How to make the Touch Bar slightly more tolerable

Because let’s face it, no one asked to have our function keys taken away!

Scott Vinkle
3 min readMar 23, 2018
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

I don’t know how many times I’ve set my hand down to rest only to accidentally hit something on the Apple Touch Bar and end up losing my work…

Or how about when I actually need to use the Touch Bar to switch the currently playing song, adjust the volume level, or change the display brightness; 2 taps instead of 1…

And the Esc key—wait, where is it? Argh…

Animated GIF of a man flipping a table in frustration (Nathan Barnatt to be specific.)

It’s been a bit of a frustrating experience so far to say the least. 😐

Hey don’t sweat it

The good news is I’ve found a method to basically turn the Touch Bar set of controls back into the original keyset from older MacBooks of yesteryear! Except, you know, without the physical keys.

1. Adjust the Touch Bar settings

In order to always show the “default” set of keys, like on older MacBooks, go to Settings > Keyboard.



Scott Vinkle

Accessibility Specialist at Shopify • Speaker, writer, workshop instructor • IAAP CPWA •