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I was wondering if there was any was I could right click inside any instance of a "Finder" window such that I have an option that says "Open Terminal Here". It would be really helpful.

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There are many answers to a similar question on Stack Overflow. –  Rob Kennedy Apr 4 '11 at 3:22
this site should be a more appropriate place to ask though –  eric Dec 16 '14 at 12:27

13 Answers 13

up vote 60 down vote accepted

As of Mac OS X Lion 10.7, Terminal provides Services for opening a new terminal window or tab at the selected folder in Finder. They also work with absolute pathnames selected in text (in any application). You can enable these services with System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Services. Look for "New Terminal at Folder" and "New Terminal Tab at Folder". You can also assign them shortcut keys.

In addition, you can now drag folders (and pathnames) onto the Terminal application icon to open a new terminal window, or onto a tab bar in a terminal window to create a new tab in that window. If you drag onto a tab (rather than into the terminal view) it will execute a complete cd command to switch to that directory without any additional typing.

As of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, Command-Dragging into a terminal will also execute a complete cd command.

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"In addition, you can now drag folders (and pathnames) onto the Terminal application icon to open a new terminal window," - are you kidding me? that's AWESOME! :) –  phil Sep 8 '13 at 13:29
In Mavericks 10.9.4 - shortcuts doesn't work for me. Thanks for Drag and Drop tip :) –  amar Jul 22 '14 at 8:36
after couple of attempts shortcuts worked for me. Thanks again ...! –  amar Jul 23 '14 at 7:11
@amar Could you share with us what you did? Also broken for me in 10.10 –  Ollie Ford Nov 4 '14 at 14:37
@Olive - after I upgrade to Yesomite shortcuts no longer worked for me :( –  amar Nov 12 '14 at 7:16

A different approach: DTerm, which gives you a floating command prompt at the top of the window. This works in many apps, not just Finder.

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The solution to your troubles is called Go2Shell and it does exactly what you're describing. You can find it on the App Store and best of all... it's totally free.


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If you want to use iTerm instead with Go2Shell, see this answer to bring up the preferences. Or in short, type open -a Go2Shell --args config to bring up configuration. –  Jeromy Anglim Nov 18 '13 at 11:45
@jherran it seems to be ok now –  Colas Feb 4 at 15:26

cdto seems like it is just what you need. It is a mini-application, designed to be put in the Finder's toolbar, when you run it it will open a terminal window and cd to the current directory in Finder.

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You can do this with the service feature.

The following site contains an example of such a service: http://blog.leenarts.net/2009/09/03/open-service-here/

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http://etresoft.org/shellhere.html — Etresoft and John Daniel

… right click inside any instance of a "Finder" window …

I don't know whether it can be reached through a contextual menu, but I keep ShellHere in the toolbar of Finder.

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http://free.abracode.com/cmworkshop/on_my_command.html — version 2.3 (2011-01-16)

Screenshot etc. at http://www.wuala.com/grahamperrin/public/2011/07/31/d/?mode=gallery

Installed and used by me on Snow Leopard before upgrading to Lion. Too soon for me to say whether version 2.3 is compatible with Lion.

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You can drag any file or folder from the finder onto a Terminal window to insert a string of said file or folder's absolute path.

This will work on any standard install (at least back until 10.4 Tiger [¿maybe earlier?]) without needing additional software our twiddling of preferences, either of which may later freak out your non-techy friend if it happens to be his/her Mac that you’re working on. This trick also works for any process that is running in the Terminal, e.g. emacs or vi (assuming you’ve got vi in the appropriate mode, or however it is that you people who use vi do).

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I mostly use this function:

cf() {
  cd "$(osascript -e 'tell app "Finder" to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)')"

You could also assign a shortcut to a script like the ones below.

Reuse an existing tab or create a new window (Terminal):

tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)
tell application "Terminal"
    if (exists window 1) and not busy of window 1 then
        do script "cd " & quoted form of p in window 1
        do script "cd " & quoted form of p
    end if
end tell

Reuse an existing tab or create a new tab (Terminal):

tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)
tell application "Terminal"
    if not (exists window 1) then reopen
    if busy of window 1 then
        tell application "System Events" to keystroke "t" using command down
    end if
    do script "cd " & quoted form of p in window 1
end tell

Always create a new tab (iTerm 2):

tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)
tell application "iTerm"
    if exists current terminal then
        current terminal
        make new terminal
    end if
    tell (launch session "Default") of result to write text "cd " & quoted form of p
end tell

The first two scripts have a few advantages compared to the services added in 10.7:

  • As of 10.9, there is a bug where services that receive folders as input are never listed in the services menu in column view. If you assign the New Terminal Tab at Folder service a keyboard shortcut, it doesn't work in column view.
  • They use the folder on the title bar instead of requiring you to select a folder first.
  • They reuse the frontmost tab if it is not busy, e.g. running a command, displaying a man page, or running emacs.

If you use 10.7 or 10.8, change tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias) to:

tell application "Finder"
    if exists Finder window 1 then
        set p to POSIX path of (target of Finder window 1 as alias)
        set p to POSIX path of (path to desktop)
    end if
end tell

There is a bug in 10.7 and 10.8 (but not in 10.9 or 10.6) where Finder ignores windows created after the last time focus was moved to another application and back when getting the insertion location property.

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Try this: https://github.com/nmadhok/OpenInTerminal

It works with the Finder's sidebar items, multiple folder/file selections and anything you could think of. Really easy to use!

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XtraFinder add Tabs and features to Mac Finder.


It has much more convenient features than just "New Terminal Here":

• Tabs & Dual Panel.

• Arrange folders on top.

• Cut & Paste. Copy queue.

• Global hotkeys.

• "Copy Path", "Show Hidden Items", "Hide Desktop", "Refresh", "New File", "Copy to", "Move to", "New Terminal Here", "Make Symbolic Link", "Contents", "Attributes", … .

• Legacy label for OSX 10.9 & 10.10. Light text on dark background. Transparent window.

• Colorful icons in Sidebar.

• Size of selected items in Status Bar.

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