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How to change the terminal theme on macOS

The Terminal in macOS is, by default, white. Enabling the dark mode on macOS won’t change that but if you find the default white to be a bit too bright for comfortable use, you can change the terminal theme on macOS to one of those that come packaged with the app. Here’s how.

Terminal theme

Open the Terminal either from the launchpad or by searching for it in Spotlight. Once you have Terminal open, go Terminal>Preferences  on the menu bar.

Once you’re in the Terminal’s preferences window, go to the Profiles tab and you’ll see a list of themes that you can enable from the column on the left. You can select any theme that you like, and click the Default button at the bottom of the themes column.

Close the preferences window, and then exit Terminal. Open it again, and this time it will open with the new theme.

The terminal has a few themes out of the box but it also gives users the option to create their very own themes. To do so, go to the same Profile tab and click the plus button at the very bottom of the themes column. Give your theme a name and then use the various tabs and controls on the right to customize the look of the theme. Once you’re done creating and customizing the theme, you can click the same default button and set the theme as the default one.

If you like most aspects of a theme, but need to change some other parts of it, you can do that as well. Select the theme that is closest to what you’re comfortable with and then use the various controls on the right to change the parts of it that you do not like. Once you’ve made all the changes, click the Default button to set it as the default.

If you want, you can create a copy of a theme before you edit it, and make the changes to the copy instead of to the original theme. To copy a theme, select it and then click the cog wheel button at the bottom of the themes column. Select ‘Duplicate profile’ to create the copy.

To restore a profile to its default state, select it and again, click the same cog wheel button at the bottom of the themes column. Select ‘Restore default profiles’. If you like a theme and want to share it with someone, or if you see a theme that someone else has configured for their terminal that you like, you can import/export them from this same cog wheel button.

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