How to Take Screen Shots of Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

Nov 27, 2016 - 7 Comments

Touch Bar screenshot on Mac

The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has replaced the standard Escape and Function keys with a little dynamically changing screen called the Touch Bar. Some Mac users may wish to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar, perhaps for developing, testing, or sharing purposes, similar to screenshotting displays on any other Mac or iOS device.

There are two different keyboard shortcuts to capture screen shots of Touch Bar on a Mac. One saves the Touch Bar screenshot as a file on the desktop, and the other copies a picture of the Touch Bar to the Mac clipboard instead. You can also take screenshots of the Touch Bar with the Grab application in Mac OS.

Take a Screen Shot of Touch Bar as a File on Mac

  • Command + Shift + 6

The Touch Bar screenshot will appear on the desktop like any other screen shot would.

Copy a Screen Shot of Touch Bar to Clipboard on Mac

  • Control + Command + Shift + 6

The Touch Bar screenshot will be copied to the clipboard, which can then be pasted elsewhere as needed. This functions like a Touch Bar specific version of Print Screen in that the picture is not saved as a file but instead goes to the clipboard, a bit like Command+Shift+Control+3 on Mac.

Touch Bar screenshot taken on Mac

The “Grab” app also supports taking screenshots of Touch Bar, if you prefer to use Grab rather than the standard Mac OS keystrokes for snapping screenshots. Grab is found in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder.

Another option would be to run a virtual Touch Bar with an app like Touche or Touch Bar Demo and then screenshot the Mac directly, but that’s more work than necessary for most users with a Touch Bar, though it would be the only way to snap a Touch Bar screen shot for Mac users without a Touch Bar on their keyboard.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Andrew says:

    Same for me – nothing happens.

    15″ Touchbar MacBook Pro.

    Option not available in keyboard preferences.

    Any ideas?

  2. David Moon says:

    Can’t make work here on UK model. No option to change in Preferences.

  3. John Stires says:

    Nada here. Can’t make it work.

    • Deepek says:

      Go to System Prefs > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screen Shots and set it if it is not yet set. If you don’t have Touch Bar you can’t use it. Touch Bar Pro, with Emoji.

  4. Brian says:

    On my Mac it’s Command + Shift + 4.

    • Not Frankenstein says:

      Command Shift 4 does a screenshot of the window, the Touch Bar screen shot is with Command Shift 6 but you can change it in System Prefs if you want.

  5. Sam Levinstein says:

    You can also use Screenie to take delayed Touch Bar icons! It’s free right now:

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