Touch Bar Sleep Timeout Options

I absolutely love BTT. The one feature I'd like to see in the preferences would add functionality for users to select how long it takes for the touch bar to go to sleep. I've noticed that when I'm using Final Cut Pro and watching a clip, the touch bar sleeps after 70 seconds. It's annoying, because to press the escape key or any other selection on the touch bar I have to tap it twice.

I'm simply asking whether it's possible to create a preference to set the touch bar to sleep at user-selected intervals. There's some times I'd like it to stay open permanently. Other times, 5-10 minutes is a more reasonable selection.

Thanks much. Hope some folks have some suggestions or feel this would be a helpful feature for them, too.

Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Beuller?

macOS System Prefs → Keyboard → "Turn Keyboard backlight off after XXX of inactivity"
This toggles the Touch Bar too.

Thanks for replying to this thread! I appreciate it. Currently I'm on a maxed-out 2019 MBP running Mohave. I tested the solution you came up with, and, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. The selections a user is allowed for the keyboard backlight timeout runs from 5 sec to 5 minutes. I set it at 5 minutes and watched to see what happens—the touch bar still times out at 70 seconds. At a 5 second setting the keyboard backlight does indeed go off, but the touch bar remains lit. That's just my experience. YMMV

Also, your solution doesn't really address the problem I want to solve; namely the ability to force the touch bar to remain lit all the time for certain applications. For example, when I'm editing video in Final Cut Pro I'll be reviewing a certain clip. After 70 seconds the touch bar times out and sleeps. In order to access my touch bar (or even the stupid esc key), I have to touch it twice. It sounds petty that I'm complaining about doing this, but . . . after hundreds of times throughout the day it becomes tedious. I shouldn't HAVE to press anything twice to simply press 'escape.'

This is why I'd like this feature in BTT.

Unfortunately I don't know of a way to prevent the Touch Bar sleep. I think this is intentional to prevent OLED burn-in.

Andreas! Thanks for the reply.

I had this same thought, but wouldn't it be nice if Apple gave users the option to set it from, say, 30 seconds to 10 minutes?

There's got to be a way to get into the guts of the OS where the 70 second timeout had been originally determined and set.

I'll keep searching for solutions until Apple figures out that no one really wants to press a non-haptic plastic strip twice to access the esc key.

Great app, by the way, Andreas. My Mac is actually a zillion times more productive by what you've produced here.


I don't think there is any simple setting that could do it right now.

If you want to look into the internals, there are three private frameworks relevant for the Touch Bar:
DFRBrightness.framework (I think this is the one that could help here)


Thank you. I'll check these out.

Good luck! I think the DFRBrightness one is the best candidate. It seems to contain some methods for burn-in prevention and turning displays on /off.

I'd be really careful with this though. I believe a 10 minute value would probably cause long term burn in if it is set to that the whole time. (Which is also why I don't want to do any experiments with this - I don't want to be responsible for people ruining their Touch Bars....)


@Andreas_Hegenberg Have you found a way to modify DFRBrightness so that touchbar never sleeps? I've been annoyed by this issue too

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