What is Windows Terminal? How to Open it?

Microsoft’s Windows Terminal aims to make the use of command-line tools and shells as pleasant an experience as those offered by Linux and other operating systems. In this guide, I will explain to you what Windows Terminal is and how to open it?

Windows 11 comes with a lot of new features, and one of them is Windows Terminal. The  Windows Terminal is a fast, powerful, and efficient program for running terminal commands on a computer. It allows you to use Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) from the same window. In addition to multiple tabs and panes, it supports Unicode and UTF-8 characters and offers a GPU-accelerated rendering engine, as well as custom themes, styles, and configurations.

The Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell applications are still part of Windows 11, but you can use them both in one application, Windows Terminal. That means you no longer need to open the Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell windows. Run the commands in the PowerShell console or Command Prompt on Windows 11 by opening Windows Terminal.

What is Windows Terminal

How to Open Windows Terminal in Windows 11?

The Windows Terminal app in Windows 11 offers various command shells and allows you to use them all from one place. The new tab opens PowerShell by default, but you can easily change it to open Command Prompt instead. Here are some of the methods using which you can open the terminal:

  1. Open Windows Terminal in Windows 11 through Context Menu
  2. Open it from Win + X Menu
  3. Access it from the Start menu/Search
  4. Open it using the Run dialog box

Let’s try them out one by one.

1] Open Windows Terminal through Context Menu

Open Folder in Windows Terminal

Follow these steps to open the terminal through the context menu:

  • Right-click on any free space on your Desktop.
  • Select the option Open in Windows Terminal.

It is also possible to use Windows Terminal to access a folder path quickly. For that, you need to follow these steps:

  • Select the Files or folder > Right-click on them > Choose Open in Windows Terminal.

2] Open Windows Terminal from Win + X Menu

Open Windows Terminal Power Menu

By default, Windows 11 includes the Windows Terminal, which is Microsoft’s main command-line application. To get people to switch from regular PowerShell and Command Prompt, they want them to become accustomed to it. Therefore, the WinX menu includes the Windows Terminal. Hence, this method is the easiest way to access Windows Terminal on Windows 11. To access Windows Terminal from the WinX menu, you need to follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the Windows icon on the Taskbar.
  • You will find two of these options Windows Terminal and Windows Terminal (Admin). 
  • Click on either of them to access Windows Terminal.

Alternatively, press the Windows + X keys from the keyboard and select Windows Terminal or Windows Terminal (admin)  to open it. Click the Yes option when the UAC prompt appears.

3] Access Windows Terminal from the Start menu/Search

Windows Terminal Windows Search

One of the fastest ways to start the Windows Terminal is to use search. To access Windows Terminal from the Start or Search menu, you need to follow these steps:

  • Click on the Start button or Search icon from the Taskbar.
  • Type Windows Terminal into the Search bar, then click on its entry from the results list to open it.

4] Open Windows Terminal using the Run dialog box

Open Windows Terminal Run Prompt

Following are the steps to open Windows Terminal using the run dialog box:

  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + I keys simultaneously.
  • In the Run dialog box, type wt and hit Enter from the keyboard to open Windows Terminal.

If you want to run Windows Terminal as an administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Open the Run dialog box and type wt in the box.
  • Now, press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keyboard shortcut.

That’s it. Now you have Windows Terminal with admin rights.

 5] Open Windows Terminal From Task Manager

Users have access to any app by using Task Manager as long as they have administrator permission. The functionality remains the same with Windows 11. Therefore, follow these steps to open Windows Terminal as an administrator using Task Manager:

  • Press Win+X on your keyboard to open the menu > Select Task Manager.
  • Click on File > Run new task.
  • Type wt.exe and tick the Create this task with administrator privilege checkbox.
  • Click the OK button.

How to Customize Windows Terminal?

In the Windows Terminal, you can run Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Bash commands simultaneously. Furthermore, it’s highly customizable so that you can change the background and foreground colors, font, and more. Using the Settings option in Windows Terminal, today, we’ll see how you can easily customize them on your PC.

Windows Terminal Settings

Use Dark Theme in Windows Terminal

  • The first step of changing the theme in Windows Terminal is to click the drop-down button in the title bar. 
  • Then, click on Settings > The Settings UI will open in a new tab.
  • In the Settings tab, hit Appearance on the left sidebar and select the Dark Theme option on the right pane.
  • You can also change things like hiding tabs, hiding the title bar, and more. As soon as you have made the changes, be sure to click the Save button.

Change Color Scheme and Font

Using hexadecimal strings in Windows Terminal or a GUI, you can choose your color schemes. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Color schemes section on the left pane of the Settings window.
  • In this section, you can either select an already-built color scheme or customize your own. For the second option, select the Add New button.
  • To select your background, foreground, and cursor colors for your custom theme, click on the respective boxes in the Color schemes settings window.
  • Then either pick a color using the GUI color picker or enter a hexadecimal value in the hex field. 
  • To change the font color and style, select one of the Profiles in the left pane. That means you need to choose whether to customize the PowerShell UI or the Command Prompt UI, etc.
  • Navigate to PowerShell settings > Appearance tab.
  • Using the first drop-down menu in Windows Terminal, you can now change the text color, font face, font size, cursor style, and more here. To save your changes, click Save.

Change Background Image

You can change the background image on Windows Terminal by scrolling down to the bottom of the Appearance tab. Here, you can use your desktop wallpaper or any image file as your Terminal background on your PC.

How to Pin/Unpin Windows Terminal to Start menu/Taskbar of Windows 11?

  • Click on the Search icon or Windows logo from the Taskbar, and in the search box, type Windows Terminal.
  • From the available top results, right-click on Windows Terminal and select Pin to Start / Pin to Taskbar option.

Further, if you wish to unpin Windows Terminal from the Start menu or Taskbar, then follow these steps given below:

  • Click on the Search icon or Windows logo from the Taskbar, and in the search box, type Windows Terminal.
  • From the available top results, right-click on Windows Terminal and select Unpin from Taskbar or Unpin from Start.
Nandini Keshri is a student, writer, and tech enthusiast. When not writing about tech, she loves to write poetry and explore the world.

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