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Windows Terminal User Documentation

NOTE: At the time of writing Windows Terminal is still under active development and many things will change. If you notice an error in the docs, please raise an issue. Or better yet, please file a PR with an appropriate update!

Installing Windows Terminal

From Source Code

To compile Windows Terminal yourself using the source code, follow the instructions in the README.

From the Microsoft Store

  1. Make sure you have upgraded to the current Windows 10 release (at least build 1903). To determine your build number, see winver.
  2. Open the Windows Terminal listing in the Microsoft Store.
  3. Review the minimum system requirements to confirm you can successfully install Windows Terminal.
  4. Click Get to begin the installation process.

Starting Windows Terminal

  1. Locate the Windows Terminal app in your Start menu.
  2. Click Windows Terminal to launch the app. If you need administrative privileges, right-click the entry and click Run as administrator. Alternatively, you can highlight the app and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

NOTE: The default shell is PowerShell; you can change this using the Running a Different Shell procedure.

Command line options

None at this time. See issue #607

Multiple Tabs

Additional shells can be started by hitting the + button from the tab bar -- a new instance of the default shell is displayed (default shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+1).

Running a Different Shell

Note: This section assumes you already have Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) installed. For more information, see the installation guide.

Windows Terminal uses PowerShell as its default shell. You can also use Windows Terminal to launch other shells, such as cmd.exe or WSL's bash:

  1. In the tab bar, click the button to view the available shells.
  2. Choose your shell from the dropdown list. The new shell session will open in a new tab.

To customize the shell list, see the Configuring Windows Terminal section below.

Starting a new PowerShell tab with admin privilege

There is no current plan to support this feature for security reasons. See issue #623

Selecting and Copying Text in Windows Terminal

As in ConHost, a selection can be made by left-clicking and dragging the mouse across the terminal. This is a line selection by default, meaning that the selection will wrap to the end of the line and the beginning of the next one. You can select in block mode by holding down the Alt key when starting a selection.

To copy the text to your clipboard, you can right-click the terminal when a selection is active. As of #1224 (first available in Windows Terminal v0.4), the Windows Terminal now supports HTML copy. The HTML is automatically copied to your clipboard along with the regular text in any copy operation.

If there is not an active selection, a right-click will paste the text content from your clipboard to the terminal.

Copy and paste operations can also be keybound. For more information on how to bind keys, see Using Json Settings.

👉 Note: If you have the copyOnSelect global setting enabled, a selection will persist and immediately copy the selected text to your clipboard. Right-clicking will always paste your clipboard data.

Add a "Open Windows Terminal Here" to File Explorer

Not currently supported "out of the box". See issue #1060

Configuring Windows Terminal

All Windows Terminal settings are currently managed using the profiles.json file, located within $env:LocalAppData\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState.

To open the settings file from Windows Terminal:

  1. Click the button in the top bar.
  2. From the dropdown list, click Settings. You can also use a shortcut: Ctrl+,.
  3. Your default json editor will open the settings file.

For an introduction to the various settings, see Using Json Settings. The list of valid settings can be found in the profiles.json documentation section.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. In PowerShell you can discover if the Windows Terminal is being used by checking for the existence of the environment variable WT_SESSION.

    Under pwsh you can also use (Get-Process -Id $pid).Parent.Parent.ProcessName -eq 'WindowsTerminal'


  2. Terminal zoom can be changed by holding Ctrl and scrolling with mouse.

  3. If useAcrylic is enabled in profiles.json, background opacity can be changed by holding Ctrl+Shift and scrolling with mouse.

  4. Please add more Tips and Tricks

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