I want to set the "Homebrew" theme to be the default in Terminal. I've changed the setting in the preferences: I chose "on startup, open" : "new window with settings" : "Homebrew".

Here is a screenshot:

screenshot of Terminal's "startup" preference pane

Terminal uses "Homebrew" only for the first window. Then I do cmd-W to close the window and cmd-N to get a new window. The new window appears with the "Basic" theme! But if I do cmd-Q and restart Terminal then it gives me a "Homebrew" window again. Why don't terminal themes work properly?

  • “On startup” means “when starting Terminal”, not “when opening a new window”.
    – Chris Page
    Aug 15, 2012 at 3:42
  • Twould be great to have a "rotating" option like the stickies app. Every new terminal window would have a different theme. I would really like that... Update: I thought Stickies operated this way but apparently not. I just tried it and it's just proving that my memory is failing me badly. Ah well.
    – chmedly
    Jun 24, 2020 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


Go to Terminal → Preferences → Settings → Profiles, select the Homebrew theme, and click the ‘Default’ button. Then quit Terminal and restart to confirm it works.

  • 1
    thanks, that really helps! Anyway, the app's behavior seems to be wrong, I have an option "New window opens" set to "Same profile", not the "Default profile" and it opens the default, not the same. It's not clear why do they have same/default option, if both actually default?
    – user109884
    Jan 16, 2015 at 8:35
  • Hi, what if the default button is greyed out? Any guesses why it might be so? If it's a matter of my privileges (this is a work computer) I will scream.
    – pgblu
    Dec 31, 2015 at 13:05
  • oddly enough this works. But not with the "solid colors" theme. The latter changes colors on each new launch o.O
    – Ufos
    Nov 2, 2016 at 20:56

On High Sierra, Terminal, Preferences, General then New window, select profile and

bottom half:

New window opens with Same

New tab open with same

  • 2
    This doesn't seem to be enough for me; almost every other time or so, I launch the app and it starts with the default "Basic" profile, and I need to restart the app so that my chosen profile is used. I think it's a bug on Apple's part... May 17, 2018 at 4:35
  • Is there a way to apply a new theme to the existing, currently open window also?
    – Qasim
    Nov 27, 2019 at 10:09

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