Windows terminal is a command-line application developed for Windows 10 which supports multi-tabs. It can run any command-line app such as PowerShell, Command Prompt, Linux ( WSL interface).

Other features include Unicode and UTF-8 character support, split panes, a GPU accelerated text rendering engine, and the ability to design your own themes and format text, change colors and backgrounds and more.

In this tutorial we learn how to install and use windows terminal.

Install Windows Terminal

Windows terminal can be installed in two ways. The easiest way to install Windows Terminal is from the Microsoft Store. The other method is to install from the file available on GitHub.

Install windows terminal from windows store

  • Go to Microsoft Store from your PC/web and search for the Windows terminal in the search box. After the search is completed, click on 'Windows Terminal' from the listed apps.
Search result for Windows Terminal on Microsoft office.
Microsoft Store search result
  • Now click on the 'Get' button to start downloading Windows terminal.
Microsoft Store's Windows Terminal download page to download the tool
Get windows terminal
  • Once installed, click the 'Launch' button to open the windows terminal.
Windows Terminal's powershell homepage
windows terminal launch

Windows terminal by default opens with PowerShell app.

Install Windows Terminal from GitHub File

Window terminal package is available in GitHub. If you want to take the advantage of the latest version you can choose the version from GitHub.

Requirement: C++ Runtime v14 framework package for Desktop Bridge

To install Windows Terminal from GitHub, visit the Windows Terminal build page on Github for file. On the page, the products are listed in order of how recent is the version, the latest version will appear at the top of the list.

Note: Do not download the version with the word 'preview'. They are preview versions of the file.

Below the desired version, find 'Assets' and click the file with msixbundle format.

Github's Windows Terminal search results
Microsoft terminal on GitHub

The file will download automatically, then double click on the file to the launch installation window. Click Install button to start the installation.

Install Terminal window using msixbundle

Note: If you already installed terminal windows via windows store then will prompt to update if the Github version is a newer version.

Usage of Windows Terminal

The Windows Terminal interface is astonishingly simple to use. Asides from default design like that of a typical Windows Powershell window, there are various other interesting usages of Windows Terminal.

Multiple tabs

Windows Terinmal supports multi-tabs and allows opening the different tabs like in a web browser.

Multiple tabs
  • To open a new tab, click the plus sign (+) by the right side of the existing tab on the tab bar or press Ctrl+Shift+T on the keyboard.
  • To move through the tabs, press Ctrl+Tab to move to the tab on the right and Ctrl+Shift+Tab to move to the tab on the Left. Also, you can press Ctrl+Shift+W to close the current tab.
  • To reorder the arrangement of the tabs, you can simply drag tab with the mouse to change position.

Split Panes

The split panes allow opening multiple shell environments all at once.

  • To create a new pane; use the shortcut - Alt+Shift+D. The current page will automatically split into two, allowing you to have two views at your disposal. You can also click on any pane and repeat the shortcut to keep splitting the panes.
  • To create split panes horizontally, press Alt+Shift+(-)
  • To create split panes vertically, press Alt+Shift+(+)
  • To change the focused pane, press Alt+ 'any of the arrow buttons'
  • To resize the current pane, press Alt+Shift+ 'any of the arrow buttons'
  • To close the current pane, press Ctrl+Shift+W.
Windows Terminal page with a split pane
Split pane

Multiple Command Line Apps

Windows Terminal has a drop-down menu that allows choosing different command-line apps such as Windows PowerShell, CMD, Bash, Windows Subsystem for Linux(WSL), and Azure Cloud shell in a Windows terminal.

This allows to work with multiple environment at the same time.

Better Background Experience

Windows Terminal allows setting background images (PNG, JEPG) or GIF. This allows you to personalize and beautify your workspace.

You can also change settings like opacity, alignment, and stretching. These settings can be configured to work on all profiles or for individual profiles.

Windows Terminal page showing a new background
Background preview

To set background go to respective Profile and select Appearance. Then in Background image section browse the image path and click Save button.

Profiles for Apps

The Window terminal allows profiles for each application which helps to customize. To change or create a profile go to Settings, select the existing profile or Add new profile.

In the profile section, you can customize command-line interface, setup startup directory, Icon, and tab title and more.

Windows Terminal settings showing the different profiles.
Windows Terminal profiles

Important terms to create profiles are:

guid: This has to be unique between different profiles
name: This name shows up in the dropdown menu when you open a new tab.
commandline: This command app will run when you open a tab in this profile.
hidden: if this displays true,then the profile will not appear in the dropdown menu.
colorScheme:This is the description of the color scheme you would like to use.
icon: This is the filepath or URL to the icon you want to represent the profile.

Profile settings showing the settings for Windows Powershell profile
Profile creation

More Customization

Windows terminal brings huge customization options such as change background, change default key bindings, switch the default color scheme, actions.

Choose Settings from the drop down menu from the horizontal bar.

Windows Terminal Settings

Uninstall Windows Terminal

To uninstall windows terminal you can choose any one of the below methods.

Method 1:

Select Start, then select Windows Terminal , right click and select Uninstall.

Uninstall windows terminal

Method 2:

Select Start , then select Settings > Apps > Apps & features. Select the app you want to remove, and then select Uninstall.

Conclusion

Developers now have an environment where they can use multiple tools packed with different options put together. In this tutorial, we learned how to install Windows terminal and its basic usages.