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How to restart the Touch Bar on macOS

The Touch Bar isn’t the best hardware addition that Apple has made to a MacBook. It has some utility but not much out of the box. There are some apps that make it more useful. The Touch Bar also tends to run into hardware problems. In some cases, it tends to glitch, or it simply turns off. A simple system restart should fix it but, if you’re not in a position to restart your system, you can restart the Touch Bar alone. Here’s how.

Restart the Touch Bar

In order to restart the Touch Bar, you need to run a Terminal command. Open Terminal from Spotlight, or from the Launchpad, or from the Applications folder. Once it’s open, run the following command.

pkill "Touch Bar agent"

The command executes in a second. The Touch Bar will blink but that’s all it will do to indicate that it has restarted.

One other method for restarting the Touch Bar is through Activity Monitor. Go ahead and open it and on the CPU tab, look for something called TouchBarServer or TouchBarAgent, or something similar. Select it, and click the Quit button. The Touch Bar will blink as it does with the Terminal command, and the restart will be complete.

Restarting the Touch Bar is a fix for software related problems. If restarting it doesn’t fix whatever is wrong with the Touch Bar, you should definitely restart your Mac.

A restart isn’t going to fix all software related problems. It might fix some but in other cases, you might need to dig deeper to find out what’s wrong and how to fix it. You can always refresh the OS. It’s a drastic measure but you keep all your files and apps. It will take some time depending on your system specifications but it is a sure fix for software related problems.

If an OS refresh doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to look at possible hardware problems. The Touch Bar is a display panel and like any display, big or small, it can run into problems that are major or minor. You won’t be able to troubleshoot them on your own so take it in for a check-up by a professional. If you’re within warranty, have Apple take a look. If you’re not under warranty, it might still be a good idea to have Apple look at it even if you do not have them repair it.

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