How to set Command Prompt as default on Windows Terminal

Does Windows Terminal always open on PowerShell, but you're a Command Prompt person? Here's how to change the default startup settings.

Command Prompt default app on Windows Terminal
Command Prompt default app on Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal is the new experience on Windows 10 to run Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Linux distros within a single window using tabs.

By default, the app opens on PowerShell, but if you’re a Command Prompt person, Windows Terminal allows to change the settings using the “profiles.json” configuration file.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to configure the Windows Terminal app to start on Command Prompt by default, instead of PowerShell on Windows 10.

How to change PowerShell for Command Prompt as default profile on Windows Terminal

To make Command Prompt the default console when opening Windows Terminal, use these steps:

Warning: Making modifications to the Windows Terminal configuration file can result in unexpected behaviors if you don’t do it correctly. It’s assumed you know what you’re doing and that you have created a backup of your file before proceeding.
  1. Open Windows Terminal.

  2. Click on the down arrow button from the tabs section and select the Settings option to open the “profiles.json” file.

    Windows Terminal settings option
    Windows Terminal settings option
  3. Select, right-click, and copy the guid for “cmd”.

    Windows Terminal Command Prompt guid
    Windows Terminal Command Prompt guid
  4. At the top of the files, replace the current guid in the “defaultProfile” field.

    Windows Terminal set Command Prompt as the new startup default
    Windows Terminal set Command Prompt as the new startup default
  5. Click the File menu.

  6. Click the Save option.

Once you complete the steps, restart the Windows Terminal, and it should open open Command Prompt by default.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, 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 About.me.