Apps Change Default Terminal Application in Windows 11


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Windows_Terminal_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to change the default terminal application to Let Windows decide, Windows Console Host, or Windows Terminal for your account in Windows 11.

A default terminal is the terminal emulator that launches by default when opening a command line application. Starting from the dawn of Windows, 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.

For a long time, users have not been easily able to replace the console host. There were definitely third parties who hooked the OS to make it possible, but it was never truly supported. Now, we are opening up the functionality to allow for other terminals to be set as default, including Windows Terminal.

On Windows 11, you are able to set Let Windows decide, Windows Console Host (default) or Windows Terminal as the default terminal application.
  • If you select Let Windows decide, then when you open any command line application (ex: PowerShell, command prompt, WSL, etc...), it will open inside Windows Terminal if available.
  • If you select Windows Terminal, then when you open any command line application (ex: PowerShell, command prompt, WSL, etc...), it will open inside Windows Terminal by default.
  • If you select Windows Console Host, then when you open any command line application (ex: PowerShell, command prompt, WSL, etc...), it will open in its own console window.
Over the course of 2022, Microsoft is planning to make Windows Terminal the default experience on Windows 11 devices. Microsoft will start with the Windows Insider Program and start moving through rings until we reach everyone on Windows 11.

References:


Contents

  • Option One: Change Default Terminal Application in Settings
  • Option Two: Change Default Terminal Application in Windows Terminal Settings
  • Option Three: Change Default Terminal Application in Windows Console Host Properties
  • Option Four: Change Default Terminal Application using REG file




Option One

Change Default Terminal Application in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Privacy & security on the left side, and click/tap on For developers on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Starting with Windows 11 version 22H2 KB5030310 Build 22621.2361, For developers is now in Settings > System.



Default_terminal_app_Settings-1.png

3 Select Let Windows decide (default), Windows Console Host or Windows Terminal in the Terminal drop menu for what you want. (see screenshot below)

Default_terminal_app_Settings-2.png

4 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Two

Change Default Terminal Application in Windows Terminal Settings


1 Open Windows Terminal.

2 Click/tap on the down arrow button on the top bar, and click/tap on Settings Ctrl + , (comma). (see screenshot below)

Default_terminal_app_Windows_Terminal-1.png

3 Click/tap on Startup in the left pane. (see screenshot below)

4 Select Let Windows decide (default), Windows Console Host or Windows Terminal for what you want in the Default Terminal Application drop menu.

5 Click/tap on Save at the bottom right.

6 You can now close the Settings tab or Windows Terminal if you like.

Default_terminal_app_Windows_Terminal-2.png





Option Three

Change Default Terminal Application in Windows Console Host Properties


1 Open a Command Prompt (cmd.exe), Windows PowerShell (PowerShell.exe), or WSL console.

2 Right click or press and hold on the title bar of the console window, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

Default_terminal_app_command-1.png

3 Click/tap on the Terminal tab. (see screenshot below)

4 Select Let Windows decide (default), Windows Console Host or Windows Terminal for what you want in the Default Terminal Application drop menu.

5 Click/tap on OK.

Default_terminal_app_command-2.png





Option Four

Change Default Terminal Application using REG file


1 Do step 2 (Let Windows decide), step 3 (Windows Console Host), or step 4 (Windows Terminal) below for what you want as the default terminal app.

2 Set "Let Windows decide" as Default Terminal App

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Let_Windows_decide_as_default_terminal_app.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%%Startup]
"DelegationConsole"="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}"
"DelegationTerminal"="{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}"

3 Set "Windows Console Host" as Default Terminal App

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Windows_Console_Host_as_default_terminal_app.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%%Startup]
"DelegationConsole"="{B23D10C0-E52E-411E-9D5B-C09FDF709C7D}"
"DelegationTerminal"="{B23D10C0-E52E-411E-9D5B-C09FDF709C7D}"

4 Set "Windows Terminal" as Default Terminal App

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Windows_Terminal_as_default_terminal_app.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%%Startup]
"DelegationConsole"="{2EACA947-7F5F-4CFA-BA87-8F7FBEEFBE69}"
"DelegationTerminal"="{E12CFF52-A866-4C77-9A90-F570A7AA2C6B}"

5 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Let_Windows_decide_as_default_terminal_app.reg
    728 bytes · Views: 45
  • Windows_Console_Host_as_default_terminal_app.reg
    724 bytes · Views: 45
  • Windows_Terminal_as_default_terminal_app.reg
    724 bytes · Views: 38
Last edited:
Tutorial updated to add option four to set default terminal app using REG file. :alien:
 

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