Here's an obscure one, it used to be that if you ...

  • opened a window A (say, green bg, your default)
  • open another window B
  • open prefs
  • change the bg color in prefs to yellow
  • that would change B to yellow, but leave the other one green

In this way you could fairly easily have mulitiple Terminal windows, with, different bg colors for clarity.

Unfortunately Apple fixed this bug a couple yrs ago! Changing color in prefs now changes all open windows!

Is there any way to get different color backgrounds in Terminal when more than one window is open?

enter image description here

(Do note, you can set that BACKGROUND windows have low alpha (look at, strangely, the bottom of the color pane. This doesn't help at all. If I have four shells to four servers, I want them to have red, green, blue, yellow backgrounds. Thanks!)


3 Answers 3


You should make four shell profiles by using the duplicate option and create your shells from those different profiles.

Edit: There are other answers with alternatives that may better suit different use cases. This way is still going to be the nicest approach for consistent re-use of color sets.

enter image description here

  • Ah! Spectacular - I had no idea at all about that menu option. Thanks so much. Bounty en route
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 14:27

Ah! Terminal now includes this:

enter image description here

That menu option alone DOES offer "individual" background color change. Phew.


I believe you can still use Command-I and use that floating info panel to change the theme of any terminal window.

  • In fact, see my answer, it now seems to be "option-command-I" ! Great stuff.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 18:17

You must log in to answer this question.

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