Take back the Touch Bar.

I love the Touch Bar. That's why I was so upset that Apple just sat on its useless its user interface. So, inspired by Vas3k's popular blog post on the subject, and determined to make good on the promise that Apple broke, I've spent a (ridiculous) amount of time reworking the foundations of the Touch Bar into GoldenChaos-BTT: a true general purpose Touch Bar UI with support for tons of apps that's intuitive enough to make you love your Touch Bar again - or, more likely, for the first time. You might even start to miss it on keyboards that don't have it.

Nice words about GoldenChaos-BTT:

"Singlehandedly vindicates the Touch Bar's existence." kdhyde on the BetterTouchTool forums
"Whenever someone calls the Touch Bar useless, I just show them this." KungFuJoe on the BetterTouchTool forums
"The way Apple should have implemented the Touch Bar in the first place." @wowthatisrandom, developer of Forecastbar and InstaCal
"What I would have wanted the Touch Bar to be stock." truublue on the BetterTouchTool forums
"SUPERB." u/townfox on Reddit
"Genius." Harrumph on the BetterTouchTool forums
"INCREDIBLE." peripatew on the BetterTouchTool forums
"A very big preset" Andreas Hegenberg, developer of BetterTouchTool

Latest stable version: GoldenChaos-BTT 2.536-4

(Aug 1 2018 - Release Notes) Zero-config installation, macOS Mojave compatibility, Dark Sky weather widget with automatic units, all-new reminders widget, and support for even more apps

Latest experimental version: GoldenChaos-BTT 2.543

(Aug 7 2018 - Release Notes) New buttons for AirDrop, Dark Mode, and True Tone; Long press iTunes widget for expanded music controls; Hold command for app switcher; Hold control for expanded window snap controls; Contextual refresh button; New Tab button long press functionality

How to Install

  1. Make sure you're using an alpha version of BetterTouchTool that is equal to or greater than the version of GoldenChaos-BTT you're installing.
  2. Install the required helpers.
  3. Only if upgrading versions: Currently, there is no way to upgrade without losing your customizations. Remove the old version of GoldenChaos-BTT by clicking "Manage Presets" inside of BetterTouchTool, selecting "goldenchaos-btt", and clicking "Delete".
  4. Navigate to one of the two latest release links on this page and click "Direct import to BTT" to automatically launch BetterTouchTool and import the latest preset.
  5. Make your Touch Bar perfect using the additional customization options documented below.

Screenshot Tour

The default set of keys if nothing is open; Fullscreen button doubles as escape key and always stays docked to the left

screenshot screenshot screenshot
Contextual buttons and widgets populate the scrollable container as you open and close corresponding apps; Tap on any widget to open its parent app

screenshot screenshot
Emoji and app switcher widgets take over the scrollable container

Hold down alt/option for an expanded control strip

Currently Supported Apps

Full List of Features

Required Helpers

Optional but appreciated: Get a free Dark Sky API key

By default, this preset comes bundled with a weather widget that uses my own personal free Dark Sky API key so that you can get up and running with GoldenChaos-BTT with no special configuration at all. However, since I only get 1000 API requests per day, please consider getting your own free API key from the Dark Sky developer website if you want to use GoldenChaos-BTT as your main Touch Bar interface. Once you've got your key, simply replace my API key with yours inside the weather widget configuration.

Reminders and calendar widget customization

The reminders and calendar widget display only items happening today by default. If you prefer to see items for additional days, for example for up to a week, by changing the
attribute to
in the widget's settings. Check out iCalBuddy's examples page for all the cool ways you can customize your reminders and calendar widget's output.

Supplemental reading: Now Playing output hierarchy

Appropriate media controls, as well as associated track information, are displayed conditionally based on what media players, if any, are currently running. By default, GoldenChaos-BTT will try to match the media controls with the associated media it's controlling. However, lesser-used players like YouTube will override the track information display and take priority. This means that if Safari is open to a YouTube video and iTunes is playing music, the media controls will control iTunes but the track information will be the title of the YouTube video. The full hierarchy is as follows, with higher numbers taking precedence:

  1. iTunes
  2. Spotify
  3. VLC (WiP)
  4. QuickTime
  5. Safari (YouTube)
  6. Google Chrome (YouTube)

Previous versions

Only install the latest version unless you have a specific troubleshooting reason. If you do need to install an older version for whatever reason, make sure the version of BetterTouchTool you're running is greater than or equal to the GoldenChaos-BTT version you're installing.


Version history:

Uses modified versions of a bunch of widgets from and