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

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!

  • 6
    defaults write com.apple.Terminal NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Quit Terminal" nil removes the shortcut altogether.
    – Arjan
    Dec 15, 2010 at 20:06
  • @Arjan Is this documented somewhere?
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 15, 2010 at 20:07
  • 1
    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, 2010 at 20:10
  • For Option 1: you have to enter the menu name as you see it in your application. In my case, I want to deactivate Command-Q for a German Firefox. The entry is therefore Firefox beenden, which I have linked to Command-Shift-R. Oct 3, 2015 at 21:06
  • 1
    @Arjan 10 years later this is still working :) And this is awesome. I have just used this with UnityHub because I kept forgetting that there was an active download and quit it, and ruined my download. Just typed "defaults write com.unity3d.unityhub NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Quit UnityHub" nil" and completely disabled command-q. Mar 23, 2022 at 21:29

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.

  • Nice! Odd that things like ssh are listed as a default in "Prompt before closing".
    – Arjan
    Dec 15, 2010 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

  • This answer is under-rated!
    – akirekadu
    Mar 12, 2021 at 6:23

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