Mac’s Terminal application is a powerful tool that allows you to run UNIX/LINUX-style commands right from your desktop. Running shell commands from the command prompt may not be for everyone, but once you learn, it can become your go-to tool for many tasks.

If you use it frequently, you may want to know the shortcut to open Terminal on your Mac. You can create a shortcut to open Terminal right on your dock or use Launchpad, Finder, Spotlight, or Siri to open the app quickly.

My name is Eric, and I have been around computers for over 40 years. When I find a tool or application on my computer that I use a lot, I like to find easy ways to open it when needed. I’ve also found it is good to have multiple ways to start an app so that you have options available.

Stick around if you want to see some different ways to quickly and easily open the Terminal application on your Mac. 

Different Ways to Open Terminal on Mac

Let’s get right to it. Below, I will show you five quick ways to open the Terminal application on your Mac. They are all relatively straightforward methods. Don’t be afraid to try them all and choose the one that works best for you.

Method 1: Using Launchpad

Launchpad is the go-to method for many, and I will admit that it’s the one I use most often. Many feel it’s cumbersome to look through all the applications listed there, but if you use the search field at the top of Launchpad, you will rapidly find the app you need to open.

Use the following step to open Terminal from Launchpad quickly.

Step 1: Open Launchpad by clicking on it from the system dock at the bottom of your desktop.

Step 2: With Launchpad open, find the search field at the top of the screen and click on it.

Step 3: Type Terminal in the search field. This will display the Terminal application in Launchpad.

Step 4: Double-click on the Terminal icon to start the Terminal application.

Method 2: Opening Terminal via Finder

Like the name says, with Finder, you can find just about any application on your Mac, including Terminal. You can use finder to search for the application or navigate to it through the Applications shortcut in Finder. Let’s take a look.

Using Search

Step 1: Open Finder by clicking on it from the system dock.

Step 2: Click on the search field in the top right corner of Finder.

Step 3: Type Terminal into the search field.

Step 4: Double-click on in the search results to start the Terminal application.

Using the Applications Shortcut

Step 1: Open Finder using the method shown above.

Step 2: Click on Applications in the left pane of the Finder window.

Step 3: Scroll down the list of applications until you see the Utilities folder.

Step 4: Click on the Utilities folder to expand it, and under that, you should see Terminal. You may need to scroll down a bit.

Step 5: Double-click on to start it up.

Method 3: Using Spotlight

Here’s a quick and easy way to start the Terminal application using Spotlight. 

Step 1: Click on the Spotlight search icon (the magnifying glass) on the top right corner of your desktop or use the keyboard to open it by pressing on the COMMAND+SPACE BAR keys.

Step 2: Once the Spotlight search popup has appeared on your desktop, type Terminal in the text box.

Step 3: You will see the Terminal application show up as Click on it to open it up.

Method 4: Using Siri

With Siri, you can open the Terminal application without typing. Just click on the Siri button at the top right corner of your screen and say Siri open Terminal.

The terminal application will magically open up, and you can get started.

Method 5: Creating a Shortcut for Terminal

If you use Terminal all the time, you might be ready to create a shortcut to put in the dock on the bottom of your desktop. Just follow the steps I have outlined below to create your own shortcut.

Step 1: Open Terminal using one of the methods above.

Step 2: With Terminal open in the dock, right-click on it to bring up the context menu.

Step 3: From the context menu, select Options and then Keep in Dock.

The Terminal application will now stay in the dock after you close it. Then, you can access it any time from there.


Now that you have multiple ways to find and open Terminal Mac, you may have some other questions related to this issue. Below are some of the questions I frequently see.

Is there a keyboard shortcut?

There is not an actual built-in keyboard shortcut to open Terminal. If you really want one, it is possible to create one. Apple allows you to map key sequences to perform specific actions such as opening an application. Take a look at this Apple support article for more information.

Can I open Multiple Terminal Windows?

It is possible to run multiple terminal applications at the same time in different windows. I do this all the time when performing various tasks in Terminal. If you right-click on Terminal while it is on the dock, you will see an option to open a New Window. Or you can press CMD+N to open a new Terminal window. 

What is a Command Prompt?

If you are new to using Terminal or have been in the process of learning, you have probably heard the term command prompt. This refers to the location or line in the terminal window where you actually type commands. Sometimes Terminal itself is also referred to as the command prompt.


There are multiple ways that you can open the Terminal application. You can use Launchpad, Finder, Spotlight, or Siri. You can also add Terminal to the dock at the bottom of your screen, and you can even map a keyboard shortcut to open it if you like.

It’s nice to have multiple ways to perform a simple task, such as opening Terminal on Mac, and you may be unsure of which is the best to use. I suggest trying them all and then deciding which method you prefer. In the end, they are all acceptable methods.

Do you have a favorite way to open applications like Terminal? Do you know of any other ways to open Terminal? As always, feel free to share your experiences. I would love to hear from you!