I want to partially clear my terminal scrollback history, but only from where I have selected with my mouse in the scrollback and up. Is this possible? I'm on a Mac, and I use iTerm2 and Terminal.

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    bash doesn't have any notion of scrollback; that's something your terminal emulator manages.
    – chepner
    Apr 1 '13 at 18:03
  • @chepner - ok, good point. I just reframed the question to not be about bash. Apr 1 '13 at 18:56
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    Landed here from a search for fully clearing scrollback. If you need to fully clear scrollback, right-click -> clear buffer Jan 12 at 20:54

Not sure about partially, but you can fully clear your scrollback with Cmd+K. Control+L will only clear the screen, not the scrollback content/history/buffer.

If you want the partial scrollback badly enough, this would probably be the place to implement it.

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    Thanks, but man, that is some nasty code! I don't think I'd ever want anything so badly that I would have to get in to that codebase. :-) Dec 16 '13 at 23:00

This is not possible, but you can clear just the screen by pressing Control+L.



This will clear the history completely. history -c

No way I could find to do a partial.


This command will most probably give you the possible history files. You can open it in a text editor and edit.

ls -a ~ | grep hist
  • Welcome to Super User! Please reread the question- OP is asking about scrollback, not history.
    – bertieb
    May 4 '18 at 13:11

If I have correctly understood your question, I think that you can achieve that by manually editing your history file, ~/.bash_history.

P.S.: In order to save your current session, you have to first close the Terminal.

  • 4
    No, I think you misunderstood. The .bash_history file is for the command history, not the terminal scrollback history. Dec 16 '13 at 22:54

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