How to Launch Terminal in the Current Folder Location on Mac

Often, while working with local files, you may need to open a Terminal window in your current folder location. While doing that is as easy as pressing a button and clicking an option in Windows, things are different on Mac. You are required to enable an option in your Preferences panel before you can launch Terminal in a folder of your choice. This tutorial shows how to launch Terminal in the current folder location on your Mac.

Tip: use Terminal to download torrents on your Mac more efficiently.

Launch Terminal Window in the Current Folder on Mac

You do not need a third-party app to get the job done. Visit the System Settings app built into all Macs running macOS Ventura or later, tweak a few settings, and you will be set.

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner on your Mac, and select “System Settings.”
  1. Click on “Keyboard” in the Settings panel, then “Keyboard Shortcuts.”
Keyboard Shortcuts
  1. Click “Services” in the menu on the left.
Click Services
  1. Expand “Files and Folders,” and select the options that say “New Terminal at Folder” and “New Terminal Tab at Folder.”
New Terminal at Folder
  1. Double-click “none” to the right of “New Terminal at Folder,” then press a key combination to assign a new shortcut key to the feature. For this example, we are using command + T. The keyboard command will replace “none.”
Choose Shortcuts

By choosing your personalized shortcut, you can launch a Terminal window using a shortcut key instead of pulling up the menu and selecting the option to launch one.

  1. Close Settings once you have enabled the options and assigned a keyboard shortcut.
  1. Single-click on the folder where you wish to launch a Terminal window.
Select Folder to Launch Terminal Window
  1. Click on “Finder,” followed by “Services,” then select “New Terminal at Folder.”
Select New Terminal at Folder

Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut that you assigned before.

  1. A new Terminal window will launch in the current folder location, allowing you to play around with the local files in that folder.
New Terminal Window

Launching a local instance of Terminal should be easier for you. Should you ever wish to disable the feature, you can do so from the Settings panel by unchecking the boxes you selected in the above steps.

Good to know: discover these handy shortcuts that allow you to select multiple files and other items on your Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drag and drop folders into the Terminal?

Yes, if you keep the Terminal shortcut in your Dock, you can open a specific folder in the Terminal by dragging and dropping that folder from the Finder window onto the Terminal icon. Alternatively, drag and drop the folder from Finder into an open Terminal window.

How do I navigate to a folder within the Terminal?

If you want to use the Terminal to navigate to folders, simply type cd followed by the directory you want to navigate to. For example, cd Desktop or cd Desktop/Downloads. To see your current directory in the Terminal, type pwd, which stands for “print working directory.” If your work revolves around using Terminal to work with local files, and you do not want to go through the hassle of providing full paths to the files, open any folder from the Mac Terminal.

How do I open a new Terminal tab without using Finder?

There are three main ways to open a new Terminal tab on your Mac without using Finder:

  1. Keyboard shortcut: press command + T.
  2. Menu bar: click the “Shell” menu, then select “New Tab.”
  3. Two-finger click: issue a two-finger click on the Terminal window, then select “New Tab.”

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Farhad Pashaei.

Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei

As a technophile, Farhad has spent the last decade getting hands-on experience with a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, and so on.

When he isn’t writing, you can bet he’s devouring information on products making their market foray, demonstrating his unquenchable thirst for technology.

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