How to Clear Terminal History Mac and Other OS Have

As a MacBook user, you might want to go back and look at your history of using the Terminal. Or, as an alternative, you might want to clear Terminal history Mac system stores since it helps keep things easier to track.

In general, you need to know how to keep the computer in check as far as clutter goes. For instance, MacBook users should also know how to delete an extra volume from a Mac container or how to deal with other temporary system junk.

Of course, such a sentiment applies not just to Mac owners. Other operating systems have Terminals as well.

The purpose of this article is to cover the basics of clearing Terminals in case you run into problems with the feature on your computer.

The macOS Terminal

First, let’s cover macOS. The purpose of the Terminal and its commands should be pretty clear if you have been using a Mac for a while. And if you are not familiar with it, the short version is that users can save time by creating functions and commands. Think of them as keyboard shortcuts.

So, after you create and enter a command, the Terminal stores the data for later. The Terminal has a history tab of sorts that users can check. To access the history tab, open the Terminal and press the up arrow on the MacBook’s keyboard.

A list of saved commands will be visible, and you can select one if you want to tell the computer system to do something.

There are also features to let you see how many times each command was carried out or how many different commands there are in total.

If you want to get rid of the Terminal history on macOS, you will need to launch it and then use the Command + K keyboard shortcut. The command also lets users scroll back in the Terminal, though that is a bit more complicated process and one that requires specific knowledge as well as the right commands and code.

So, after you launch the Terminal and press Command + K, you can clear the Terminal text. In fact, there is the option to get rid of everything. To do that, use the Control + L keyboard shortcut.

In case you want to delete just the previous command you used, use Command + A to access the most recent command in the Terminal and then right-click while pressing Command + K on the keyboard. 

The Ubuntu Terminal

As already mentioned, other operating systems have a Terminal as well. Ubuntu is an example of such an OS. 

Clearing the Terminal on Ubuntu is pretty straightforward. Once the Terminal is active, simply type in “clear,” and press Enter. 

Similar to macOS, Ubuntu also stores the history on its Terminal. Besides the clutter concerns, users might also be worried about the security of their computers. Sure, the odds of getting attacked via Ubuntu’s Terminal are relatively low, but you cannot guarantee that it will not happen. At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry.

There is another thing to mention for Ubuntu users. Besides the regular Terminal history, there is also the command prompt history. To access it, you will need to press Alt + F7 while the Terminal is active. At the same time, clearing the command prompt history on the Ubuntu Terminal requires the Alt + -(minus) + F7 keyboard shortcut. 

While using the Terminal on Ubuntu, you might also need to go through already used prompts. To access the information, you will have to enter the “Doskey/history” command in the Terminal.

Next, we have Bash history. It is another neat thing that Ubuntu users can carry out while using the Terminal on their operating system. In case you do not want to use the Terminal, create a folder and name it “bash_history,” where the information will be stored about recently used command prompts up to the last 500 commands.

It is also worth pointing out that the Bash program is available not just on Linux. macOS users can utilize the feature as well. Note, however, that Bash_history files do not come with a name prefix. They are more or less invisible and can be accessed through specific means only.

The last thing to mention about the Linux Terminal is that you should consider enabling the Control + R keyboard shortcut to enable an additional tool to help you find specific commands in the Terminal.


All in all, there are quite a few things to learn about Terminals on different operating systems. Whether you are trying to figure out potential ways to fix specific problems or want to delve deeper into the computer’s system, a Terminal is a neat part of an OS that could prove quite valuable.

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Subhajit Khara
Subhajit Khara
Subhajit Khara is an Electronics & Communication engineer who has found his passion in the world of writing. With a background in technology and a knack for creativity, he has become a proficient content writer and blogger. His expertise lies in crafting engaging articles on a variety of topics, including tech, lifestyle, and home decoration.

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