Keyboard shortcut to open terminal in mac OSX ?

  • 22
    120 thousand people looking for this, and no solution provided. Mar 17, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 13:03
  • 2
    @nohillside even though I can, I urge you to consider that this question has 6x more people searching for this specific solution. Mar 23, 2019 at 20:55
  • 2
    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, 2019 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 86
    Is there any command like Ubuntu CTRL + ALT + T
    – Thirumal
    Oct 7, 2016 at 5:06
  • 73
    That's not a shortcut... Only a middle step workaround.
    – schlenger
    Jan 19, 2018 at 12:54
  • 29
    As schlenger said, that is not a keyboard shortcut. Terrible solution.
    – b10hazard
    Feb 13, 2018 at 12:52
  • 5
    Doesn't work if you already have a terminal window open. Mar 7, 2018 at 0:17
  • 9
    This does not seem to be the right answer for OP. Here are the steps: 1. Go to Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts 2. Select App shortcuts from the left pane 3. Click on + sign to add a new shortcut 4. On the application drop down, select "Other" and then choose System > Application > Utilities > Terminal.app 5. Enter the name and register your shortcut (I use cmd + shift + t) 6. Save
    – SilleBille
    Oct 22, 2020 at 17:39

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)":


If you use Raycast, you can go to Settings > Extensions and find iTerm in the Applications folder or by searching for it. Then add a shortcut:

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":

  • Such a wonderful system
    – TeaDrinker
    Feb 9 at 5:01

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