Windows 11 preview makes Windows Terminal the command-line default

After two years of development, Windows Terminal is becoming the default command-line tool for Windows 11.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Windows Terminal
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is making good on its plan to make Windows Terminal the default Windows 11 command-line option. 

Microsoft announced the plan for Windows Terminal in December and is now doing it in the Windows 11 preview build 25188 for the Dev Channel. Windows Terminal replaces the Console Host.

Microsoft began developing Windows Terminal in 2019 as a modern terminal application for developers who use Command Prompt, PowerShell, and the Windows 10 Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). It reached version 1.0 in 2020.

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Now that it's the default terminal in Windows 11, at least in this preview build, all command-line applications, such as Command Prompt and PowerShell, will automatically open in Windows Terminal.

Users can see this this change in 'Settings > Privacy & security > For developers'. Users need to have Windows Terminal version 1.15  (released in July) or greater for it to be the default. It can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store or from the GitHub releases page.

This Windows 11 build also includes a new touch keyboard setting with three options in place of the 'Show the touch keyboard when there's no keyboard attached' checkbox. Users can find the options under 'Settings > Time & language > Typing > Touch keyboard'. 

The three options from the drop-down menu define the following behaviors: 

  • 'Never' suppresses the touch keyboard even when no hardware keyboard is attached.
  • 'When no keyboard attached' will show the touch keyboard only when the device is used as a tablet without the hardware keyboard.
  • 'Always' will show the touch keyboard even when the hardware keyboard is attached.

Microsoft is rolling this out to some Insiders first to monitor feedback and see how it's received before pushing it out more widely.

The Settings app has gained updated Wi-Fi and VPN properties sections that include a link to advanced properties for that network.

There are several fixes available for issues affecting Windows 11's File Explorer, taskbar, and Start menu, as well as Settings and Task Manager.

It should be noted features in the Dev Channel aren't associated with the release of a particular version of Windows and may never get released.

Beta channel releases

Microsoft also released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22621.586 and Build 22622.586 (KB5016701) to the Beta Channel. Build 22622.586 comes with new features, while Build 22621.586 has new features off by default. 

Microsoft hasn't announced any new features in this release. However, there are fixes for both Build 22621.586 and Build 22622.586. And there are fixes exclusive to build 22622.586.

Insiders who who find themselves in the group with new features turned off by default (Build 22621.xxxx) can check for updates and choose to install the update that will have features rolling out (Build 22622.xxx), Microsoft explains.

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