Your MacBook Pro’s pricey Touch Bar is no longer useless when you’re running Windows 10.
A third-party developer has gotten the tiny second screen to work under Microsoft’s operating system. You can use it to access the Start menu and quickly switch between the apps you have running.
Apple’s handy Boot Camp software ensures its machines play nicely with Windows for those who need access to it. But some things, like the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar and Touch ID, aren’t supported.
One developer has fixed that — at least for the Touch Bar.
Bringing Touch Bar support to Windows
This clever hack means you can finally use the Touch Bar under Windows 10. It will display your taskbar for rapid access to the Start menu, search, and Cortana — as well as pinned and running apps.
The trick works by changing the way Windows sees the Touch Bar.
“Touch Bar is a USB device with multiple configurations: the default configuration provides a USBHID keyboard as basic function keys; the second configuration provides a customized USB display device as well as a USBHID Digitizer,” explains developer @imbushuo.
Using a special driver and a registry entry, it is possible to switch to that second configuration, then use another driver to turn the Touch Bar into a second screen.
It’s not quite perfect
There are some limitations, however. Touch ID does not work, and in its current form, this hack allows the Touch Bar to simply mirror the bottom portion of your primary display when running Windows 10.
So, it’s not yet possible to hide the Windows taskbar on the primary screen and use only the Touch Bar for Start menu and app access. That would require a special virtual display driver that @imbushuo has no interest in creating right now.
In addition, this hack hasn’t been tested on all versions of MacBook Pro. It may work perfectly for some, then, but for others it has been known to cause battery drain and connectivity issues.
Try it out for yourself
If you want to know how it’ll run on your machine, you can download the files you’ll need from GitHub. Note the installation process is rather complicated for now, so it’s better suited to advanced users.