How can I make it so Terminal will remember the currently open windows on Quit, and reopen those windows, with all the existing text intact?

I have two machines:

  • Both on El Cap

  • Both with identical Terminal preferences, including:

    • Profiles > Window > Restore text when reopening windows [checked]
    • Profiles > Shell > When the shell exits [Don't close the window]

  • Both with identical .bash_profiles (just for LSCOLORS)

On the first machine, Terminal reopens windows exactly as I left them before Quit.

On the second machine, Terminal always starts with an empty bash window. I can still press up to get previous commands. (And the scrollbar is different on the second machine, FWIW).

I can't figure out what's responsible for the (desired) behavior on the first machine, so I haven't been able to port it to the second machine. Any suggestions?


You have "Close windows when quitting an app" checked on the machine that does not restore the terminal windows (your second machine).

This setting is in System Preferences -> General not in your Terminal preferences.

Uncheck this box to get the desired behavior. Understand however that this behavior can extend to other applications as well - it is not restricted to Terminal.app

As for the scroll bars, I suspect you will find that the Show Scroll Bars radio button in System Preferences -> General is not set the same on your two machines.

  • Is there a way to enable this behavior only for Terminal app? – jtheletter May 8 '16 at 3:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .