How to Open Terminal on Mac: 7 Best Ways

Mac’s Terminal app is a powerful tool that allows you to gain root-level access to your system. Undoubtedly, running shell commands is not everyone’s cup of tea, but Terminal can be a go-to tool if the intended action isn’t available on the macOS graphical user interface. If you’re new to Mac, we will show you how to open Terminal on Mac hassle-free in this article.

How to Open Terminal on Mac

There are various ways to launch the Terminal application on Mac. We have discussed them in detail here. If you are trying out Terminal for the first time, check out the three useful Terminal commands every Mac user must know. That said, let’s begin.

Quick Tip: If you are on this article only to find out how to add the Terminal app on the dock, jump to the 6th method.

1. Use Spotlight Search to Open Terminal on Mac

This is the quickest and easiest way to open Terminal on your Mac. Follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Press the ‘Command + Space bar’ to open the Spotlight Search.

Note: Alternatively, you can click on the magnifying glass icon in the top menu bar or press the F4 key on your keyboard to bring up the Spotlight Search. 

Press the Command + Space bar

Step 2: Type Terminal and press Return.

Type Terminal

That’s it. There are barely any steps to opening the Terminal in Mac. Well, if you don’t want to open it through Spotlight Search, there’s another way. Jump to the next method.

2. Access Terminal on Mac Using Launchpad

This is another easy way to open Terminal on your Mac. Follow along.

Step 1: Open Launchpad from the Dock.

Open Launchpad

Step 2: Type Terminal and hit Return on your keyboard.

Type Terminal 

3. How to Launch Terminal Using Finder on Mac

Knowing how to open a Terminal using Finder could be time-saving and more efficient. The steps are simple to follow.

Step 1: From the Desktop, click on Go.

click on Go

Step 2: Select Utilities from the drop-down menu.

Note: Alternatively, you can right-click on the Finder icon in the Dock and select Utilities from the list. 

Select Utilities

Step 3: Navigate to the Terminal app and double-click to open it.

navigate to the Terminal app

That’s it. This way, you have opened the Terminal quickly. If you are accessing some files or folders and want to access macOS Terminal, jump to the following method.

4. Run Terminal Using the Applications Folder

This is a straightforward way to open Terminal on a Mac. The steps mentioned in this method differ from the method discussed above. However, it is simple to follow. 

Step 1: Open Finder from the Dock.

Open Finder from the Dock

Step 2: Go to the Applications folder.

Go to the Applications folder

Step 3: Navigate to the Utilities folder and double-click to open it.

Navigate to the Utilities folder

Step 4: Locate the Terminal app and double-click to open it.

Locate the Terminal app

There you go. This way, you can quickly open the Terminal app without having to follow some other steps or methods.

5. How to Find Terminal Using Siri on Mac

There’s no way to open Terminal without using your hands, except, you guessed it, using Siri. 

Open Terminal Using Siri

All you need to do is click on the Siri button from the menu bar, open it from your Applications folder, or say ‘Hey Siri’ (if enabled in Siri preferences). Once Siri starts listening, say Open Terminal. And rest assured, she will open the Terminal app.

6. How to Create a Terminal Shortcut on macOS

If you use Terminal daily, creating a shortcut in your Dock is better for ease of use.

Note: First, open the Terminal app using any of the methods mentioned above, and then follow the below steps.

Step 1: Right-click on the Terminal icon in the Dock.

Tip: Alternatively, you can hold the Control key on your keyboard and click on the Terminal icon in the Dock.

Right-click on the Terminal icon

Step 2: Go to Options and select ‘Keep in Dock.’

Fun Fact: ‘Keep in Dock’ on Mac is the equivalent of ‘Pin to Taskbar’ on Windows.

Go to Options

That’s it. The Terminal will be docked and available for easy access whenever you need it. 

7. How to Open Terminal From macOS Recovery

You may need to access or modify specific system files on your Mac. Well, you can access Terminal using macOS Recovery to tweak things. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: First, shut down your Mac. Press and hold the power button until you see the Startup Options screen; now, click on Options. 

Note: If your Mac is running on Intel (not an M1 or M2 processor), press ‘Command + R’ when it starts to boot into macOS Recovery.

Step 2: Go to Utilities from the menu bar, and select Terminal from the drop-down menu.

This way, you can open Terminal even in macOS Recovery boot mode. Have more queries? Check out the next section.

FAQs on Opening Terminal on Mac

1. Can you open two terminals at once on Mac?

Yes, you can open multiple terminals on a Mac. To do this, launch the Terminal app, and click the File menu at the top of the screen. From the menu, select New Window to open a new Terminal window. You can continue to open new windows by selecting the New Window option each time.

2. How do I access Terminal on Mac without logging in?

If you need to access the Terminal on your Mac without logging in, you can use Single User Mode. This will boot your Mac into a special environment where you can access the command line interface.

3. How do you switch between tabs in Terminal Mac?

In the Terminal app on a Mac, you can switch between tabs using the Command+Shift+[ or Command+Shift+] keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts enable you to move to the previous or next tab, respectively. This will allow you to work simultaneously with multiple Terminal sessions.

4. How do I know if Terminal is running on Mac?

To determine if the Terminal app is running on a Mac, simply open the Activity Monitor app by searching for it in Spotlight or by navigating to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. In the Activity Monitor app, look for the Terminal process in the list of processes. If it shows up, that means Terminal is running on Mac.

Find It Quickly

The Terminal app comes into play for different users at different stages. Now that you know how to open Terminal, trying out the 11 Terminal tricks on your Mac that let you tinker around in macOS will be fun.

Last updated on 15 December, 2022

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