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Windows Console Host

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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