Windows Terminal gets new features with version 1.6

Windows Terminal 1.6 now ships with new settings graphical interface and many features and improvements.

Windows Terminal settings UI
Windows Terminal settings UI

Windows Terminal version 1.6 is now ready for download. The new version of the app for Windows 10 is available as a preview, and it includes several improvements and new features.

According to Microsoft’s announcement, version 1.6 for the Terminal ships with the first preview of the settings interface to customize virtually every aspect of the app and the available consoles.

For example, you can customize the startup behavior, interaction, appearance, rendering, and you can change color schemes without the need to mess with the “settings.json” file.

The Windows Terminal settings interface also includes a section to customize each profile (PowerShell, Command Prompt, etc.). Or you can customize the “Base layer” settings to apply the settings to all the profiles.

The settings experience is not yet fully integrated, which means that you will have to edit the “settings.json” with the following line of code to the “actions” array or “keybindings,” depending on the version of the file to enable the settings experience.

The company says that during the preview of the settings interface integration, the app will generate a backup of the settings file in case you need to revert the changes.

If you need to revert the changes, the backup file will be located in the app’s folder. You can find it opening the “settings.json” with the Visual Studio Code app, right-clicking the tab, and selecting the “Reveal in File Explorer” option.

Other improvements with version 1.6

Alongside the new settings experience, Windows Terminal 1.6 now lets you set startup actions in the global settings to determine how the terminal launches. Here are some examples:

// Launch terminal with multiple tabs
"startupActions": "new-tab; new-tab"
//Launch terminal with one tab split into a PowerShell pane and an Ubuntu pane
"startupActions": "split-pane -p PowerShell ; split-pane -p Ubuntu"

In addition, the app can now display a progress indicator in the tab and taskbar whenever an OSC 9;4 sequence is received.

You can now use HLSL pixel shaders inside the profile, but this feature is experimental. Here’s an example:

"experimental.pixelShaderEffect": "C:\\temp\\invert.hlsl"

As for new actions, starting version 1.6, you can use the scrollToTop and scrollToBottom commands to scroll to the beginning or end of the text buffer.

{ "command": "scrollToTop", "keys": "ctrl+shift+home" },
{ "command": "scrollToBottom", "keys": "ctrl+shift+end" }

The moveFocus action now lets you navigate to the last used pane with the keyboard.

{ "command": { "action": "moveFocus", "direction": "previous" }, "keys": "ctrl+alt+left" }

You can also move tabs backward (left) and forward (right) using the keyboard with the moveTab command.

{ "command": { "action": "moveTab", "direction": "backward" }, "keys": "" },
{ "command": { "action": "moveTab", "direction": "forward" }, "keys": "" }

Finally, Windows Terminal version 1.6 ships with several new features, including:

  • You can now specify a tab color for each new tab or pane through with --tabColor #rrggbb.
  • The move-focus command argument has also been added to specify which pane to focus on when launching the terminal using the command line.
  • The splitPane action and split-pane, sp command argument now accepts a size parameter to define the pane’s size.
  • The terminal now supports ConEmu’s OSC 9;9 sequence, which sets the current working directory.
  • You can now have a double underscore cursor in Windows Terminal.
  • The command palette now supports "launchMode", which can be set to "action" or "commandLine".
  • When you emit a BEL, the app will display the bell icon in the tab. You can also now set the bell style to "visual", which will cause it to flash the taskbar.

Windows Terminal 1.6 is now available as a preview with the new features mentioned above and several bug fixes, and you can download it from the Microsoft Store or GitHub.

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].