How to enable portable mode for Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal portable mode
Windows Terminal portable mode
  • To enable Windows Terminal portable mode, download the “.zip” package, extract its content, create a “.portable” file to enable portable mode, and copy the folder to a USB flash drive, network drive, or another location.

You can now use Windows Terminal in portable mode, and in this guide, you will learn how to set it up. Starting on version 1.7 and higher releases, the Windows Terminal allows you to deploy a self-contained portable environment that saves and maintains the application state and configuration to easily transport the console to different devices, maintaining the same experience.

This is possible using the “zip” package of the Windows Terminal available through GitHub. Once you download the package and enable the “portable mode,” you can export the files to a network share, cloud drive, or USB flash drive and run the same Windows Terminal on any supported device without installing the bits on Windows 11.

This guide will teach you the steps to set up Windows Terminal portable mode on Windows 11.

Configure portable mode for Windows Terminal

To enable portable mode for the Windows Terminal, use these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Terminal GitHub page.

  2. Under the “Assets” section, download the Zip package of the terminal – for example,

    Windows Terminal zip

  3. Open File Explorer.

  4. Open the folder where you downloaded the Windows Terminal package.

  5. Open the “zip” folder.

  6. Click the Extract All button from the command bar.

    Extract zip package

  7. Check the “Show extracted files when complete” option.

  8. Click the Extract button.

    Windows 11 zip extract settings

  9. Select the “terminal” folder and click the Cut button from the command bar.

    File Explorer Cut option

  10. Open the location to store the portable version of the Windows Terminal.

    Quick note: You can use a USB flash drive, external hardware, another partition, network share, etc.
  11. Click the Paste button from the command bar.

  12. Open the extracted “terminal” folder.

  13. Click the New menu from the command bar and choose the “Text Document” option.

    File Explorer create text file

  14. Rename the file from “Net Text Document.txt” to “.portable” and press Enter.

    Windows Terminal enable portable mode

    Quick note: When updating the file name, make sure that File Explorer is configured to show file extension. Otherwise, you may not be able to set up portable mode correctly.
  15. Right-click the WindowsTerminal.exe file and select the Open option.

    Launch Windows Terminal portable

    Quick note: When you launch the terminal for the first time, it’ll create a new “settings” folder to store the settings and runtime state.
  16. Open the Windows Terminal settings (Ctrl + ,).

  17. Click the Save button for the “Windows Terminal is running portable mode” message.

    Windows Terminal portable mode configuration

Once you complete the steps, the Windows Terminal will create a “settings” folder to maintain the application state and configurations. You can now copy the folder with the app files to a USB flash drive, cloud drive (such as OneDrive), or network share and run the Windows Terminal across devices without installing it. You can either create a shortcut to the “WindowsTerminal.exe” file, or you can execute the “WindowsTerminal.exe” file from the portable folder to launch it.

Any configuration changes will save automatically in the “settings” folder. The only caveat is that using the portable mode will lose automatic updates, the ability to set it as the default terminal, and the “Open in Terminal” context menu won’t work for this mode.

If the time comes to update the Windows Terminal to a new version, you only need to keep the “settings” folder and replace the application files with the version.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].