macOS Catalina and later (10.15+)
Apple replaced bash with zsh as the default shell for new user accounts. See article.
You can verify the default shell by typing
echo $0 in the terminal.
macOS Mojave and earlier (10.14-)
See Apple Support page, Use zsh as the default shell on your Mac
Surprisingly this doesn't work with the command line tools as one would expect. This needs to be done with the System Preferences app.
The following steps work with multiple versions of Mac OS X through at least 10.11 (El Capitan).
- Open up the "User's & Groups" panel in the "System Preferences" app.
- Make sure the panel is unlocked (bottom left)
- Control click on your username (top left) and select "Advanced Options..." This is only available if you are an Administrator.
4. Change the "Login shell" value to
5. Press the OK button to save your change.
You should be careful not to change any other fields, as per the warning at the top of this dialog. If you have any doubts, then press the "Cancel" button and try again.