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Make your Mac talk to you. One of the simplest commands which can be very fun, especially when. Find out your internal IP address by using Terminal. This method is easier and faster for Mac users who are familiar with a command line program called Terminal. Even if you have not used Terminal before, just follow the instructions and you will find the internal IP address. First, use spotlight by pressing Command and Spacebar and type Terminal.

Sep 28, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

When people heard the word Mac Terminal, they get scared thinking that using Terminal is very hard. But the truth is quite the opposite. Once you get a hold of Terminal commands, it will become easy for you to carry out even the complex task on Mac easily. So, in this article, you will learn how to open and use Terminal on Mac.

Part 1. Basics of Mac Terminal:

Just like the Windows command line, Mac Terminal is the command-line system that helps the users to take control of the operating system and make changes in it. The best thing you can do to learn using Terminal is to start using it. The most important thing you need to learn is commands.

All you need to do is to type the command and hit Return to execute it. Every command has three components, the command itself, an argument, and an option. The command is self-explanatory; the argument tells the command the source where it should operate and the options work as a modifier for the output.

For example, if you want to move a file from one folder to another, the command used will be- mv. Then type the location where the file exists and add file name and location where you want to move it.

While you are using the Mac Terminal, you should know about the basic rules too.

  • Every single character matters in the terminal command, even spaces, and commas.
  • You can't use a mouse or Trackpad inside the Terminal. Therefore, you'll have to navigate using the arrow keys, and Return key.
  • Commands are executed inside a location, so if you don't specify a location in the command, it is automatically set to the recent or previously specified location.

Part 2. Basic Commands and Functions of Terminal:

The macOS terminal is a tool that requires skills and intelligence to learn. You will have to pay attention to even the smallest detail to ensure that you don't make mistakes. From learning how to open the file via Mac terminal to terminal deletion, every single command matters. Here are some basic commands that you need to understand if you want to improve your terminal knowledge.

  • ls- list the contents of a particular directory
  • cd-change to another directory
  • sudo- authenticate yourself as a superuser to gain extra security privileges
  • defaults write –g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled –bool false to disable the pop-up accent window
  • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE to show hidden files.
  • History to see the terminal command history
  • defaults write ScheduleFrequency -int 1 check for macOS updates.

If we start learning, the macOS terminal commands won't come to an end. So, in this article, we will only learn using some basic commands like deleting files, show hidden files, change folder permissions, etc.

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Part 3. How to Open Terminal on Mac:

There is no doubt that Terminal is a handy tool for Mac users. Therefore, it is vital that you know all the ways there is on how to open a terminal on Mac. Here are all the ways that are used to open Terminal. Take a look and use the one which suits you best.

1: Using Spotlight Search:

It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to open Terminal on Mac. If you have the Spotlight search button in the menu bar, then click on it directly. Or use the keyboard shortcut by pressing the Command + Space keys. Type terminal in the space and you will see the Terminal utility in the result. Double-click on the option and the Terminal will open up.

2: Using Finder:

Another method to open the terminal is using the Finder. Click on the Go option from the Utilities and you will find the Terminal option in the Utilities folder. Simply double-click on the application and it will open.

3: Using Applications Folder:

You can also use the Finder to open the applications folder and access Terminal from there. Open Finder and click on the Application option from the left side panel. Expand the Utilities folder and there you will find the Terminal option. Double click on it and the Terminal will open up.

If you have a shortcut for the Applications folder on Mac, then you can directly locate the Terminal application from the list.

4: Using Launchpad:

You can also use Launchpad to open Terminal. It depends on whether you have organized the Launchpad or not. There are two ways to open the Terminal using Launchpad.

By default, the 'Other' folder of Launchpad contains the Terminal application. You can open Launchpad from Dock or by using a keyboard shortcut, i.e. Fn+ F4 keys. Find the other folder and you will find terminal inside the folder.

If you have arranged the Launchpad in a different way, then you will have to type Terminal in the search box. As soon as the terminal icon appears on the screen, click on it and it will open up.

5: Using Siri:

A big thanks to Apple Inc, now users can use Siri to find anything on their Mac too. All you need to do is to open Siri and say 'Open Terminal'. Siri will take care of the job and terminal will open up on your Mac. You can easily access Siri from the shortcut button or find Siri in the Applications folder.

6: Create a Terminal Shortcut:

If you use Terminal more often, then it will be better if you create a shortcut on the desktop or Dock for it. This way, opening a Terminal will be more convenient for you. Select the Terminal application from Utilities or from the 'Recent' applications in Dock and right-click on it. It will open some options in a small pop-up window. Scroll the mouse pointer over 'Options' and you will see few options. Pick whether you want to keep Terminal in Dock, show it in finder, or open it at login.

All of these methods are simple and easy. So, pick whichever is more comfortable and you will be able to access Terminal with just one click.

Part 4. How to Use Terminal Commands on Mac:

Here is a list of some common commands used in Terminal. These commands will provide you a short and precise method to carry out the task.

1: Delete Files Using Terminal:

Removing files using the terminal is a much more convenient method to delete files and folders permanently. You can delete multiple files quickly and efficiently. The terminal can also be used to delete files from Trash.

To delete files from Mac, the rm command is used. As you launch the terminal and type cd ~/Desktop to get to the desktop directory, find the file that you want to delete and enter its name. For example, if you want to delete MyFile.rtf, then you will pass the command as- rm MyFile.rtf and the file will be gone forever. To delete multiple files, just leave space between the file names and hit the Return key and Terminal will take care of the rest.

2: Open Finder from Terminal:

Some people would say why they need to learn how to open a finder from the terminal. Well, it comes in handy when the OS is not working properly or you have to find the hidden files. For this, the command passed will contain the following components:

  • Controls: Mac-Admin is the name of the system and is separated by the colon. The next section, ~ or / minas that you in the user's root or home folder. And admin$ is the username.
  • PWD: It is the Print Working Directory that shows you the path to the folder in which you are currently located. When you pass this command, it will give results like /Users/admin. The /Users is the user folder present in the root folder of the disk and /Users/admin is the current user folder which is present inside the Users folder.
  • CD: It means change directory or folder.
  • OPEN: To open Finder using the Terminal, you will have to type this command.

Just type open. and press the Return key and a Finder window will open up.

3: Show Hidden Files with Terminal:

If you want to view hidden files and folder in the macOS, you'll have to use the show hidden files Mac terminal command. Write the command as-

$ defaults write –bool TRUE

$ killall Finder

As you hit Enter, the command will execute and you will see a lot of files in the Finder window that you can't see because of privacy. To reverse the process, you just have to change TRUE into FALSE and the files will become hidden again.

4: Empty Trash Using Terminal:

As we discussed above, Terminal can be used to empty trash too. To empty trash using a Mac terminal, you will have to follow some different steps.

Step 1: Type the command as sudo rm –R without pressing the Enter key and control-click on the Trash icon to open it.

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Step 2: This will open the Trash folder. Select all the files that you want to delete and drag them to the terminal window. Then press the Enter key and provide the admin password.

When you enter the password, you won't see any change in the Terminal screen. After that, press the Enter key again and the trash files will be deleted from your Mac.

5: Change Folder Permissions:

It is possible to change the file permission of a file and folder using the Finder, but Terminal gives you better control and flexibility. Permissions are assigned considering user, Group, or others and have attributes such as read, write, and execute. To change permissions, you will have to use the chmod command. It runs in two modes, i.e. absolute and symbolic. For beginners, it is better if they stick to the symbolic mode as Absolute mode is for advanced users. This is how you can change folder permissions using the Mac terminal.

For a file or folder, you will have to specify the category (user, group, others, or all three), type of operation (e.g. add permissions, delete permissions, clear permission, or use the default), and the permission itself, i.e. read, write, or execute. Suppose you have a folder which has permission like- drwxr-xr-x and it means:

  • User- rwx(read, write, or execute)
  • Group- r-x(read and execute)
  • Others r-x (read and execute)

Type cd and drag the folder whose permissions you want to change. This way, you won't have to specify the location of the folder as it will copy the path.

Type the command ls –l in the terminal to reveal all the subfiles, sub-folders, and their permissions. Now to change the permission of any folder or file, type- chmod 01234567 and the path file folder such as type chmod 755/bin which gives the bin folder Read/Write/Execute permission to the folder.

6: Repair Disk:

To repair disk using a Mac terminal, you will have to follow a simple procedure. The command to repair disk is direct- diskutil repairvolume /. Before you get to this, it is important that you determine the repair your disk needs.

You simply have to type the command with the location of directed at other volumes such as- diskutil repairvolume /Volumes/ExternalBackups/ and hit the Return key to execute the command. The repair disk command will resolve all the issues on the disk.

Part 5. Tips for Opening and Using Terminal on Mac:

Here are some tips for opening and using a Mac terminal so that you can avoid common mishaps.

  • To change the default format of an image screenshot, type - defaults write type JPG and hit Return. You can change to format to any format like PNG, TIFF, etc.
  • To create a recent applications folder on Mac, type- defaults write persistent-others -array-add '{ 'tile-data' = { 'list-type' = 1; }; 'tile-type' = 'recents-tile'; }';killall Dock. As you control-click the Dock item, you'll see the recent application, documents, servers, and favorite items all in one place.
  • To flush the Mac memory, type- sudo purge and you might be asked to enter a password. Enter the password and the Mac memory will be erased.
  • To fix your Mac, you can use File System Consistency Check, i.e. fsck, and repair the file system on Mac. Type- fsck fy and hit the return key. A bunch of code will appear on the screen until the check finishes and you will see the results on the screen in a while.
  • Use caffeinate to keep your Mac from falling asleep as- caffeinate and hit the return key. You can also specify the amount of time in seconds like –t 3600 or –t 24000 to keep your Mac awake for a limited time period.

If you somehow end up making a mistake while using the Terminal and end up losing your files, then you still have an option to get them back. If you use Recoverit data recovery software for Mac, you can retrieve all files that are lost or deleted from Mac with just one-click.

Closing Words:

In this article, we learned how to open and use Mac Terminal in detail. As the commands and use of Terminals extend to the limit of words of this article, you can always learn a new thing. All the things you have learned from this guide will surely come in handy. And if you happen to fall prey to data loss situations, then you will still have access to Recoverit Mac Data Recovery to get the important files back on the device. Recommend this Mac Data Recovery tool to your friends and family and help them to retrieve their lost or deleted files.

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Terminal is a Mac application most don't use, and it's understandable why you may open it up and close it quickly. It doesn't look like any other app on your Mac; users who aren’t sure what Terminal does will be befuddled by its plain interface and lack of buttons.

But Terminal is actually the most powerful app on your Mac – by a wide margin. It's not always easy to figure out, but knowing how to take full advantage of Terminal can yield huge results.


Here, we'll tell you what Terminal is, how to find Terminal on Mac, how to use Terminal on Mac, and discuss a few Terminal replacement apps that might make your experience a lot better.

What is Terminal?

Terminal is an app on your Mac that allows you to gain root-level access to your system. Think of it as the 'employee entrance' to your Mac; it lets you get backstage to change things as you see fit in what’s known as the command line.

All that power should come with a heavy warning, though. Terminal is fussy, and very literal. Unless you type in the right commands, it won’t do anything. Changes you make are not easily reversed, either. One fell keystroke can lead to disaster.

Some things can only be accomplished through Terminal, though, so it’s important to at least have a grasp on the basics.

How to open Terminal on Mac

There are plenty of ways to open Terminal Mac keeps locked away. Here are all the ways to access command line Mac services by opening Terminal:

Using Finder

Terminal is an app, but your Mac tucks it behind a folder called ‘Utilities’ along with other critical apps. Here’s how to discover Terminal on your Mac using Finder:

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  1. Open Finder on your Mac
  2. Select “Applications” on the left side of the app window
  3. In the sub-menu, scroll down until you see “Utilities” and select it
  4. In the next sub-menu, click on Terminal

Follow these steps, and you’ll open up terminal and the command prompt Mac interface.

Opening Terminal through Spotlight

On your Mac open Terminal using Spotlight with these steps:

  1. Press Command + Space Bar on your Mac Keyboard
  2. Type in “Terminal”
  3. When you see Terminal in the Spotlight search list, click it to open the app

Open Terminal from Launchpad

You can also discover Terminal using your Mac’s app drawer, which is always accessible with a trackpad gesture. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers on your Mac trackpad
  2. With all four fingers, pinch together to expose Launchpad (Note: This can also be done with all five fingers if this feels a bit clunky to you.)
  3. Search for Terminal at the top of Launchpad, or discover the app icon
  4. Click on Terminal

You’ll head straight into Terminal and your Mac’s command line interface.

Best Terminal Alternatives for Mac

Your Mac has over 1,200 features hidden in Terminal. You don’t have time to learn about each of them, but you’d probably like to see what these commands are all about. This is when MacPilot becomes a must-have app for your Mac.

MacPilot taps straight into Terminal, but adds familiar buttons and app interface features you’ve become accustomed to. It even breaks things into easily understood sections, like graphics, and debugging. The top bar in MacPilot segments Terminal commands as well, allowing you full granular control of your Mac by toggling checkboxes rather than entering commands into Finder.

There’s a seemingly endless number of things you can do with MacPilot, all more critical as you use find yourself using the Mac more often. You’re able to hide and reveal folders with a single click, or manage networks and port usage for your computer. You can even control whether your Mac wakes when not plugged in, if you really need to be mindful about battery life.

Many use Terminal to engage in an SSH (Secure Shell) environment for operating over unsecured networks. This is often to gain remote access to another computer, typically to gain access to Terminal on another computer.

For Do Terminal Mac

It’s a fussy process made far less complex by Core Shell, a feature rich application for your Mac. Core Shell allows you to operate several SSH environments at one time, all of which can be uniquely color coded to for ease of use. Core Shell also supports drag and drop of files or folders for syncing to other Macs, and has a really handy download and upload monitor in the app so you can always monitor the progress of your file transfers.

As you familiarize yourself with Core Shell and begin using it for all your SSH needs, it learns your connections and offers a one-click way to log into a device remotely from within the app, and has automatic reconnection for lost connections.


Perhaps best of all, each connection can be customized to your liking with advanced options and settings.

Control your Mac with Ease

Terminal is sensational for controlling your Mac’s settings and buried features, but what about those times you just want more control over your Mac without toggling features and settings or opening up a specific app to perform tasks?

Your Mac’s dock is a great way to see apps you’ve pinned to it, but it’s still pretty basic. An app named uBar is now available to make your Dock far less simple by replacing it with something uniquely better.

uBar swaps your dock for a more iOS-like interface, though it’s still decidedly Mac. You’ll see apps represented as small icons that are abit more like widgets, with display bars for things like download progress, and smart notifications for how many emails or messages you’ve received.

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You can still pin apps to uBar, but the interface for which apps are pinned and which are running is drastically different from the Mac dock. Where the standard Mac dock reserves most of its space for apps you have pinned, uBar keeps most of its space available for apps that are running, giving them the lion’s share of the space in your dock to display rich icons.

uBar also has a handy calendar feature on the bottom right corner, and supports multiple monitor setups. In a perfect Mac world, uBar is the perfect compliment to your menu bar.

And the perfect app to have in your menu bar is iStat Menus, which keeps a watchful eye on everything your Mac is doing, and surfaces data to you at a glance. You can get detailed information about storage or RAM, and discover why your network connection may be lagging. It even tells you which apps are dragging your system down.

If you like, iStat Menus will alert you via desktop notifications for just about anything you like. If your CPU load is higher than you like to see, or the battery is at a level you need to find a place to plug in, iStat Menus can alert you. Each alert is totally customizable, too; if you were working remotely, you may want to know when your battery is at 20 percent rather than the alert your Mac provides at five percent.

Mac Terminal Commands

iStat Menus doesn’t need to be accessed to monitor your Mac, either. It lives in the background, and keeps tabs on everything without you having to worry about it. When you need details, iStat Menus has drop down menus in the menu bar itself, and each section has their own submenus that provide an endless amount of well-timed and impactful data.


Terminal is a powerful service allowing you access to the deepest points of your Mac, but chances are you don’t really need Terminal all the time. Most of the reasons people use Terminal can be solved with apps that provide the same access points with much less work.

This is why iStat menus, uBar, MacPilot, and Core Shell are so useful. Each has a unique use case, but they all make monitoring and accessing the deeper level features in Terminal much simpler and far more enjoyable.

Best of all, each is available for free during a seven day trial of Setapp, the world’s best suite of productivity apps for your Mac. Alongside these four apps, you’ll have immediate and unlimited access to nearly 200 other incredible apps within the Setapp catalog. No matter what you’re looking for, Setapp likely has an incredible app you’ll love.

When your trial period ends, retaining full access to the Setapp suite of apps is only $9.99 per month. It’s an incredible deal, so don’t wait any longer to give Setapp a try!

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