Open New Terminal at Folder in macOS

2 minute read

Previously when I was a Windows user (back in the dark times), I used the Command Prompt Here tool from the Windows 95 PowerToys collection offered by Microsoft. When I transitioned to OS X, I was disappointed there was not a similar option or tool available. Of course, after some research I discovered this was built into the system. I just needed to look in the right place.

To add this function in Finder, open System Preferences, Keyboard, then click on the Shortcuts tab. Scroll through the list until you find the New Terminal at Folder option. Once this is checked, it will now be available under Services in Finder when you right-click on a folder. Also, while you are in this tab, I recommend you review all the options in the list, as there are many interesting tools to be found here.

New Terminal Tab at Folder

As you can see in the screenshot, I have checked the New Terminal Tab at Folder option (my preferred setting). With this option, if there is no Terminal window open, it opens a new shell at the folder. If Terminal is already open, the shell is opened in a new tab, rather than a separate window. Here is how the option appears in Finder when you right-click on a folder.

Finder Services

Now that you’ve know how to open a folder directly in Terminal, you may have noticed it opens using the default macOS shell (black text on white background). If you are like me and prefer a different shell, you must change several settings to ensure Terminal always uses your preferred options. My personal preference is the Homebrew shell, as I grew up using green screen terminals, and I find the green text on black background easier on my eyes. To ensure Terminal opens using your preferred shell, look under Terminal Preferences, General, select On startup, open: New window with profile and select the profile you wish to use.

Terminal Startup Profile

Interestingly, this does not change the default options. If you open a separate Terminal window or tab, it will still use the macOS default shell. To change the default, look under Terminal Preferences, Profiles, select your preferred shell, then click the Default button at the bottom of the list. This will ensure all new shells open using your default options.

Change Terminal Default Shell

There are many other Terminal options available, I suggest you take the time to play around and see what works best for you. I plan to cover more macOS Terminal tricks in future posts.

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