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What is Windows Terminal in Windows 11?

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Windows Terminal is a modern terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

The Windows Terminal is a multi-tabbed command-line front-end that Microsoft has added default with the latest Windows 11.

This command-line tool will be the default command-line tool for the future release of Windows 11 in 2022. What do you mean by a default terminal command-line tool? Well, it’s the terminal emulator that launches by default when opening a command-line application.

The default terminal emulator has always been the Windows Console Host (conhost.exe). This means that shells such as Command Prompt and PowerShell have always opened inside the Windows Console Host. Now, this will be changed to Windows Terminal soon.

It can run any command-line app, including all Windows terminal emulators, in a separate tab, preconfigured to run Command Prompt, PowerShell, WSL, SSH, and Azure Cloud Shell Connector.

Its main features include

  • Multiple tabs.

  • Multiple Panes.

  • Unicode and UTF-8 character support.

  • A GPU accelerated text rendering engine.

  • The ability to create your own themes.

  • Options to customize text, colors, backgrounds, and shortcuts.

How to Open Windows Terminal in Windows 11

There are multiple options to access Windows Terminal in Windows 11; let’s see the quickest way to open.

Here’s how you can access Windows Terminal directly from Windows desktop.

Open Windows Terminal from Search

In Windows 11, click Search Icon located on the desktop or click the Start Menu button.

Set your Default Windows Terminal Profile

When you open Windows Terminal, it will start with the PowerShell command line as the default profile in the open tab. To set the default terminal profile, Let’s follow the below steps.

Step 1: Open Windows Terminal and go to the Settings UI window.

Step 2: Select Startup and choose the Default profile that you prefer.

Step 3: Here you can also setup the launch mode from listed options to get a better UI.

Benefits of Windows Terminal

Here are some of the Benefits of Windows Terminal :

1. Multiple profiles supporting various command-line applications – Any application with a command-line interface can be run inside Terminal. This includes everything from PowerShell and Command Prompt to Azure Cloud Shell and any WSL distribution such as Ubuntu or Oh-My-Zsh.

2. Customized schemes and configurations – You can configure your Terminal to have a variety of color schemes and settings. To learn how to make your color scheme, visit the Color schemes page.

  • Custom actions – There are a variety of custom commands you can use in Terminal to have it feel more natural to you.

  • Unicode and UTF-8 character support – Terminal can display Unicode and UTF-8 characters such as emoji and characters from a variety of languages.

  • Background image support – Windows Terminal uses the GPU to render its text, thus providing improved performance over the default Windows command line experience.

  • Command line arguments – You can have background images and gifs inside your Windows Terminal window.

  • GPU accelerated text rendering – You can set Terminal to launch in a specific configuration using command line arguments. You can specify which profile to open in a new tab, which folder directory should be selected, open the terminal with split window panes, and choose which tab should be in focus.

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