This tutorial will show you how to change Windows Terminal new instance behavior for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Windows Terminal is a modern host application for the command-line shells you already love, like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and bash (via Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)). Its main features include multiple tabs, panes, Unicode and UTF-8 character support, a GPU accelerated text rendering engine, and the ability to create your own themes and customize text, colors, backgrounds, and shortcuts.
You can select a New instance behavior setting below to control how new terminal instances attach to existing terminal windows.
- Create a new window = Create a new window, always. This is how the terminal always behaved prior to version 1.7.
- Attach to the most recently used window = Create new tabs in the most recently used window on this desktop. If there's not an existing window on this virtual desktop, then create a new terminal window.
- Attach to the most recently used window on this desktop = Create new tabs in the most recently used window, regardless of which virtual desktop the window is on.
Learn how to customize startup settings within Windows Terminal.
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 Create a new window (default), Attach to the most recently used window, or Attach to the most recently used window on this desktop for what you want in the New instance behavior drop menu.
Click/tap on Save at the bottom right.
You can now close the Settings tab or Windows Terminal if you like.