MinTTY is the new default Console for Cygwin.

What's a shell command (something I can put in .bashrc, or even better, in .zshrc) to change the title of the MinTTY window ?

I'd like the title of the window to be the path to the current directory, and to have it updated as I switch directories inside the console.

  • 3
    Cygwin's default prompt setting (i.e. $PS1) already contains a control sequence that sets the window title to user@machine:working_directory.
    – ak2
    Nov 29, 2011 at 8:50
  • A recent MSYS2_packages/filesystem commit 6e6310d (filesystem: New specific variable MSYS2_PS1., 2016-05-01) introduced an MSYS2_PS1 prompt script, allowing distinct Cygwin/MSYS2 configurations. I've proposed a tweak to ensure that any existing PS1 has an intermediate priority github.com/Alexpux/MSYS2-packages/pull/651. Hope this helps. Jul 6, 2016 at 13:38
  • @Philip, (note from self) That tweak has proved contentious and further tweaks are being added (or removed) to create the minimum viable fix that covers the different usages. Jul 17, 2016 at 10:21
  • 2
    Related, if you only need a static title like "Cygwin i686" or "Cygwin x86_64", then you can use -T <title> in the Windows shortcut properties. Also see the mintty man page.
    – jww
    Oct 14, 2016 at 7:26

9 Answers 9


What is wrong

The following command was not working for me:

echo -ne "\e]0;MYTITLE\a"

It turns out that my default Cygwin installation includes the following prompt definition in .bashrc:

PS1=\[\e]0;\w\a\]\n\[\e[32m\]\u@\h \[\e[33m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\n$

Note that the first part of the prompt (\e]0;\w\a) is setting the windows title every time the prompt appears.

The solution

Add these lines in your .bashrc that define 2 functions:

function settitle() {
      export PS1="\[\e[32m\]\u@\h \[\e[33m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\n$ "
      echo -ne "\e]0;$1\a"
function settitlepath() {
      export PS1="\[\e]0;\w\a\]\n\[\e[32m\]\u@\h \[\e[33m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\n$ "

Then you can set a custom title with this command:

settitle "MYWonderfullTest here"

or you can revert to cygwin's default (the current path) with this command:


Hope this helps

  • 1
    Great job, addressing the PS1 problem that most users will run into with default cygwin settings.
    – Markku K.
    Jan 27, 2016 at 19:13
  • 3
    This should have been accepted as the answer as it works perfectly unlike the highest voted answer Jul 14, 2016 at 14:40
  • 1
    I love an answer I can just cut and paste. And also clearly explains what the problem really is.
    – Darrel Lee
    Jul 19, 2016 at 10:29
  • those functions works fine for me! remember that for cygwin to reload your .bashrc, you'll have to restart cygwin, OR write source ~/.bashrc - else cygwin will still be running the old version of bashrc that was on-disk when cygwin was started. - tested on Cygwin version 2.8.1 (64 bit) - a 2017 version
    – hanshenrik
    Jul 7, 2017 at 10:47
  • Why was this answer never accepted? Feb 13, 2018 at 11:18

You can change it with the xterm control sequence for this, like so:

echo -ne '\e]0;Title\a'

Refer to: http://code.google.com/p/mintty/issues/detail?id=241

  • 5
    Has no effect for me :/ Maybe this trick has broken in the last 6 months?
    – voltrevo
    Mar 5, 2013 at 23:36
  • Are you using bash?
    – James Fu
    Mar 28, 2013 at 7:40
  • 2
    It has no effect when issued from within a screen. May 3, 2013 at 6:29
  • 10
    Probably the problem is that the command prompt is already configured to update the title (for exmaple with the current path), so the command works but it is suddenly overridden by the prompt. Jul 28, 2014 at 7:47
  • 2
    To test it "echo -ne '\e]0;Title\a' && cat". This method prevents the prompt from immediately resetting it. (If that works, you can alter PS1 in your profile as described in other answers) Apr 24, 2017 at 14:42

Place this in .zshrc:

# Change title of MinTTY to current dir
function settitle() {
    echo -ne "\033]2;"$1"\007"
function chpwd() {
    settitle $(cygpath -m `pwd`)

The sequence of special characters in function settitle makes MinTTY change the title of the window.

In zsh, if you define a function with the special name chpwd, it will be invoked after each chdir.

Works on WinXP, with Cygwin 1.7 and MinTTY running zsh.

  • Also works in WSL (minus the cygpath stuff, of course): settitle "$(pwd)@$HOST"
    – zzxyz
    Nov 15, 2017 at 1:23

In bash, the variable PROMPT_COMMAND can be set to hold a number of commands, seperated by semicolons. you can use that to do the same title setting as described in the other response that talks about zsh.


I used Leonel's answer, but I found the title would only flicker when doing this, which means at least the echo command works as intended. I ran zsh interactively with debug mode enabled using

zsh -xv

Changing the directory evidently invokes another function called title() after precmd() and chpwd(), effectively overriding them. So I plugged this into my .zshrc and it worked.

function settitle() {
    echo -ne "\033]2;"$1"\007"
function title() {
    settitle $(cygpath -m `pwd`)

If you prefer to use chpwd() or precmd() instead, simply disable the title function: title(){}.

1) echo $PS1 and copy that string to your clipboard or text editor, as in
   echo $PS1
2) edit ~/.bash_profile and add shell code below, replacing $PS1 as necessary but keep the ${TERMINAL_TITLE} variable in the "false" condition.
3) Save the file and set the TERMINAL_TILE environment variable, as in
   export TERMINAL_TITLE="My Custom Title"
4) Source your bash profile, as in
   . ~/.bash_profile

if [ -z "${TERMINAL_TITLE}" ]
  PS1='\[\e]0;\w\a\]\n\[\e[32m\]\u@\h \[\e[33m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\n\$ '
  PS1='\[\e]0;${TERMINAL_TITLE}\a\]\n\[\e[32m\]\u@\h \[\e[33m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\n\$ '

Just wanted to share my solution to this as I use mintty to execute a script.

My mintty shortcut is setup as:

C:\cygwin64\bin\mintty.exe -i /Cygwin-Terminal.ico /usr/bin/bash.exe -l -c /scripts/connect.sh

The connect.sh script that I wrote which is called in the shortcut above will prompt me for the server I want to connect to AND execute the settitle function defined in the script.



echo "Enter servername when prompted"
echo -n "servername: " 
read servername
function settitle() {
    echo -ne "\033]2;"$servername"\007"
function title() {
    settitle $(cygpath -m `pwd`)
ssh my_username@$servername

try add this into .bash_profile

export PROMPT_COMMAND='echo -ne "\033]0;${USER}@${HOSTNAME}:${PWD/#$HOME/~}\007"'

It works for me.

  • 2
    The question is about changing the window title, not a command prompt.
    – kenorb
    Jul 28, 2015 at 10:08
  • 1
    please add this into .bash_profile, it is OK for change title, thanks!
    – netawater
    Jul 28, 2015 at 14:28
  • @kenorb This does affect the window title. in fact without setting PROMPT_COMMAND to blank you would not be able to change the window title with echo -ne "\e]0;test\a" because PROMPT_COMMAND would just revert it to user@host Aug 1, 2020 at 5:55

Several users have indicated that the escape codes weren't working - so try adding a delay after the command - ( to observe that the escape codes are processed ) and then it becomes apparent that the bash prompt may be resetting the windows title

echo -ne "\e]0;MYTITLE\a" ; sleep 2

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