Integrated Terminal

In Visual Studio Code, you can open an integrated terminal, initially starting at the root of your workspace. This can be very convenient as you don't have to switch windows or alter the state of an existing terminal to perform a quick command line task.

To open the terminal:

  • Use the kb(workbench.action.terminal.toggleTerminal) keyboard shortcut with the backtick character.
  • Use the View | Integrated Terminal menu command.
  • From the Command Palette (kb(workbench.action.showCommands)), use the View:Toggle Integrated Terminal command.


Note: You can still open an external shell with the Explorer Open in Command Prompt command (Open in Terminal on Mac or Linux) if you prefer to work outside VS Code.

Managing Multiple Terminals

You can create multiple terminals open to different locations and easily navigate between them. Terminal instances can be added by hitting the plus icon on the top-right of the TERMINAL panel or by triggering the kb( command. This creates another entry in the dropdown list that can be used to switch between them.

Multiple Terminals

Remove terminal instances by pressing the trash can button.

Tip: If you use multiple terminals extensively, you can add key bindings for the focusNext, focusPrevious and kill commands outlined in the Key Bindings section to allow navigation between them using only the keyboard.


The shell used defaults to $SHELL on Linux and macOS, PowerShell on Windows 10 and cmd.exe on earlier versions of Windows. These can be overridden manually by setting* in settings. Arguments can be passed to the terminal shell on Linux and macOS using the terminal.integrated.shellArgs.* settings.


Correctly configuring your shell on Windows is a matter of locating the right executable and updating the setting. Below are a list of common shell executables and their default locations:

// 64-bit cmd if available, otherwise 32-bit
"": "C:\\Windows\\sysnative\\cmd.exe"
// 64-bit PowerShell if available, otherwise 32-bit
"": "C:\\Windows\\sysnative\\WindowsPowerShell\\v1.0\\powershell.exe"
// Git Bash
"": "C:\\Program Files\\Git\\bin\\bash.exe"
// Bash on Ubuntu (on Windows)
"": "C:\\Windows\\sysnative\\bash.exe"

Note: To be used as an integrated terminal, the shell executable must be a console application so that stdin/stdout/stderr can be redirected.

Tip: The integrated terminal shell is running with the permissions of VS Code. If you need to run a shell command with elevated (administrator) or different permissions, you can use platform utilities such as runas.exe within a terminal.

Shell arguments

You can pass arguments to the shell when it is launched.

For example, to enable running bash as a login shell (which runs .bash_profile), pass in the -l argument (with double quotes):

// Linux
"terminal.integrated.shellArgs.linux": ["-l"]

Terminal Display Settings

You can customize the integrated terminal font and line height with the following settings:

  • terminal.integrated.fontFamily
  • terminal.integrated.fontSize
  • terminal.integrated.lineHeight

Key Bindings

The View: Toggle Integrated Terminal command is bound to kb(workbench.action.terminal.toggleTerminal) to quickly toggle the integrated terminal panel in and out of view.

Below are the keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate within the integrated terminal:

Key Command
kb(workbench.action.terminal.toggleTerminal) Show integrated terminal
kb( Create new terminal
kb(workbench.action.terminal.scrollup) Scroll up
kb(workbench.action.terminal.scrolldown) Scroll down
kb(workbench.action.terminal.scrollupPage) Scroll page up
kb(workbench.action.terminal.scrolldownPage) Scroll page down
kb(workbench.action.terminal.scrollToTop) Scroll to top
kb(workbench.action.terminal.scrollToBottom) Scroll to bottom
kb(workbench.action.terminal.clear) Clear the terminal

Other terminal commands are available and can be bound to your preferred keyboard shortcuts.

They are:

  • workbench.action.terminal.focus: Focus the terminal. This is like toggle but focuses the terminal instead of hiding it, if it is visible.
  • workbench.action.terminal.focusNext: Focuses the next terminal instance.
  • workbench.action.terminal.focusPrevious: Focuses the previous terminal instance.
  • workbench.action.terminal.kill: Remove the current terminal instance.
  • workbench.action.terminal.runSelectedText: Run the selected text in the terminal instance.
  • workbench.action.terminal.runActiveFile: Run the active file in the terminal instance.

Run Selected Text

To use the runSelectedText command, select text in an editor and run the command Terminal: Run Selected Text in Active Terminal via the Command Palette (kb(workbench.action.showCommands)):

Run selected text

The terminal will attempt to run the selected text.

Run selected text result

If no text is selected in the active editor, the line that the cursor is on is run in the terminal.

Copy & Paste

The keybindings for copy and paste follow platform standards:

  • Linux: kbstyle(Ctrl+Shift+C) and kbstyle(Ctrl+Shift+V)
  • Mac: kbstyle(Cmd+C) and kbstyle(Cmd+V)
  • Windows: kbstyle(Ctrl+C) and kbstyle(Ctrl+V)


The Integrated Terminal has basic find functionality which can be triggered with kb(workbench.action.terminal.focusFindWidget).

If you want Ctrl+F to go to the shell instead of launching the Find widget on Linux and Windows, you will need to remove the keybinding like so:

{ "key": "ctrl+f", "command": "-workbench.action.terminal.focusFindWidget",
                      "when": "terminalFocus" },

Rename terminal sessions

Integrated Terminal sessions can now be renamed using the Terminal: Rename (workbench.action.terminal.rename) command. The new name will be displayed in the terminal selection drop-down.

Forcing key bindings to pass through the terminal

While focus is in the integrated terminal, many key bindings will not work as the keystrokes are passed to and consumed by the terminal itself. The terminal.integrated.commandsToSkipShell setting can be used to get around this. It contains an array of command names whose key bindings will skip processing by the shell and instead be processed by the VS Code key binding system. By default this includes all terminal key bindings in addition to a select few commonly used key bindings.

Common Questions

Why is VS Code shortcut X not working when the terminal has focus?

Currently the terminal consumes many key bindings, preventing Visual Studio Code from reacting to them. Some examples are kbstyle(F1) to open the Command Palette and kbstyle(Ctrl+P) for Quick Open on Linux and Windows. This is necessary as various terminal programs and/or shells may respond to these key bindings themselves. There are plans to explore a blacklist that would prevent certain key bindings from being handled by the terminal (see #7269).

Integrated terminal exited with code 1 on Windows 10

This can happen if you run VS Code in compatibility mode which may be turned on automatically if you have upgraded Windows. You can change this by right-clicking the executable and selecting properties, then uncheck "Run this program in compatibility mode" in the compatibility tab.

Can I use Cmder with the terminal on Windows?

Yes, to use the Cmder console emulator in VS Code, you need to create a vscode.bat file in your cmder path with the following contents:

@echo off
SET CMDER_ROOT=C:\cmder (your path to cmder)

then in your VS Code user settings, add the following to your settings.json file:

"": "C:\\WINDOWS\\sysnative\\cmd.exe",
"": ["/K", "C:\\cmder\\vscode.bat"]

Note: The example above assumes you are running 32-bit VS Code on 64-bit Windows and need to use sysnative. If you are running the 64-bit version of VS Code, you would use System32.