Windows 11 has a new default command line experience

Windows Terminal Themes
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Windows Terminal is the new default command line experience on Windows 11.
  • Microsoft first launched Windows Terminal in 2019 and has gradually added new features leading up to today.
  • All command line applications on Windows 11 will now automatically open in Windows Terminal.

Windows Terminal is now the default command line experience for Windows 11. Microsoft announced the change in a blog post this week. In order to use Windows Terminal as the default command line experience, a user has to be running version 1.15 or greater of the app.

First announced in 2019, Windows Terminal has gradually become more powerful and versatile over the years. Microsoft has added support for multiple command line profiles within the app, tabs and panels, and a command line palette that makes it easier to find actions. It also supports customization options, such as picking a profile icon, custom background image, color scheme, and font. These options are profile-specific, making it easier to switch between workflows.

Microsoft shared a launch video for Widows Terminal back in 2019.

"The day has finally come! Windows Terminal is now the default command line experience on Windows 11 22H2!" said Kayla Cinnamon, Microsoft Program Manager II, Windows Terminal, Console, Command Line, & Cascadia Code.

Microsoft first shared that it would make Windows Terminal the default command line experience for Windows 11 late last year. At the time, the company said that the change would happen "over the course of 2022."

Following today's change, the developer page within Windows Settings and the Startup page of Windows Terminal will set "Let Windows decide" as the default option. If you've already chosen a different terminal as your default, this week's update won't change your selection.

Microsoft noted the work of several contributors that have worked on Windows Terminal since 2019. The company open sourced the repository for Windows Terminal right after its initial launch. Cinnamon broke down all of the contributions in her dev blog post.

Sean Endicott
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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