Microsoft is swapping the default command line experience for Windows 11

Windows Terminal
Windows Terminal (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Windows Terminal will become the default command line experience on Windows 11.
  • The change will happen "over the course of 2022" for Windows 11 PCs.
  • You can already change the default command line app in Windows 11 through the Settings app.

Windows 11 will have a new default command line experience in 2022. Microsoft announced (opens in new tab) that it plans to make Windows Terminal the default command line app over the course of the coming year. The company will test out the switch through the Windows Insider Program before rolling it out to the public.

You can already change the default command line application on Windows 11, including setting Windows Terminal as the default. But the operating system currently defaults to the Windows Console Host.

Microsoft highlights that the Windows Console Host has been the default command line application since the "dawn of Windows."

"Over the course of 2022, we are planning to make Windows Terminal the default experience on Windows 11 devices," said Microsoft's Kayla Cinnamon. "We will start with the Windows Insider Program and start moving through rings until we reach everyone on Windows 11."

By switching the default app for this experience on Windows, the Windows Terminal will open when people go to launch the Command Prompt. This is a more modern way to work as the Windows Terminal supports tabs, themes, and GPU accelerated text rendering.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • About time! Terminal should be the defacto cmd prompt
  • I remember using Terminal in 90's for BBS. But something tells me this one isn't your grandpa's Terminal.
  • The name comes from the fact its still called a terminal in UNIX, heralding from the days of physical terminal machines that connected to a cental (usually UNIX) server.
  • GPU accelerated text rendering?
    Surely not necessary?