Suppose you have a terminal with two tabs. You click, drag, and let go one of these tabs and it becomes an independent terminal window. After a while, you want to take this terminal window and reattach it as a tab to the previous window. How do you do it ? I have seen the merge windows option in the menus, but that merges all windows into one, which I would then have to revert.


You need to, in the window you want to move, go to View-> Show Tab Bar (if the tab bar isn't showing already).

Then, drag the tab of the window you want to move onto the window you want to move it to.

Update for iTerm 2: In iTerm 2 the setting is no longer exposed in the View menu. Go to iTerm > Preferences > Appearance and check "Show tab bar even when there is only one tab". Note that in early releases of iTerm 2 the setting was "Hide tab bar when there is only one tab".

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    For this and other reasons, I always have the tab bar visible. I recommend doing so, because tabs have several useful status/activity indicators (starting in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion). – Chris Page Apr 9 '12 at 11:47
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    I've tried Cmd+Shift+Option to click and drag iTerm2 tabs into other windows, but it only works with normal windows. How can I merge tabs back into the Hotkey Window (I'm using iTerm2 in visor / yakuake-like mode) – TrinitronX Sep 5 '13 at 16:51
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    You can also Cmd+t to create a new tab and tab bar will automatically visible – czerasz Nov 8 '13 at 10:09
  • It's called "Show toolbar" in my version. The tab bar is always visible, but you cannot drag one tab into another window unless the toolbar is showing. – keflavich Apr 21 '14 at 23:22

The answer is to hold down command + shift + option whilst dragging the body of the terminal (not the tab) back to the terminal you wish to merge.

Source: http://azaleasays.com/2014/03/05/iterm2-merge-a-pane-back-to-window-or-tab-bar/

  • Note that this is for iTerm2 and not for Terminal. – Dennis Williamson Apr 29 at 22:20
  • Also if you have multiple split panes in your tab, this moves each one individually rather than the whole tab in one go. – Tamlyn May 17 at 12:36

I have iTerm2 (Build here - there's no View > Show Tab Bar. But as Chris Page suggested, disabling Hide tab bar when there is only one tab (in Preferences > Appearance) helps. The single windows can then be moved and merged again.

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    If you just have 1 tab and thus no tab bar, temporarily make a new tab, move away the tab you want, and then murder the temporary tab. – Dan Jameson Aug 25 '15 at 13:37

I had troubles merging windows with the Hotkey Window profile. I eventually found a way to un-split the windows by doing the following:

  1. Preferences > uncheck Hide tab bar when there is only one tab
  2. Set Tab position to Bottom
  3. Press your hotkey to show the Hotkey Window
  4. Click & drag the tab into the Hotkey Window's tab bar

You need to click and drag the tab from one window onto the tab bar of the other window to reattach it.

If either window has no tab bar because it is currently showing only one tab, Command + T to open a new tab, perform the action, then close any tabs you don't need. This works for both Terminal and iTerm2.

Full credit to Dan Jameson in the comments for this obvious solution.

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