Disable software escape key on 16" MBP

With the new MacBook Pro, Apple added back a physical escape key. This means that GC will have a redundant escape key, so I’m working on an option to disable the escape key on the Touch Bar entirely! I’ll use this thread to post updates.

@Andreas_Hegenberg one question for you - will it be possible to detect the 16” mbp somehow, perhaps with a new BTT internal variable like “has_physical_esc_key”?

If you have or are getting a 16” MBP, let me know because I will definitely need your help testing!

+1, but already added a manual remove escape key option and uploading a new build very soon :grin:

Am I missing something? Why not just disable 'show escape key on left side' in the BTT touchbar settings? Removes the software key for me

GC uses its own custom escape button implementation! So this setting wouldn’t do anything for GC users. Additionally, GC has a few custom behaviors around the escape key that the UI would need to accommodate for when it’s turned off.

That said, I also want it to hide automatically if you’re using the new MacBook. I don’t think this should be a user-facing option.

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Maybe ping systemevents or detect display dimensions?

Received my 16" MBP yesterday if you'd like me to run any commands to assist with auto-detecting this model...


not really relevant but is the new model’s touchbar the same dimensions as previous ones?

Could I have a screenshot of the bar? thanks!



By my measurement excluding the fingerprint sensors, my MacBook Pro 16's touchbar is exactly 2cm shorter than my MacBook Pro 15's touchbar.


I think I'm missing something. 'show escape key on left side' is missing from my BTT Touch Bar settings. Using AQT with BTT and am unable to hide escape key.

Any updates on this? I really like the default touch bar in some apps (illustrator for instance), but never use the software escape key. So it would love the option to remove it and have some more touch bar space. Or the option to replace it with something useful like a clock would be great as well. I don't seem to be able to do that while keeping all the other default touch bar functionalities.

Isn't this function in the new version yet? Or is it disabled because I'm on a 13" MBP (with esc mapped to the upper-leftmost physical key, eg. the useless paragraph symbol key)?

@vmk This is next up on my list along with several other requests, like always showing music controls :slight_smile:

Lovely. I will patiently wait for the next release.

Btw, I used the new key mapping function in Catalina to remap the key: https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/technotes/tn2450/_index.html Probably easy to implement in BTT in the feature.

Together with mapping fn-§ to § and fn-shift-§ to ± using BTT I have a physical esc-key while still being able to type § or ±.

When I use normal escape key on my MacBook Pro 16 with Golden Chaos I have some lags in some programs. It becomes like low fps low responsible until I press some other keys (not escape). If I disable Golden Chaos profile, problem gone.

I'm also getting a lot of lag (16" MBP in Catalina) in most of my programs with Golden Chaos to the point where I have to turn off BTT completely in order to do anything. I have most things turned off outside of weather, media, brightness and volume controls. In addition, my physical esc and mapped esc key (caps lock) both do not work with vim with iTerm2 anymore.

@rjh @Hunterok is this issue still happening in the latest versions? I don’t have a 16” MBP to test with unfortunately :frowning:

Yeah, using it on my new 13" right now; we need a way to completely get rid of the maximize/escape key. I've been scouring BTT itself to see if it's a module, but it doesn't seem like it. How easy would a fix be/how soon could it be pushed?

It might just be a settings toggle right? A hardware-aware implementation isn't necessary I think

@GoldenChaos In addition, the Touch Bar on the new models is a different width, so both the control and option menus are broken (overspaced/too much width). Won't take much for me to hard code in a fix, but I just wanted to let you know.

@GoldenChaos wait never mind I fixed it lol

BetterTouchTool > Escape Keys > Click the Esc/Fullscreen trigger with the same logo as the icon and hit Cmd+D and refresh.

Let's go

@maxyj02 haha, the issue I was asking about was the lag, but it seems like things are not lagging for you on your 16"?

Setting window esc hiding switch + 16" default settings that hide the esc key automatically coming in the next version :smiley: will also fix the sizing of things across the board, thanks for reminding me!