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How to set the default window size for Terminal on macOS

Window management on macOS isn’t the best. If you compare it with multi-tasking on the OS, the gap is more apparent. One shortcoming it has is with window sizes. Unless an app specifically allows you to set its window size, it’s going to be hit-and-miss for a lot of them. Some apps are great at remembering their size and position on the screen, while others are not. Thankfully, the Terminal app has a setting that lets you define its default window size. Here’s where you can access it.

Default window size for Terminal

Open Terminal. You can open it from Spotlight search, from Launchpad, or from the Applications folder. Once the app is open, go to the Terminal menu on the menu bar and select ‘Preferences’.

Go to the Profiles tab, and select the Window sub-tab on it. Look for the ‘Window Size’ section and under it you will find a columns and rows field. Those two parameters are what determine the size of the Terminal window. It’s not a conventional measure of window size.

If you were expecting to enter window size in pixels, you’ll be disappointed. That said, when you enter a new value in either one of these fields and tap Enter, the Terminal window’s size updates immediately. This makes it much easier to decide what size is best for your screen.

Once you’ve set the correct columns and rows number, and tapped Enter, the window size will be set. You can close the Terminal window, and when you open it again, it will always open to its newly set size. The size isn’t set in stone in the sense that you can always change it freely by dragging the side or corners of the window. It’s not going to snap back to the size you set for it.

If you have an app that’s bad at not just remembering its window size but also its position on the screen, there is little you can do to fix it without using a third-party app. What you can try doing is resizing the app’s window and then closing and reopening it. If that doesn’t do the trick, you probably need a third-party app.

There’s no shortage of window management apps for macOS and everyone has their favorite. If you have one too many apps that don’t remember their window size or that open off-screen, you can use one of the many window management apps to rein them in.

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