How to Open and Quit Terminal on Mac

This article explains how you can open Terminal on your Mac. This article further explains how you can quit Terminal and a shell process.

The Terminal app lets you type and execute text-based commands to control your Mac. It is found within the /Applications/Utilities/ folder.

Open Terminal on Mac

There are a lot of techniques for opening it. You can do one of the following methods.

1. Use Launchpad

  • Open Launchpad on your Mac. You can click the Launchpad icon in the Dock. Alternatively, you can pinch your thumb and three fingers together on your trackpad.
  • You can use the Search field. Type Terminal in Launchpad and press the Return to open it. Launchpad Terminal
  • Or alternatively, find the Other folder and click Terminal. Other Terminal

2.Use Finder

  • Open a Finder window. You can click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  • Click Applications from the left side sidebar.
  • Find the Utilities folder. And open it.
  • Double click the Terminal icon. Finder Terminal

3. Use Siri

4. Use Spotlight

  • Open Spotlight. You can click the search (magnifying glass) icon in the menu bar. Alternatively, press Command-Space bar.
  • Type Terminal in the search field.
  • Double click Terminal. Spotlight Terminal

5. Add Terminal to the Dock

If you are using Terminal very often, you may want to do this for easy access:

  • Open Terminal using any of the methods above.
  • Now you can see its icon in the Dock. (see this article if the Dock is not working)
  • Control-click (right-click) the app’s icon.
  • Then click Options > Keep in Dock.Terminal Dock

6. Use the Recent Items list

If you use Terminal a lot, you can use the Recent Items list to quickly open it. Here is how:

  • Click the Apple menu.
  • Click Recent Items.
  • Click Terminal. Recent Items Terminal

Quit Terminal

Here is how you can properly quit the Terminal app.

  • In Terminal, click Terminal.
  • Click Quit Terminal.Quit Terminal

Or alternatively, you can press the Command-Q keys together.

See this article if you want to know what apps are running on your Mac.

Close a shell session

Sometimes you may want to quit a running shell process. You can use the exit command to exit the shell where it is currently running. Here is how:

  • In Terminal, enter the following command:
exit
  • Press return.

Terminal exit

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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