How to bring back a physical Escape key on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

No esc key? No problem. Just reassign its functionality to another key.

Apple showcased its new MacBook Pro on Thursday and demonstrated the new Touch Bar, an OLED touchbar across the top of the keyboard that replaces the function keys. The Touch Bar can be customized to suit the app that your Mac is currently running. The problem is that you may not have instant access to one of the most important keys on your Mac: The Escape (esc) key.

The esc key isn't completely gone. If the Touch Bar is in another mode, you can hold down the fn key on the lower left of the keyboard. That will make the function keys appear on the Touch Bar, and that includes an esc key.

Maybe that's not good enough for you. Maybe you want a physical esc key you can access instantly. What you want to do is remap the Escape key to another key on your Mac. Here’s how.

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences, and click on Keyboard.
  2. Click the Keyboard tab if it’s not active, and then click the Modifier Keys button on the lower right.
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, select your keyboard from the “Select keyboard” pop-up menu at the top.
  4. You’ll see a list of four keys: Caps Lock, Control, Option, and Command. You can reassign one of those keys to act as the Escape key. You may not want to select the Command key, since it’s frequently used for keyboard shortcuts. You may not want to use Control or Option, either, for the same reason. In my example, I’m reassigning the Caps Lock key to be my new Escape key.
    macos keybaord remap esc
    Pick a key you want to reassign, then click on the pop-up menu to the right of that key, Select Escape.
  5. 5. Click OK. You can also quit System Preferences.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags macbook pro

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Roman Loyola

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?