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MacBook Pro's Touch Bar Will Display Function Keys When Running Windows With Boot Camp

boot_camp_appleOne of the biggest questions about the Touch Bar on Apple's new MacBook Pro is how it will work with Windows through Boot Camp. That led MacRumors reader Abraham to send an email to Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi, who shared good news for dual-booters.
Question from Abraham: Craig, am I correct in assuming that the Touch Bar becomes a row of visual function keys when using Windows with Boot Camp?

Federighi's answer: You are indeed!
Presumably, this means the Touch Bar will likely display virtual function keys between F1-F12, along with an Escape key, when running Windows. It remains to be seen if there will be specific controls for system-level tasks such as volume, playback, and display brightness. Meanwhile, the virtual power button should work, but without Touch ID.

MacRumors cannot fully confirm the authenticity of the email, but it does appear to be sent by Federighi through Apple's corporate servers based on full headers we saw. Apple executives occasionally respond to customer emails, or it is possible the response was handled by Apple's executive relations or public relations teams.

Boot Camp is an Apple utility that enables users to partition their SSDs or hard drives and install Windows directly on a Mac, allowing for macOS and Windows to be run side by side. It differs from virtualization software like Parallels and VMware Fusion, which allows Windows to run as a desktop app within macOS itself.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
So much fragmentation.

If you are a Pro, you are likely to do most of your work on a desktop. Yet if you buy this new MacBook Pro, you will now have a different method of working. Why bother to learn an entirely different method, if you are are swapping back and forth between desktop and laptop? Apple should have updated all their computers and keyboards with this Touch Bar if they really wanted to have it adopted universally.

I am getting so tired of Apple fragmenting every little bloody feature, whether it's the camera in the iPhones, the keyboards on the laptops, the ports that don't allow for use of iPhones or iPads with laptops, or 5400 Hard Drives in the iMac in 2016.
Rating: 14 Votes
25 months ago
That is just amazing!

How do they even think about such smart and truly innovative things???

Crazy.
Rating: 13 Votes
25 months ago

I don't run Bootcamp, but Windows via Parallels. Will the function keys show when a virtual box is being run?


You can just hold down FN and get to the function keys in any app - the same way it works now with the normal keyboard.
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago

As long as Parallels updates their program to do so.


Parallel would state the latest version is incompatible and users should buy the upgrade of the upcoming new version o_O
Rating: 7 Votes
25 months ago
Interesting news while browsing for a new Asus Zenbook that can run hackintosh on it. Can't stop counting the USB ports on those.
Only downside is that I cannot plug in those fancy lightning iPhone 7 Earpods into. Oh wait , cannot do that on the new Macbook either.

But at least I can sync the iPhone without any problems on the Zenbook.
Rating: 5 Votes
25 months ago

As long as Parallels updates their program to do so.


Oh they will update it....but you will have to buy a new copy of Parallels to get that functionality
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago
I wanted to say something witty but I'm feeling too much relief.

Legitimately would not have been surprised in the slightest if they decided to kill off bootcamp for the new MacBook Pros.

That's the kind of vibe I'm getting from this company lately.
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago
I don't run Bootcamp, but Windows via Parallels. Will the function keys show when a virtual box is being run?
Rating: 3 Votes
25 months ago


But why do people feel inclined to contact these very busy executives directly?

Because they are people, just like everyone else. I don't say that with snark. They're people, just like you and me.
Rating: 2 Votes
25 months ago
So the configuration I want costs here in Germany 3199 EUR, while the same configuration in NY costs me 2799USD...
With NY sales tax and at the current exchange rate, I save 450 USD...which pays for the ticket to go home for a quick holiday. (If I drive to the Apple Store in NH, I'd probably save even more...)

On the other hand, a Dell XPS 15" with twice the ram and SSD (also PCIe) (4K, 6th Gen i7, 32GB 2133 and 1TB PCIe ssd), basically the maxed out configuration, is 817 USD cheaper than the mac, and 96USD even cheaper if I buy it in Germany...but with a German keyboard.

Why can't we run OS X on a XPS?...Now I need to make a decision...:(
Rating: 2 Votes

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