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In a standard bash shell one can go backwards through the history by hitting the UP key, and forwards by hitting the DOWN key. If you've hit up a bunch and want to get back to the start you can hit ALT + >.

However in Iterm2 if you hit those keys you get "�", and it has no effect on your bash history. Is there any way to send ALT + > in Iterm2, so that if I just hit UP 50 times I can get back to where I was without having to hit DOWN 50 times?

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Prefix with Esc, either by hand or you can configure it to use one of the option keys for this:

Screenshot of preferences.

Image source: Setting up Mac OS X and iTerm2 for Emacs, which has some other tips.

You can also get a fresh prompt by pressing Ctrl+C in bash.

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