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How to hide the ‘default interactive shell is now zsh’ message in Terminal on macOS

macOS Catalina has a new shell; zsh. You’re not automatically switched to it but each time you open Terminal, you see a message telling you ‘The default interactive shell is now zsh. To update your account to use zsh, please run chsh -s /bin/zsh’. You don’t have to use it, and if you switched to zsh, it’s really easy to switch back to bash. If you have switched back to bash, you’re probably seeing the message again. Here’s how you can hide it.

Hide ‘default interactive shell is now zsh’

In order to hide the message after you switch to bash, you will have to edit your bash profile. To do that, open the TextEditor app, or any other text editor of your choice.

Go to File>Open and select your home folder from the column on the left. Use the Command+Shift+. keyboard shortcut to show hidden files if they aren’t already set to show. Look for the .bash_profile file and open it in the text editor of your choice.

The .bash_profile file may be empty, or it might not be. It depends on what changes you’ve made to the profile. Regardless, add the following line to the file, and save the change.


The Terminal will no longer show the ‘The default interactive shell is now zsh. To update your account to use zsh, please run chsh -s /bin/zsh’ message at the top.

It’s unlikely that you’ll ever miss this message but to get it back, you need to open the .bash_profile file and remove the line that you added above. Save the change, and the message will reappear.

The message appears and sticks around if you’re using any shell other than zsh. It may be annoying but it’s necessary since Apple wants you to know there’s a new default shell that you should switch over to. If you’re firmly against using the new shell, the message is bound to get annoying. It’s not something any one is used to.

If you’re apprehensive about switching to zsh, you should look at what it has to offer. If anything, it’s better and at the very least, the transition from bash to zsh isn’t that painful. Zsh offers more customization, and its auto-complete feature is smarter. The differences are minor but they’re there and they might turn out to be great once you start using it. It also has a few commands that bash doesn’t have so if nothing else, you definitely want to check zsh out.


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