Windows, as the name indicates, is an operating system that contains application windows to accomplish tasks. However, it was evolved from the Microsoft Disk Operating System based on command line interface. You can still find a Command Prompt app to run commands from command line. Earlier Windows versions had a Console app that you can use for accessing command line interface. With Windows 11, Microsoft introduced Windows Terminal app which you can use for accessing multiple command line apps from single app. In this article, we will explain how to open Windows Terminal app in Windows 11 using various methods and customize the settings.
Windows Terminal App
As mentioned, Windows Terminal is a command line interface app available in Windows 11.
It has the following features:
- You can have multiple tabs in a single app and execute different commands at the same time.
- Switch across Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, or Azure Cloud Shell without closing the Terminal app.
- Customize the default opening app and size within the app.
- Use Command Palette to find app’s help in a visual manner.
If you frequently use command line, then you will love the latest Windows Terminal app in Windows 11.
Open Windows Terminal App
There are multiple reasons to access Windows Terminal or command line apps. For example, you may want to scan the hard disk with chkdsk command or want to find IP address with ipconfig.
Since, you can run certain commands only in administrator mode, Microsoft offers two options for using Terminal app. One is to open the app with standard user access and other is to open the app in elevated admin mode. Some options explained in this article will open the app in normal mode which may prevent you from executing commands. Therefore, make sure to open Terminal app in admin mode when needed.
1. Use Power User Menu
The first and easiest option is to open Windows Terminal app from the power user menu. Simply press “Win + X” shortcut keys to launch the menu and open Terminal app. Alternatively, you can right click on the Start menu to open the power user menu. The advantage with this method is that you can open the Terminal app in normal as well as in administrator mode options.
2. Use Windows Search or Cortana
Click on the Windows Search icon on the taskbar or open Cortana search. Type “terminal” to find Windows Terminal app and launch it. In this way also you can open the app in admin mode as well as open other command line apps like Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, and Azure Cloud Shell. In addition, you can pin the Terminal app to taskbar or Start menu if you intend to use frequently.
As you can see the list in the right pane contains an option to uninstall Terminal app. Since Windows Terminal app is available in Microsoft Store, you can uninstall and install the app without any impact.
3. Access from Start Menu
Windows operating system includes all installed apps in the Start menu. Press Win key on your keyboard or press the Start menu icon in the taskbar. Click “All apps” button to view the list of all installed apps on your computer. Since the apps are listed in alphabetical order, scroll down to the bottom, and find Windows Terminal app under letter W.
4. Open Windows Terminal from Run Prompt
Press “Win + R” keys to open Run prompt. Type wt or wt.exe and press ok button to open Windows Terminal app.
5. Open Terminal from Command Prompt or PowerShell
Similar to opening the Terminal app from Run, you can also access from Command Prompt or PowerShell. Simply type wt and press enter in the command line to launch Windows Terminal app in a new window.
Changing Default App in Windows Terminal
As mentioned, by default Terminal app will open with Windows PowerShell. You can change this to Command Prompt or Azure Cloud Shell if you prefer.
- Click on the small down arrow in the title bar and select “Settings” option. Alternatively, press “Control + Comma” keys to open the settings. You will see the settings open inside the Terminal app like below.
- The interface contains different categories in the left sidebar. Under the first “Startup” section, you can see the “Default profile” is set as Windows PowerShell.
- Click on that dropdown and choose any other app as per your preference.
- Click “Save” button to apply the changes.
If you want to add additional profiles, click on the + icon on the left sidebar. Again click “New Empty Profile” button and fill out the details. You can save the changes to create a new profile and anytime go back to the profile and delete if not needed.
Additional Customizations for Windows Terminal App
You can navigate through the sidebar icons and customize the app as per your need. Here are some of the interesting options you can find:
- Startup – set launch mode to open the app in full screen or focus mode. You can also set specific number of visible columns and rows for the app when launching.
- Interaction – enable automatically copying the selected text to clipboard and make URLs as clickable links.
- Appearance – change light or dark theme, enable or disable tabs and disable title bar if not needed.
- Color schemes – choose on of the available color schemes or create your own.
- Actions – find keyboard shortcut action keys and change in the JSON file if required. You can also view all the actions by opening Command Palette by pressing “Control + Shift + P” keys when you are in the Terminal app.
In addition, you can customize the appearance of each app profile to change the colors and look to make them appear the way you like.
Running Command in Terminal Apps
You can run any applicable commands in Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell similar to the way you run on the independent app. For example, type chkdsk to scan hard disk for errors.