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 Windows Console Host (default) or Windows Terminal as the default terminal application.
- 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.
Hey Windows Terminal fans! This month we are delivering a servicing release and the next feature release is scheduled for January, so we figured we’d write a blog post discussing Windows Terminal as the default command line experience on Windows and what our future plans are...
This tutorial will show you how to change the default terminal application to Windows Console Host or Windows Terminal for your account in Windows 11.
Open Settings (Win+I).
Click/tap on Privacy & security on the left side, and click/tap on For developers on the right side. (see screenshot below)
Open For developers settings
Select Windows Console Host (default) or Windows Terminal in the Terminal drop menu for what you want. (see screenshot below)
You can now close Settings if you like.
Open Windows Terminal.
Click/tap on the down arrow button on the top bar, and click/tap on Settings Ctrl + , (comma). (see screenshot below)
Click/tap on Startup in the left pane. (see screenshot below)
Select Windows Console Host (default) or Windows Terminal for what you want in the Default Terminal Application drop menu.
Click/tap on Save at the bottom right.
You can now close the Settings tab or Windows Terminal if you like.
Open a Command Prompt (cmd.exe), Windows PowerShell (PowerShell.exe), or WSL console.
Right click or press and hold on the title bar of the console window, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)
Click/tap on the Terminal tab. (see screenshot below)
Select Windows Console Host (default) or Windows Terminal Preview for what you want in the Default Terminal Application drop menu.
Click/tap on OK.