I tried to fix my MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

with insulating tape


If you need the large screen of the 15” MacBook Pro, you have no option of having some actual keys at the top of your keyboard. Instead, you get what Apple calls the Touch Bar. Now, this is a terrible name for it. If you’re a touch typist, or even if you’ve just been using Mac keyboards for a long time, you know where everything is, and not only that but you can feel where everything is using the sense of touch. And using that sense of touch, you know which key your finger is touching and you know what will happen if you push down. You also have the option to not push down.

The Touch Bar removes these super powers from you, forcing you to look down at it if you want to know what it’s going to do. There’s no option to not push down either. The nano-second that the atoms at the surface of your finger come into contact with one of its mystery icons, it’s done. There’s no second chances. It might be better named the Look, Think Very Carefully, and then Touch Bar. I call it the Bastard Chaos Monkey.

Not only is it capable of destructive actions through accidental touches, but it can be extremely confusing when you accidentally touch something and find that whatever you’re working on has changed drastically and you have no idea what you touched because the entire layout of the Touch Bar also changed.

So I figured, if I can make it impossible to accidentally touch anything on it, I can go back to being able to do my work without a super expensive chaos monkey sitting on my keyboard hell-bent on driving me to insanity.

The plan: stick insulating tape across 95% of the Bastard Chaos Monkey, leaving only a sliver of the escape key showing because you need that one.

I also figured that while I was at it I could stick a strip across the top of the touch pad so that it doesn’t enter into a painfully slow Exposé™ every time I scroll when an atom of my left thumb is resting on the touch pad.

The touch pad modification appears to have been a success. Even though it still registers touches and swipes through the insulating tape, it seems to have stopped registering a resting thumb as third finger during scrolling.

The Touch Bar though, even through two layers of insulating tape, is still capable of fucking my day right up, so it’s on to plan B. Tune in again in a couple of weeks time to see how I get on with hacking it out with a chisel before smashing it to pieces with a hammer and then burning its remains in an elaborate exorcism ritual.