7 Best Terminal Emulators For Windows 11/10

Terminal emulators Windows 11 10Terminal emulators Windows 11 10

A “Window Terminal” is a command-line interface inside a GUI window. While the Windows operating system is a perfectly-capable OS that can perform various tasks and functions using just the GUI itself, a terminal running on top of Windows allows you to perform administrative tasks with convenience.

Using different terminals, you can connect to remote computers, transfer large files, execute cmdlets remotely, and even run apps and programs on a remote computer.

Other than that, it also enables you to perform complex automation tasks in a few cmdlets which can take a while if performed traditionally using Windows GUI.

If you are a system administrator, or just like using the command line, this article lists the best terminal emulators you can run on top of Windows 10 and Windows 11 with maximum command support and ease of use.

Top Terminal Emulators for Windows

Windows Terminal

Download Windows Terminal

Windows Terminal
Windows Terminal

The Windows Terminal comes preinstalled in Windows 10 and 11. It can also be downloaded from Microsoft Store.

Although it lacks some of the features that other terminal emulators hold, it still provides convenient CLI usage without having to install a third-party emulator.

The Windows Terminal is an improvement over the legacy Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell, and combines these CLIs plus the Git Bash, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and Azure Cloud Shell into an integrated interface.

Additionally, it allows running multiple tabs simultaneously, allowing you to perform multiple tasks and connections at the same time.


Download Cmder


Cmder is another Windows terminal built on top of “ConEmu” with the addition of Clink. Clink enhances the features of ConEmu by integrating support for Git commands, amongst Command Prompt and PowerShell. It supports running Unix-base cmdlets on top of the Windows OS and is fully compatible with Cygwin, Mintty, and msysgit.

Cmder comes in two versions – portable and full. Only the full version supports Unix-based commands, while the portable version is only 10 MBs in size and can be run directly from a USB. The portable version is widely used by sysadmins which they can carry around in a USB and use as per need.

Additionally, like Windows Terminal, Cmder can also run multiple tabs simultaneously.

That said, there are reports of non-Unicode characters having issues running with Cmder. If you use such characters often, then you may want to opt for another terminal.

ZOC Terminal Emulator

Download ZOC Terminal Emulator

ZOC Terminal Emulator
ZOC Terminal Emulator

Even though ZOC Terminal Emulator is an excellent command line tool, it is not free to use. This is perhaps the only drawback of the tool.

Other than that, like most other emulators, ZOC has a multi-tabbed interface that allows you to run multiple instances at the same time.

This tool does not only have a terminal interface like Windows Terminal but also includes a bunch of settings and menus that you can use your mouse to access. Additionally, it also supports Linux (Xterm) emulation, which includes 256-color support, meta-keys, and local printing. It also includes the Cisco CLI as well.

This terminal is an all-in-one solution for heavy file transfers and utilizes X, Y, and Zmodem, amongst FTP, FTPS, SFTP, and SCP.


Download Xshell


Xshell is available in both free (for non-commercial use) and paid versions.

This terminal emulator supports SSH, SFTP, RLOGIN, Telnet, and SERIAL. Xshell comes in multiple language packs to cater to clients all around the world and is also designed for commercial use.

Multi-session management, work automation, support for UTF-8 coding, data safety, and security are some of the salient features of Xshell. Using the MIT Kerberos authentication system, this tool enables users to specify a master password to restrict access and keep the data safe and secure.


Download ConEmu


ConEmu is a free, open-source, Windows-specific terminal emulator with multi-tab support. The tool offers many CLI tabs as well as Graphical User Interface (GUI) programs that can be customized.

As it offers many customization options, such as hotkeys, personalized color palettes, and an auto-hideable mode, the software is popular amongst programmers and developers. ConEmu is also compatible with numerous shells, including PowerShell, PuTTY, and Cmder.

However, the lack of key functions, such as remote connections, makes the software less than ideal for novice users.


Download Hyper


Hyper is a cross-platform, web-based terminal emulator. By “web-based,” we mean that it uses web-based technologies like CSS, Electron, and JavaScript to connect to remote devices.

Using Hyper, you can connect to multiple devices using the SSH protocol. Moreover, it has the ability to be expanded using plugins and add-ons. With multi-tab support, tiling pane, support for different themes, quick rendering, and split screen view, hyper becomes the ideal Windows terminal for sysadmins and developers on the go.


Download Putty


Putty is perhaps one of the most popular and love terminals out there. Designed for both advanced users and beginners, it has a simplistic design that supports SSH, Telnet, Rlogin, SUPDUP, and Serial protocols for a secure, remote connection.

Using the PSFTP (PuTTY SFTP client) and PSCP (PuTTY Secure Copy client) utilities, it can safely transfer files between computers. Putty supports SSH-1, SSH-2, and naming session profiles for storing configuration.

Honorable Mentions

Apart from the top 7 Windows terminal emulators that we have discussed above, there still are plenty of other emulators that are equally good. Here is a list in case your needs are not met using the aforementioned terminal emulators:

Closing Thoughts

Terminal Emulators let you gain more control over the remote devices. It allows you to perform certain tasks, such as automation, that previously weren’t possible using the Windows GUI. Moreover, it also allows you to control computers with different operating systems from a PC running the Windows OS.

Let us know which one of these emulators did you prefer and why?

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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