8 Windows Terminal Themes to Brighten Up the Command Line

Windows Terminal themes to brighten your command prompt, various color schemes.

Windows Terminal offers a wide variety of default and third-party themes to brighten up the command line. This list includes some of the best Windows Terminal themes, whether you use PowerShell or Command Prompt. It also shows how to change your Terminal’s appearance to other default or third-party themes.

1. Ubuntu Color Scheme (Default)

There is a built-in Ubuntu color scheme for Windows Terminal that somewhat resembles the original Linux terminal launcher. It has a plum background and white foreground and cursor colors. You can also use cyan, aubergine, and orange from the Ubuntu palette as supporting colors.

But the similarities don’t just stop at the surface. As soon as you run your first command, you will have a familiar ease of use in typing, copy-pasting, and other activities. Thanks to the bold fonts which are pleasing to the eye, this is a brilliant color scheme in its own right, even if it has nothing to do with Ubuntu.

Ubuntu color scheme displayed in Windows Terminal Command Prompt mode. [Default scheme]

But hold the verdict on that one for a moment. As it turns out, this Windows Terminal theme may have something to do with Ubuntu after all. If you’ve added the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to your Microsoft device, Ubuntu and many other Linux distros can be launched from within the Terminal app.

2. Apple Classic

In contrast to Ubuntu, finding a Mac environment for Windows apps feels like a snipe hunt. Having said that, we bring you a third-party Apple Classic theme that gives you somewhat of a vintage 1984 Macintosh vibe.

At first glance, the gold font on a dark grey background may not look that impressive, but if you’re using a laptop with a full-HD resolution, and the HDR sliders are at their right settings, this color scheme may just give you the burst of energy you need during a productive day. Turn on the night light settings in Windows for maximum comfort with the display.

Apple Classic Theme in Windows Terminal Command Prompt mode.

To download Apple Classic and some of the other gorgeous themes below, go to the WindowsTerminalThemes.dev developer site. Scroll down for a download JSON link. All these themes are available from the same downloaded file, which can be opened in Notepad.

JSON download link for WindowsTerminalThemes, a developer repository of Windows Terminal themes.

3. Forest Blue

From WindowsTerminalThemes.dev, you can download another theme called Forest Blue. It displays tan text on a winter green background and supports lavender cursor points. There are many great colors together, and the overall visual is pleasing to the eye without being disharmonious.

The reason a forest-like background looks so great is because of the shade’s luminosity, which happens to be higher than any other. Add a matching text tone, and in an instant, your Windows Terminal transforms into a fantastic backdrop.

Forest Blue color scheme installed in Windows Terminal in Command Prompt mode.

The above theme has a dark-grey selection, which may feel counterintuitive to an already dark background. After all, most of us are used to a white selection in the Command Prompt area. But a highly smooth text selection with an obscure shadow detail is a real novelty, in our experience.

4. Matrix

The green color in the Matrix film trilogy represents the sickness and decay of a simulated world. It’s an oddly satisfying color choice for a console environment. It goes without saying that many of us like a monotone green vibe because it gives a feel of older CRT computer monitors.

The above theme can be downloaded from WindowsTerminalThemes.dev. Once you start using it, the text immediately blends well, and the overall background is comfortable to the eye, as the contrasts are well-designed.

Matrix theme in Terminal

The dark teal console window may make the whole thing feel monotonous, but that’s the whole point of being in the Matrix. However, you can change the text colors in Windows Terminal according to your needs, and a bright yellow text would also look quite good against this video-game-like background.

5. Cobalt Neon

While we can agree that green is the color of Matrix and other simulated worlds, not everything has to be monotonous and gloomy. The developer website, WindowsTerminalThemes.dev, offers a Cobalt Neon theme. It has light-green text on a dark-blue background, a pink cursor color, and a dark-blue selection background.

Cobalt Neon is a sharp, optimistic color scheme, and you’ll be amazed at how vivid and dynamic it feels. It’s very pleasing to the eye in the long run, and once you adopt this theme, you may not want to switch.

Cobalt Neon theme for clear text visuals.

Tip: to truly appreciate the beautiful Cobalt-green color scheme, install the latest .NET framework, and practice the advanced PowerShell commands. When you try them, the screens update multiple times, which renders extremely well on this theme.

6. Welding Torch (Amber)

This beautiful Terminal theme lights up your screen like a flaming torch. It’s aptly called Welding Torch, Amber-Theme, and as the name suggests, the color scheme was inspired by an earlier era of Monochrome Amber monitors.

The reason this retro theme works so well on a modern Windows Terminal is because it feels absolutely geeky. It’s also an appropriate console environment for Christmas and New Year occasions. Gold against black is also the iconic Motorola theme. No matter how you look at it, Amber is a great import to your Terminal window.

Welding torch Amber theme

Note: when you download a JSON file from external websites, such as the above Amber theme, you may encounter syntax errors, such as trailing commas. This is particularly true for any Terminal themes downloaded from GitHub. To fix them, add the missing commas (see below).

7. VS Code

So far, we have seen some very beautiful color schemes, and they do interact well with Windows Terminal. However, if you’re looking for a hard-core coding experience, you may need something more subtle and not overemphasizing.

This is where the aptly named code, VS Code, can help. It gives a rich Visual Studio-like environment to your Command Prompt/PowerShell activities. If you’re a developer and programmer with advanced coding requirements, VS Code makes you feel right at home.

VS Code theme applied to resemble Visual Studio.

If you’ve installed WSL on your Windows device, you can run the actual Visual Studio on this above the VS Code background. Do this from inside the Terminal, where it is cross-compatible with several apps on your Windows PC.

8. Dracula Theme

Many users want a Dracula theme for Windows Terminal, as it just feels so elegant and self-assured. An appropriately named website on Dracula now lets you join the dark side in a fun-filled way.

The white text on a blue-gray background may not feel very ghostly but is, nevertheless, very clean and spacious. No matter what time of the day it is, a Dracula theme is always going to be a guaranteed hit on a console window.

Dracula theme in command prompt.

The best part about the above website is that it offers similar Dracula themes on a wide variety of software applications. They include Slack, Telegram, Firefox, Chrome, Adobe, LibreOffice, and many more.

How to Change Windows Terminal Theme

To change the Windows Terminal theme to a custom one, launch the application in Administrator mode, then open Settings from the top drop-down menu. Change the theme in two different ways.

In the first method, select Color Schemes on the left of your navigation menu. This lets you change various details, such as Foreground and Background color, Cursor color, and Selection background.

You can also choose Rename color scheme, then Save the changes.

Adding your own color scheme and saving it in the Settings window.

In the second method, visit Profiles in the left navigation menu, and select the desired Terminal application. For example, if you want to change to Command Prompt, choose that one.

After selecting the profile, go to Additional Settings -> Appearance. This will take you to another page. Click on Color scheme, and from a pull-down menu, choose the scheme you want. Save the selection to confirm. The Terminal profile will automatically change to the new theme.

How to choose a default Windows Terminal theme - all the steps explained.

For third-party themes, all you need is a JSON file designed for Windows Terminal. Download them from various websites, such as GitHub.

First, open Terminal’s JSON Settings file by clicking Open JSON file. Remember, all JSON files easily open with Notepad. By its side, keep the downloaded JSON file open. We have selected the code for “Apple Classic.”

While copying text, don’t forget the { }, parameters enclosing the color scheme. Otherwise, it may lead to syntax errors.

Copying

Go back to the original JSON Settings file, and paste the text below Schemes. Save the settings, and close Notepad.

Pasting

The newly added “Apple Classic” theme will appear in the color-scheme pull-down menu. Select the new theme, and Save it to change your Terminal’s appearance.

Setting the downloaded Apple Classic theme in Windows Terminal settings.

When it comes to gorgeous themes, you can find more variety with additional Windows Terminal emulators. If you haven’t been able to install Terminal on your Windows computer, we show you several ways to do so.

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

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Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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