If I open a cygwin terminal window it opens three instead of one window.

The titles are

Cygwin Terminal
<my host and current directory>

Only the third window is usable, into the others I can't input anything, but when I close one of the three windows the other both are closed also.

After rebooting windows(Win7x64), it's random.
Sometimes only one window will be opened, even when I start multiple terminals for each terminal only one window is opened.
But sometimes after rebooting I always open three windows.

If I use taskkill /f /im conhost.exe after starting a terminal then the other windows are closed but the terminal window stays open.
But that shouldn't be the solution, as I get annoying behaviour, each command opens a new window which disappears when the command finished.
The conhost process was introduced in windows 7 by microsoft for correct handling drag&drop functionality with terminal windows.

Anybody who knows this effect? And how to solve it?

window 1 enter image description here window 3

  • give what's in your shortcut. mine has C:\cygwin\bin\mintty.exe -i /Cygwin-Terminal.ico - – barlop Jul 9 '15 at 14:15
  • My short cut is is the same – jeb Jul 9 '15 at 17:04
  • how about you take a screenshot of the 3 windows and include it here. And you look in task manager and show a "command line" column and look at what the command like column has for them. And why does conhost.exe come into it? – barlop Jul 9 '15 at 18:23
  • I somehow got Cygwin into this messed up state. My solution was to kill all Cygwin related processes and double check the mintty.exe command line arguments. – HDave Sep 10 '15 at 17:52
  • This happens to me when opening an X session (Xfce, I didn't try other desktops). It opens one or two instances on the taskbar, but only the second one works. It looks random, no ideia how to solve it. – marcus Nov 13 '17 at 14:31

Had the same issue after moving to Windows 10. Solved it running mintty in Windows 8 compatibility mode. This is discussed here: https://github.com/mintty/mintty/issues/439


Try to run your shell (bash) in mintty without profile processing.

If you are using proper mintty (you may check that it must be complied/linked for Windows GUI subsystem) the two standard console windows are created by some other software. At least I can recall some wrapper allowing to run standard console applications (cmd.exe) inside cygwin console.

At last, run ProcessMonitor and check what process are created during mintty startup.


Find mintty in cygwin/bin. Open properties "General Tab" at the bottom next to "Attributes" check the box labeled √"Hidden". Apply and then click OK.

At the top of your file explorer. Click "View" & check the box next to √"Hidden items".

Because windows 10..

  • 2
    (1) The question is about Cygwin on Windows 7.   (2) Can you explain what this does? – Scott Apr 30 at 5:59

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