I’ve been using a Mac laptop with a Touch Bar since last summer, and while it’s not my favorite Apple invention of all time, I do see its usefulness in specific applications. If you despise the Touch Bar, you are in a difficult spot at the moment if you need a Pro level laptop. The 13-inch MacBook Pro (with/without a Touch Bar) hasn’t been updated with the new Magic Keyboard, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro only comes equipped with a Touch Bar. If you are finding yourself accidentally triggering Siri or other application shortcuts, you’ll want to check our Bar None.

Bar None is a new application from Shaun Inman that has a straightforward goal: disable accidental Touch Bar taps.

Bar None is an app that lives in your menu bar and ignores all Touch Bar input unless you’re holding the fn key. That’s it. (It effectively nukes the function keys but let’s be honest, Apple did that by introducing the Touch Bar.)

Like Little Fingers before it, Bar None uses an event tap to intercept all input (so it can monitor the state of the fn key while ignoring the Touch Bar) and therefore requires explicit permission to use system-level Accessibility features. Apple (still?) doesn’t provide an especially user-friendly way to request this permission so the first launch experience leaves a bit to be desired. Sorry!

Setting up the app is pretty simple. Once you get installed, you’ll need to give it some additional permissions. You’ll then head over to your Keyboard settings to set the Touch Bar to stay on the function keys. I have my laptop set to switch to the control strip when the fn key is pressed. This functionality seems like something Apple should build into future versions of macOS as an alternative way to use the Touch Bar.

 

The app is available as a free download, but Shaun mentioned he’s not providing support or taking feature requests for future enhancements. It’s a simple app that does one thing and does it well.

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