I use lots of terminal tabs : I have 3 main 'groups' of terminals, with different profiles to allow me to know whether they are ssh's into remote servers (and then live or uat etc), as well as local terminals.

In older versions of OSX the 'windows' menu would show one entry per 'window' (i.e. 4 entries), with the name being the currently active in that window. Now it seems that the windows menu shows an entry 'per tab' thats open, i.e. for 4 windows with 4 tabs each, 16 entries.

It makes finding the right tab much harder: the question is, is this a configurable to put it back to the previous way? I looked in preferences and couldn't find, and my google-fu was poor.

  • 1
    Give iTerm2 a try...it has much better tab management (you can even search for Tabs)
    – Allan
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:12
  • 1
    Interesting take. The defaults read com.apple.terminal shows that a ton of configuration is stored there. I wonder if someone has some hidden setting they can share.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:56
  • Mine's only showing one entry per window (OS X v10.12.5).
    – SilverWolf
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 21:03
  • Thanks guys, @seaturtle aye, thats what mine did on 10.12.* but on 10.13.1 i now have a million (well, tens) of entries.
    – Jmons
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 18:37
  • 1
    So I looked through the com.apple options, and found nothing helpful in there. I don't want to accept a 'use different app' answer as I actually didn't get on with iTerm2: I like the console, but wish the old behaviour could be returned to.
    – Jmons
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


While this is not a final solution, I have found an interesting behaviour that may lead to a real solution if someone can figure out how terminal is doing this.

Using macOS 10.14.6, Terminal 2.9.5 (421.2), I get much the same results as all of the above except, if I am in mc [midnight-commander: stable 4.8.22 (bottled)] the window list shows entries like this: mc[user@mymachine]:/~path — mc ► zsh ► — 89x20

This is of course the tab tile showing the active process name and directory. And as we have all noticed, the tab title does not show the current path of the base shell…

It seems that Terminal is reading the mc processes' state including a path statement. Unfortunately, the shell, bash, zsh, etc, does not seem to pass on its current path, or at least Terminal is not acting on it. A solution might be found either within Terminal, or the shell one is using.

I hope someone may be able to dissect this behaviour and find a solution.

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