, unresponsive, or facing any issue, make sure to check out the version you are running.

One of the most common reasons for this issue is the outdated version of Mac Book Pro. Thus, the first thing you need to do is to update the Mac Book Pro to the latest version and reboot to check if the touch bar is working.

If this solution doesn’t work, you can try any of these 7 fixes to see if the Mac Book pro touch bar is working properly.

#1: Force Stop Trouble Causing Apps

Force stop app on Macx- Mac touch bar not working

You can diagnose the problem if the touch bar does not respond only on using certain apps. In this case, the trouble is caused by these applications.

There might be some bugs or minor crashes that may obstruct the working of the touch bar efficiently.
Thus, if you notice the unresponsive touch bar only during using specific apps, then the trouble may be caused by these apps or software.

The best solution is to force stop the trouble causing apps. To force quit these apps, follow the steps below:

  • On the left upper corner of the Mac, click on the ‘Apple’ icon.
  • Click on ‘Force Quit’.
  • Choose the app that you think is causing the problem. Again, click on Force Quit.

Re-launch the app and check if the touch bar on your Mac Book Pro is working well now.

If the problem still persists, go to the App settings and check for any updates. You can also contact the app developer to report the issue.

#2: Restart your Mac Book Pro

One of the easiest fixes of the Mac Book Pro touch bar not working is by restarting the Mac Book Pro. Some minor bugs or apps may cause the touch bar to not function properly.

To reboot your Mac Book Pro, follow the given steps:

  • Click on the ‘Apple’ icon and then click Restart.

How to restart a Mac OS- mac touch bar not working

  • If the Mac Book Pro freezes, you can restart by holding the command button and pressing the power button to force the system Restart.

Make sure to save your work before forcing restart as you may lose the unsaved changes.

#3: Refresh Touch Bar

If the above step doesn’t work and you notice the touch bar is unresponsive or not working, you must try refreshing the touch bar.

Refreshing the touch bar will simply clear the touch bar’s memory. There are two methods for updating the Touch Bar on MacBooks. You can accomplish this using either the Activity Monitor or Terminal. Both approaches entail turning off and restarting the Touch Bar.

Refresh the TouchBar using Activity Monitor

As the name says, Active Monitor is an app that gives all the insights and the apps that are running on your Mac Book Pro. You can check the Mac Book’s performance by taking into account the resource consumption and memory used.

Refresh touch bar using Activity monitor

You can also kill and quit the processes from Activity Monitor by force stopping all the apps. This app can be helpful if your Mac Book pro has battery draining issues or overheating issues.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Open the Mac OS Apps and utilities.
  • In the search bar, type ‘Touchbar’
  • Click on the x icon at the top.
  • Next, click on Touch Bar server and force quit the application.

Refresh using Terminal

To refresh the touch bar using the terminal, use the shortcut Command + Shift + U utilities and click on Terminal app.

Next, type in the command- pkill “Touch Bar Agent”. The next step is to type the password.

Note that the password will not be shown on the display bar. Press Return to proceed further.

#4: Refresh Control Strip

Terminal utilities on Mac- how to fix mac book pro touch bar not working

Control strip is a portion on the right side of the Mac touch bar that displays the options such as volume adjustment, mute button, Siri button and brightness.

If in case, the controls are not displayed on the Control strip, you can try refreshing the control strip.

You can follow these steps to refresh the control strip:

  • Use the shortcut key Command + Shift + U and double click on Terminal app.
  • In the terminal app, paste the command given- killall ControlStrip
  • Press Return to check.

On doing this, the Control Strip will go blank and then immediately come back. If this solution doesn’t work, move to the next step.

#5: Reset Cache Files

Sometimes, the Mac Book pro touch bar may not work because the cache files may get full. The best practice is to remove the cache files and reset the touch bar of your mac book.

In this case, you can follow the steps given below:

  • Choose the Finder app on Mac Book.
  • On the top left corner of the screen, click on ‘Go to Location’.
  • Paste the command- Library/Preferences/ to locate the file path.
  • In this path, find the file with the name- apple.touchbar.agent.plist and you can move it to trash.
  • Next, locate the path- ~Library/Caches/
  • In this folder, do not delete the folder. Make sure to delete all the contents inside and leave the folder.
  • Restart and re-launch your Mac Book.

#6: Repair the Mac’s Drive

Sometimes the error may be due to Mac’s faulty drive. In this case, you must scan and remove the potential errors that are causing the Mac drive malfunction.

To repair your Mac’s drive, follow the steps below:

  • Use Command+Shift+U to open the Utility folder and look for the Utility tool.

repair disk utility on Mac

  • Open the Disk Utility Tool and look for the First aid button.

Running first aid on Mac OS- mac touch bar not working

  • Next, click Run to proceed and it will start a verification process.

If the drive diagnosis still detects an issue, click on First Aid again to check for any errors.

#7: Contact Apple Support

If the Mac book pro touch bar is not working after the update or any other solution, the best thing is to contact the Apple support team.

Visit the nearest Apple service centre or ask for assistance by phone.

What if the Touch bar is not working while charging?

When charging your MacBook, if the Touch Bar isn’t working, displays blank space or doesn’t respond to touch, it could be due to power fluctuations.

It’s one of the most uncommon and often overlooked reasons why Touch Bar doesn’t work on Mac. If this is the case, you must wait until you can obtain a stable power source. A broken or damaged power source, on the other hand, may not give enough power to your MacBook and might even cause issues like these.

In such cases, you must disconnect your MacBook from the current power source and test it with a dependable power source to see if the problem has been resolved.


This was our detailed and 7 best solutions for the issue- Mac Book Pro touch bar not working. The problem can be caused by any of the issues above.

So, you should try each of these solutions before contacting the Apple support team.

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