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Is it possible to disable the cmd + q hotkey for Terminal on OSX? and if so then how?

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3 Answers 3

You have two options:

  1. Assign a different shortcut that's not as prone to be hit accidentally.
  2. delete the existing shortcut

Option 1 can be accomplished in System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard Shortcuts » Application Shortcuts. As an example how option 1 looks like: alt text

alt text

Option 2 (removing the keyboard shortcut) requires the Terminal. Simply enter:

defaults write com.apple.Terminal NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Quit Terminal" nil

Thanks @Arjan!

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defaults write com.apple.Terminal NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Quit Terminal" nil removes the shortcut altogether. –  Arjan Dec 15 '10 at 20:06
@Arjan Is this documented somewhere? –  Daniel Beck Dec 15 '10 at 20:07
I found it here: oreillynet.com//cs/user/view/cs_msg/46459 (there's a link to the main article, but it's the user comment that I learned this from.) –  Arjan Dec 15 '10 at 20:10

If you want to disable command-q because you're closing command-line programs accidentally, you can get Terminal to warn you before closing. Go into the Settings section of the Terminal -> Preferences... menu item and select the set up you use ("Basic" is the default). Then, under the shell tab is "Prompt before closing" - if you set this to "always", you'll be asked for confirmation if you hit command-q by accident. Alternatively, you can set a list of programs that won't interrupt you (mostly remote shells by default), while others will still cause a prompt.

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Nice! Odd that things like ssh are listed as a default in "Prompt before closing". –  Arjan Dec 15 '10 at 22:42

I reccomend overwriting a keyboard shortcut like the show/hide the panel (or anything that's not as "painfull" as terminating applications). Then nothing serious happens when you accidentally click the command+Q combo.


  1. go the apple icon
  2. then "System preferences..."
  3. then "Keyboard"
  4. then "shortcuts"
  5. and then "Launchpad & Dock"
  6. Change the shortcut for "Turn Dock hiding On/Off" to command+Q

This screenshot shows what to do:

enter image description here

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