How to Reset Windows Terminal to Defaults in Windows 10

You can reset Windows Terminal to defaults in Windows 10 if you have issues with opening or using it. It stores its settings in a special JSON file, and automatically creates a backup copy of that file each time you change the app options.


Windows Terminal is a modern terminal software for command-line users that has plenty of  features you won't find in the classic Command Prompt and PowerShell tools. It comes with tabs, a GPU accelerated DirectWrite/DirectX-based text rendering engine, profiles, and more.

Thanks to profiles, you can have instances of Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Windows Subsystem for Linux running in tabs. Another great thing about the app is that it is fully open-sourced, so anyone can contribute. It is available on GitHub.

Windows Terminal Settings

The current Windows Terminal app settings are stored in the following file: "%LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\settings.json". The app stores its settings separately for each user account.

When you change the app options, it automatically creates a backup of the previous settings and saved to another file to with added date and time to its name, e.g. "%LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\settings.json.2021-05-12T11-29-25.backup" using the settings.json.Year-Month-DayTHour-Minute-Seconds.backup naming scheme.

You may need to reset all Windows Terminal app settings back to its default without having to reset the app. There are three methods you can use.

Reset Windows Terminal to Defaults in Windows 10

  1. Close Windows Terminal if you have it open.
  2. Open a new command prompt.
  3. Type or copy-paste the following command:
    del /f /s /q /a "%LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\settings.json".Reset Windows Terminal Settings
  4. The settings.json is now deleted, so you can close the command prompt and open Windows Terminal.

The similar can be done in PowerShell.

Restore default Windows Terminal settings using PowerShell

  1. Close the Windows Terminal app if you have it running.
  2. Open a new PowerShell.
  3. Type or copy-paste this command and hit Enter: Remove-Item -Path "$env:LOCALAPPDATA\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\settings.json" -Force.Reset Windows Terminal To Defaults
  4. The settings.json is now deleted, so you can close the PowerShell window and open Windows Terminal.

Finally, you can simply delete the settings.json file right from File Explorer.

Reset Windows Terminal Settings from File Explorer

  1. Close the Windows Terminal app.
  2. Open File Explorer (Press Win + E on the keyboard).
  3. Click on its address bar (or press Ctrl + L), and paste the following folder location: %LocalAppData%\Packages\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState. Hit Enter.Reset Windows Terminal To Defaults In File Explorer
  4. Select the settings.json file and press the Del key to remove it. You can also right-click it and select Delete from the context menu.Delete Windows Terminal Settings Json
  5. You can now close File Explorer and re-open Windows Terminal.

Done! Regardless of the method you decided to go with, the settings.json file will be removed. This will reset Windows Terminal to defaults.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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