GoldenChaos-BTT: A complete Touch Bar UI replacement preset

I love the Touch Bar. That's why I was so upset that Apple just sat on its useless 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.

Want to buy me a coffee? You can donate here:

(Aug 23 2018 - Release Notes) Dock badge and handoff widgets; Browser tabs widget with support for multiple browsers; native BetterTouchTool weather widget; Long-press expanded widgets for reminders, calendar, music, and weather; hold modifier keys for app switcher and window snap controls; lots of new buttons including a dynamic volume up button, bluetooth toggle, wi-fi toggle, dark mode toggle, true tone toggle, connect AirPods/Beats/Gamepads, show AirDrop, and much more

Latest experimental version: GoldenChaos-BTT 2.627-2

(Sep 3 2018 - Release Notes) GC-BTT settings menu: Config presets that can persist between upgrades, change fullscreen/esc keys into normal esc keys, choose your preferred calendar app, and customize menu bar items and dock badges; Native Now Playing widget with dramatic CPU usage improvements; New collapsable menu bar with three sizes; New Connectivity Actions menu; New Current Language and Language Picker widgets with flags for 47 different languages

  1. Make sure you're using the latest stable version of BetterTouchTool.
    • Feeling brave? Install the latest alpha BetterTouchTool to use the experimental versions.
  2. [One time only] Install icalBuddy and High Sierra Media Key Enabler.
  3. [One time only] Configure BTT's General Touch Bar settings properly.
  4. Upgrading? Follow these steps.
  5. Follow one of the two release links at the top of this post and click "Direct import to BTT". BTT will automatically launch and ask to import the preset - say yes to everything.
  6. Customize GC-BTT! You can find tons of optional widgets in the BetterTouchTool preferences. These aren't displayed by default but offer extra functionality like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controls.


The default key set when nothing is open. Fullscreen doubles as escape key; long-press for escape only.

Open a browser, and a refresh button appears!

Open more apps to reveal a wide range of dynamic controls and widgets. Close apps to dismiss their controls.

Hold command, option, or control to access the app switcher, control strip, or window snapping controls.


Emoji Picker and Browser Tabs widget groups take over the scrollable container.

Widgets like Weather, Now Playing, Reminders, and Calendar can be long-pressed to view expanded versions.

Dock Badges

Dock badge widgets appear on the left side of the Touch Bar and remain sticky.

Built-in dock badge widgets for all of your favorite third party apps - just enable them after importing.

Dock badge widgets also support handoff!

GoldenChaos-BTT is designed to completely take over the Touch Bar, escape key and all. To make sure your configuration of BetterTouchTool is ready for GC-BTT, open the General Touch Bar Settings inside of BetterTouchTool and match your settings to those of the indicated options in the screenshot below. Any setting that isn't marked doesn't matter for GC-BTT.

Customizing the Reminders and Calendar widgets

The Reminders and Calendar widgets display only items and events happening today by default. If you prefer to see items for additional days, for example for up to a week, you can do so by changing the eventsToday attribute to eventsToday+7 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.

To upgrade, you'll first need to remove or disable any existing installations of GoldenChaos-BTT. Disabling can be useful if you have customizations you wish to copy over later, since there is no way to automatically copy customizations between versions. Use the following steps to upgrade GoldenChaos-BTT:

  1. Click "Manage Presets" inside of BetterTouchTool.
  2. Find the GoldenChaos-BTT version you wish to remove or disable. 2a. Uncheck "Active" if you wish to disable the preset.

    2b. Select the preset, then click "Delete" if you wish to remove it.

  3. Navigate to one of the two latest release links at the top of this post and click "Direct import to BTT" to automatically launch BetterTouchTool and import the latest preset.
  4. Make sure you only have one active version of GoldenChaos-BTT at a time!

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.


  • Versions 2.543 and earlier require the Python Requests module (pip install requests) and Locateme (brew install locateme) for the weather widget to work.
  • Versions 2.531 and earlier require the calendar widget to first be edited to include the names of the calendars that you wish to display.
  • Versions 2.516 and earlier require Location Helper and JSON Helper for the weather widget to work. Not compatible with macOS Mojave.

Version History: