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What are the best (i.e. bug free) Multi-tab command prompts in Windows?

They have them for Linux but Windows never seems to come out with one.

4
  • "but Windows never seems to come out with one." That's because the console subsystem is a second-class citizen in Windows, at least in terms of window interaction and UX.
    – afrazier
    Apr 14, 2011 at 3:55
  • @afrazier I should would like to know why, it's so much more powerful than a GUI.
    – leeand00
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:55
  • Here's a thread on StackOverflow
    – Casebash
    May 8, 2014 at 6:02
  • 2
    Windows Terminal is on preview and available now. I learned about options here that seems to have more features. microsoft.com/en-us/p/windows-terminal-preview/…
    – Ricardo
    Jan 18, 2020 at 14:46

11 Answers 11

50

Check out Console.

Console is a Windows console window enhancement. Console features include: multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, different window styles

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  • 2
    The issue I had with Console is that sometimes (read: Many) when minimized it wouldn't restore properly.
    – Nate
    Aug 27, 2009 at 14:41
  • 5
    Didn't the OP mention "bug-free"? Last I looked Console was pretty horribly in that respect.
    – Joey
    Aug 27, 2009 at 15:43
  • 4
    Yes,it's trully horribe...and all editions of this software are marked as beta.
    – Jichao
    Nov 4, 2009 at 1:11
  • It does not work well on my windows xp(chinese edition)
    – Jichao
    Nov 4, 2009 at 1:14
  • 7
    I tried to use Console2 (last release dates 2011) to run Cygwin 64 bits in my Windows 7 64 bits desktop and it didn't work. Researching a bit I was able to find ConsoleZ which is a fork of the former that is properly updated and was able to support the environment I described.
    – Chuim
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:36
147

Sorry for the self-promotion, I'm the author of another Console Emulator, not mentioned here.

enter image description here

ConEmu is opensource console emulator with tabs, which represents multiple consoles and simple GUI applications as one customizable GUI window.

Initially, the program was designed to work with Far Manager (my favorite shell replacement - file and archive management, command history and completion, powerful editor). But ConEmu can be used with any other console application or simple GUI tools (like PuTTY for example). ConEmu is a live project, open to suggestions.

A brief excerpt from the long list of options:

  • Use any font installed in the system, or copied to a folder of the program (ttf, otf, fon, bdf)
  • Run selected tabs as Administrator (Vista+) or as selected user
  • Windows 7 Jump lists and Progress on taskbar
  • Integration with DosBox (useful in 64bit systems to run DOS applications)
  • Smooth resize, maximized and fullscreen window modes
  • Scrollbar initially hidden, may be revealed by mouseover or checkbox in settings
  • Optional settings (e.g. pallette) for selected applications
  • User friendly text and block selection (from keyboard or mouse), copy, paste, text search in console
  • ANSI X3.64 and Xterm 256 color
  • Quake/Tilda style
  • Change cursor position in command prompt (cmd, powershell) with mouse click (build 120618+)
  • Works on Chinese editions of Windows :)

Far Manager users will acquire shell style drag-n-drop, thumbnails and tiles in panles, tabs for editors and viewers, true colors and font styles (italic/bold/underline).

Try it. You may read some comments on StackOverflow.

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  • 3
    no I mean on Linux you could press CNTRL + R and type a command. It will search in the history of previously executed command and provide suggestion. It pretty handy to execute long command with few keys. Aug 29, 2012 at 9:54
  • 1
    @VihaanVerma the <Ctrl-R> option you are talking about refers to bash and GNU readline. The terminal emulator, like ConEmu or xterm, shouldn't affect its operation. <Ctrl-R> is totally separate and unrelated to this. Jan 28, 2013 at 6:43
  • 2
    Awesome tool! I wanted to up vote but then found out I already up voted long back in the past :) Wish I could cast 2 up votes here. Feb 23, 2016 at 21:00
  • 1
    The best of the conhost replacements!
    – Joe Coder
    Jul 16, 2016 at 2:25
  • 2
    Top answer! I love this tool! Thank you so much for sharing!
    – MiKE
    Oct 12, 2016 at 6:21
15

I realize this is 6 years after you posted the question. I've found PowerShell ISE to be an elegant solution.

There's a slight 2 second delay to start it up, but it's incredibly powerful and suitable as a tabbed command prompt in a Windows 7/8/10 environment.

It has a cleaner UI than many of the alternatives listed above, and it's built for PowerShell.

3
  • Thanks, PowerISO is pretty when you have nothing else. I just realized that I needed split view more than multi-tab, so I prefer ConEmu. Jan 12, 2018 at 7:08
  • 1
    agree .. dont know why windows doesn't make it default
    – Vikash
    Jun 10, 2019 at 9:53
  • This is the best option amongst all. Thanks Jan 16 at 7:40
9

PromptPal is the best I have ever used.

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  • 4
    eh..it's not free...
    – leeand00
    Aug 27, 2009 at 15:51
  • 3
    Dislike it since it is not free :(
    – xiao
    Apr 11, 2011 at 4:00
  • 29
    "What are the best (i.e. bug free) Multi-tab command prompts in Windows?" That is the question that was posed. WHERE do the downvoters see the word FREE?
    – Taptronic
    Feb 28, 2012 at 12:37
7

I think PowerCmd is a nice multitab cmd prompt software as well. It is shareware and has all the features I expected.

You can get it from http://www.powercmd.com/ enter image description here

6
  • That looks pretty cool xiao. I'll have to check that out. Thanks!
    – leeand00
    Apr 11, 2011 at 12:12
  • NOTE: It's not free! It's a shareware. where did you get a free version? Apr 13, 2011 at 14:10
  • 2
    I just wanted to note that I have been using PowerCMD for a year and it is extremely buggy. A lot of interactive programs like irb, p4, php etc do not run properly and cause you to have to close out. It also constantly spits out the system environment variables. It's very annoying and I am uninstalling as I type this.
    – user92488
    Aug 1, 2011 at 13:55
  • He asked for BUG free. Not necessarily MONEY free.......
    – Taptronic
    Jul 6, 2012 at 13:48
  • I confirm this is the easiest to install and quickest to get you started (tested console and conemu but either they don't ahve installer and second needs extra setup before the can run) Apr 30, 2014 at 10:37
6

What about cmder? It seems to be very popular.

3
  • what does cmder do? how's it a good option? What's it do better than these alternatives?
    – Journeyman Geek
    Mar 3, 2017 at 0:24
  • It has a option to enable quake 3 style slidedown.
    – sasdev
    Apr 25, 2017 at 13:23
  • 1
    Cmder is based on ComEmu which the interface is better.
    – Nick Tsai
    Jun 6, 2018 at 3:14
5

My recommendation (favorite commands is a killer feature):

ColorConsole

Features:

  • Favorites commands
  • Export to HTML and RTF
  • Copy,Paste,Cut...
  • Customizable font style and color
  • Tabbed working with multi cmd.exe.
  • Fast folder switch.
  • Portable

alt text

4
  • @Molly Exporting as HTML! That is a sweet feature!
    – leeand00
    Aug 27, 2009 at 15:52
  • I'm going to have to give that a try.
    – leeand00
    Aug 27, 2009 at 15:55
  • Not really good: 1) TAB key autocompletion doesn't work anymore (it works with Windows 7's cmd.exe) 2) Try BACKSPACE key: it will even erase the prompt C:\Windows> etc. I didn't go further but it seems that there's lot of little UI oddities.
    – Basj
    Jan 23, 2018 at 15:55
  • holy shmoly nothing beats this!
    – N_E
    Dec 19, 2021 at 2:06
5

I recommend MobaXterm: it is a bash command prompt for Windows packaged in a multi-tab terminal with a lot of extra features (SSH, macros, bookmarks and much more).

4

Windows native tab support will be released hopefully with 2018 fall Windows update.

Tabbed console support

1
  • 1
    This hasn't appeared to ship yet unfortunately.
    – William
    Sep 17, 2018 at 2:51
2

I recent but very mature already entrant to the Windows Consoles arena is Babun https://github.com/babun/babun It works similar to what you would find in a Bash-based console on a *nux machine but on any Windows OS, as a big plus all the familiar tools as ls, find, grep and more are there.

2
  • While this looks like a good tool, the question asked specifically about a multi-tab command prompt. It doesn't look like Babun supports tabs. I downvoted this answer as it does not answer the question. I'd be happy to remove my downvote if Babun does in fact support tabs.
    – Matt
    Jan 28, 2018 at 21:55
  • This project is also discontinued!
    – Dwza
    Apr 17, 2019 at 8:30
2

Windows Terminal and Windows Terminal Preview are distributed by Microsoft, so they are really worth mentioning.

For Windows Terminal or Windows Terminal Preview:

  1. Open Windows Store
  2. Search for Windows Terminal, or for Windows Terminal Preview
  3. Install

For me, the installation didn't work (I think because my pc is not connected to a Microsoft account), so I went to Microsoft's Github and installed the lastest release from an .msi:

  1. Go to https://github.com/microsoft/terminal/releases
  2. Download the latest release's .msi
  3. Click it to install

Bonus - Add to Context Menu:

If you want to add Windows Terminal or Windows Terminal Preview to the context menu, use the PowerShell script linked in this StackOverflow great answer.

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