How to Customize Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro 2016

Last Updated: November 29, 2016

Ever since Apple launched the Late 2016 MacBook lineup, it seems that every one has been talking about the Touch Bar. The usefulness, or lack thereof. Personally, I think it’s really great, and it will become even better. One of the things Apple talked about in their keynote, was the fact that the Touch Bar could also be as easily customized in very much the same way as one would customize the tool bar on any Apple application on their Mac. So, if you have the brand new MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar, and you want to customize the Touch Bar tools, here is how you can do it:

Customizing Touch Bar

It’s actually very easy to customize the Touch Bar, and I’m glad it is. I would rather have Spotlight where Siri is, because I don’t ever use Siri, and the customization options just offers a lot more flexibility to use the Touch Bar in the way you’d want to. To customize the Touch Bar, you just have to follow the steps below:

NoteI don’t have a MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar, so I’m using the trick to get the Touch Bar on any Mac, and I’ll show you how to customize it. The process is exactly the same for the real Touch Bar though, so you won’t find any differences there.

1. Go to System Preferences on your Mac, and click on Keyboard.

system-preferences-keyboard

2. Here, click on the button that says “Customize Control Strip“.

customise-control-strip

3. You will then be shown a display with all of the Touch Bar buttons that you can use. Simply drag the ones you want to the bottom of your Mac’s screen, and they will drop down onto your Touch Bar.

customisation-options-for-touch-bar

4. If you customize your Touch Bar, and later decide that you wanted the default one, that’s easy too. Simply drag and drop the “Default Set” onto your Touch Bar.

default-set-of-buttons-in-the-touch-bar

Once you are done, simply click on the “Done” button, and your Touch Bar will have updated to display the new buttons that you put in there. It’s easy to customize the Touch Bar, and you can keep tweaking it, until you find the exact set of buttons that work for you.

touch-bar-customised

Bonus: Take Screenshots of the Touch Bar

While the Touch Bar is essentially a display, it’s not on your screen. So, your general screenshot shortcuts wouldn’t work. You can’t, for example, press command + space + 3, and have the Touch Bar show up in the screen shot. If you want to take screenshots of your Touch Bar, you can use the new shortcuts that Apple implemented specifically for that purpose.

  • To take a screenshot of the Touch Bar, and save it as an image file, simply press “command + shift + 6“.
  • If you simply want to copy the screenshot to the clipboard, you can press “control + command + shift + 6“, instead, and then paste the screenshot wherever you want to.

Those are the ways you can take screenshots of the Touch Bar on your Mac. Unfortunately, there is no way to take screenshots of particular regions on the Touch Bar, so if that’s what you wanted to do, you’ll have to just crop the screenshot.

SEE ALSO: How to Set Up Custom Gestures on Mac using Better Touch Tool

Customize the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro to Fit Your Needs

So, that was how you can customize the Touch Bar in anyway that you like, and make it that much more custom tailored to you, and the way you use your MacBook Pro. So, what buttons on the Touch Bar are you going to replace, now that you know how you can do it? Do share your thoughts about the Touch Bar, and whether or not you see it as a useful addition to the MacBook lineup, in the comments section below.

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