Keyboard shortcut to open terminal in mac OSX ?

  • 2
    120 thousand people looking for this, and no solution provided. – Lucas Bustamante Mar 17 '19 at 12:38
  • @LucasBustamante there is an (accepted) answer below, and a link to further answers in the yellow box at the top. If none of these answers solve the problem, please use the „Ask Question“ button to ask a new question. If you do so, please also explain why the existing answers don‘t work for you. – nohillside Mar 17 '19 at 13:16
  • @Lri There is no need to reopen a question just to repost an answer which already exists on one of the original questions. Avoiding duplicate answers is exactly the reason for closing questions as a duplicate :-) – nohillside Mar 20 '19 at 13:03
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    @nohillside even though I can, I urge you to consider that this question has 6x more people searching for this specific solution. – Lucas Bustamante Mar 23 '19 at 20:55
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    To be fair, this is the top search result for "osx terminal shortcut" on duckduckgo, and the top stackexchange result on google for the same search term. I for one am unlikely to look at the other duplicate questions when the answers on this one don't have a simple solution, I'm sure others are unlikely to as well. – Kelly Bang Jul 30 '19 at 15:44

Press CmdSpace to open spotlight search, and type terminal and hit return.

Or if you are in the terminal press CmdT to open a new tab OR CmdN to open a new Terminal window.

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  • 41
    Is there any command like Ubuntu CTRL + ALT + T – Thirumal Oct 7 '16 at 5:06
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    That's not a shortcut... Only a middle step workaround. – schlenger Jan 19 '18 at 12:54
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    As schlenger said, that is not a keyboard shortcut. Terrible solution. – b10hazard Feb 13 '18 at 12:52
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    Doesn't work if you already have a terminal window open. – Fried Brice Mar 7 '18 at 0:17
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    When you will return the focus to the terminal, it will return to the original workspace, in which case you can press CMD + N to create a new window of the terminal which you can drag to the other workspace. On pressing, CMD + Tab now will focus on the terminal, in the current workspace. – killswitch Mar 13 '18 at 8:58

Karabiner-Elements (10.12 and later)

Karabiner stopped working in 10.12 due to changes in the kernel architecture, and Karabiner was rewritten as Karabiner-Elements which uses a new JSON format for the configuration files.

You can now add a rule like this to karabiner.json (https://pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/json.html):

  "from": {
    "key_code": "t",
    "modifiers": {
      "mandatory": [
  "to": [
      "shell_command": "open -aterminal"
  "type": "basic"

Karabiner (10.11 and earlier)

Save a file like this as private.xml:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::T, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::VK_OPEN_URL_TERMINAL</autogen>


If you have bought the Powerpack for Alfred, you can create a workflow like this:

Hotkeys have a short delay by default, but you can reduce the delay by changing the "Trigger behaviour" option from "Simulate modifier keys released" to "Pass through modifier keys (Fastest)":

iTerm 2

iTerm 2 has an option to enable a global keyboard shortcut for focusing the application in "Preferences > Keys > Show/hide all windows with a system-wide hotkey":

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