Launch iTerm 2 on startup without opening a terminal window

14 Mar

iTerm 2 is the best Terminal replacement for Mac OS X.

As somebody, spending most of his time on the console, I set up the Hotkey window so it opens fullscreen on my MacBook Air and fills half of the screen in my iMac. Obviously, I added iTerm 2 to the Login Items in Users & Groups to automatically launch it on startup.

One little thing always bothered me, though: On launch, iTerm 2 automatically opens a terminal window.

This means, whenever I reboot my MacBook Air, I end up having a console window open. Ticking the Hide checkbox in Login Items does not change anything.

Here is, how to prevent this behaviour. It’s not all that intuitive, so I thought sharing it might help others:

  1. Open iTerm 2.
  2. Close all console windows.
  3. Go to Window > Save Window Arrangement.
  4. Name the new arrangement. I named mine “No Windows”.
  5. Make sure to set it as the default in Preferences > Arrangements.
  6. Last but not least, in Preferences… > General under Startup make sure that “Open default window arrangement” is the only option checked.

That’s it. The next time iTerm 2 is launched on startup, no annoying window is opened.

10 replies
  1. Benjamin Yocum says:

    Thanks so much for this tip. You explained it very well and it was exactly what I was looking for. I’m sure it would have taken me a long time to figure that out by myself!

  2. Pineapple says:

    Dude… awesome. This has bothered me so much, and I’m so glad you wrote this.

  3. Sahar Massachi says:

    This is great! Thank you so much.

  4. Robin says:

    I searched google and your website answered the call for which I offer my thanks.

  5. Dennis says:

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Markus says:

    Perfect! Thanks a lot!!

  7. Ted says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this – it had been really bugging me.

  8. MARK says:

    This did not work for me. I am still having the same issue. Cannot open a window in iTerm2

  9. Sahar says:

    I still use this trick years later. Thank you!

  10. Giel Berkers says:

    Thanks for the trick! It was indeed pretty annoying!


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