I'm having a strange issue with Terminal profiles that I can't seem to get to the bottom of.

For some reason the 'Antialias text' option is only being observed for the initial Terminal window. So if I quit Terminal entirely and open it again, the first window has no antialiasing on the text as I have the 'Antialias text' checkbox unticked. However, if I create a new window or tab the text is antialiased.


Top: Initial window with correct rendering. Bottom: New window with antialiasing option ignored.

If I keep both windows open and toggle Antialias text on and off only the initial window changes. If I change the text colour, both windows change.

What I've Tried

  • Removed everything from my .bash_profile including my custom PS1
  • Switched the shell back to zsh
  • Reset all the profiles and only changed the default profile to Pro

None of these had any effect.

I don't recall having this issue on my previous MacBook Pro on Catalina and I'm quite confident I would have noticed. I think it's possibly a bug that's been introduced on Big Sur.

  • In Terminal general preferences, is "On startup, open..." and "New windows open with..." set to the same profile? Sep 23, 2021 at 23:38
  • Yep. I've even tested editing the profile with both windows open and monitoring the difference. Both windows definitely using the same profile. Sep 26, 2021 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Not really an answer, but I saw the same issue and I'd really like to fix it. For me, it is less predictable, and I see additional strangeness. It seems to be related to external monitors.

Moving to the native MacBook Air display cleans it up. Moving from an external monitor to another external makes the original clean window antialiased. Sometimes even the new/fresh window doesn't come up clean (sometimes it does.)

  • Thanks for replying mtntrx. The external monitor point is an interesting one. I'm running in clamshell mode so I've not tested on the retina display. I wonder if (assume) Apple has fudged something somewhere. If it helps you, I've switched to iTerm2 for my Terminal now and it doesn't face the same issues. Additionally it seems a lot better anyway! Sep 23, 2021 at 16:58

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