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Change Default Terminal Application 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 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.

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.

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.

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How to Change Default Terminal Application in Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 build 21390, you can now select Windows Console Host (default) or Windows Terminal Preview v1.9.1445.0 or higher as the default terminal application (emulator).

This means that any command line application (ex: PowerShell, command prompt, etc…) will launch inside your selected terminal emulator by default.

If you select Windows Terminal Preview, then when you open any command line application (ex: PowerShell, command prompt, WSL, etc…), it will open inside Windows Terminal Preview by default.

If you select Windows Console Host, then when you open any command line application (ex: PowerShell, command prompt, etc…), it will open in its own PowerShell, command prompt, etc… window.

This tutorial will show you how to change the default terminal application to Windows Console Host or Windows Terminal Preview for your account in Windows 10.

Read more…