The TouchBar, the small bar / screen at the top of most MacBook Pro keyboards, offers many more options than it appears naked eye. We can change the buttons that appear, their distribution, how they access the different functions, etc.

Before entering the subject, let’s clarify some concepts. The Touch Bar has three sections: The main part where the controls of the app we are using appear (1), the Control Strip (2), that always visible section of four buttons, and the rest of the Control Strip when we expand it (3).

There are several TouchBar configuration options that are most useful, and although it is a personal matter, in this article we propose the ones that we consider most useful.

What we see in the TouchBar and the button fn

Of these three sections that we have just introduced, by default we will see two: the controls of the app and the Control Strip summarized. Furthermore, we can configure the TouchBar so that, pressing the key fn, expand the Control Strip to show us the rest of the options. The steps are the following:

  1. In the Apple menu () we choose System preferences.
  2. We came in Keyboard.
  3. We enter the tab Keyboard.
  4. In the section The Touch Bar shows we choose the app controls.
  5. Along with this section, we activate Show Control Strip.
  6. Below, in Press, the fn key to we choose expand Control Strip.

The key fn can play an important role in the use of the Touch Bar. Certain functions that require us to expand the Control Strip to access them almost become a keyboard shortcutfn + […]”

Section customization

We can configure the three sections of our Touch Bar to show the buttons and options that suit us best. In the case of app controls, the way to customize them is in the app itself. Normally in the menu Display option appears Customize the Touch BarEach app may offer different customization options or none.

Regarding the Control Strip, whether expanded or in its reduced version, the options are offered by Apple and we can customize them by following these steps:

  1. In the Apple menu () we choose System preferences.
  2. We came in Keyboard.
  3. We enter the tab Keyboard.
  4. We touch Customize Control Strip.

We will see all the options appear on the screen buttons that we can place In our Control Strip when it is folded, remember that the limit is four elements.


To add an item simply we click and drag it to the area of the Touch Bar that interests us. We will do it as if the mouse had to “jump” to the Touch Bar from the main screen. If we have already chosen four buttons, we will see that the new one that we want to drag will replace one of the existing ones. To reorder the buttons we have, although we can do it with the mouse, the easiest way is to do it with the finger directly on the Touch Bar.

Within this customization mode, if we want to customize the rest of the Control Strip, we just have to expand it. We will see more options appear on the screen that we can add and place with the same system that we have just seen.

Easy, right? Having the functions we use the most on our Mac just a touch away (sometimes with an fn medium) is undoubtedly a great aid to efficiency and comfort. Actions like taking a screenshot, activating Do Not Disturb mode, or connecting to an AirPlay screen are just a tap away.