Technology

How to have multiple command line sessions in one window?

If you’re a fan of the command line and not a day goes by that you don’t use CMD or PowerShell, then this tip is for you! For many advanced users, the command line is synonymous with convenience, efficiency, and productivity. Let’s see together how to benefit from multiple command lines in one window, each available in a tab.

Usually it is enough to click the Start button, type cmd in the search field and then confirm. A Windows Command Prompt window will open. The same operation must be repeated to open a new instance. Here’s how you can create one window with as many instances as you want.

Launch Windows Terminal

Right-click the Start menu and select Terminal. If you want to have Administrator rights, select Terminal (administrator). This will allow you to use certain tools such as Chkdsk (which allows you to check and repair a disk or USB stick).
Note that you can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows + X to get the same result…

A Windows window will open with the default PowerShell tab. By clicking the drop-down menu in the terminal bar, you can choose your preferred command line tool: Windows PowerShell, Command Prompt, or Azure Cloud Shell.

Choosing a command line tool

So it’s possible to have multiple tabs with different command line tools! If you prefer a tool other than the default PowerShell, select Settings from the drop-down menu and choose the tool you want. Every new tab will use this tool by default.

Default Profile

Open multiple instances of a command line tool

You can open several command line tools very easily by clicking on the little “+” in the status bar:

Opening a new terminal tab

For users who use many concurrent instances, there is an option to rename the tabs or change their colors for better readability. To do this, right-click on the tab and in the context menu make your choice:

Tab context menu

Let’s finish with a little bonus 🙂 It is possible to split the active window to get two command lines in one tab by pressing the Alt key when clicking on the “+”.

Split command line

The same action with the Shift key will open a new terminal window.

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