How to Clear the Terminal in VS Code?

The terminal in Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a powerful tool that allows developers to run commands, execute scripts, and debug code efficiently.

However, over time, the terminal can accumulate output from previous commands, causing clutter and hindering productivity.

To optimize your coding experience, it’s essential to know how to clear the terminal effectively.

In this article, we will look at multiple ways to clear the terminal in VS Code, ensuring a fresh and organized workspace.

From keyboard shortcuts to command line options, you’ll find quick and easy solutions for maintaining a clutter-free terminal and streamlining your coding workflow.

How to Clear the Terminal in VS Code?

1. Use the Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+L

The easiest and quickest way to clear the terminal in VS Code is to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L.

By pressing Ctrl and L keys simultaneously, you can clear the entire terminal, including its history.

terminal with history to be cleared

terminal cleared with ctrl l


Make sure to click on any part of the terminal. Because on Windows, pressing CTRL + L will lock the screen.

2. Utilize the Command Palette: Ctrl+Shift+P

Another efficient method to clear the terminal is through the command palette. Press Ctrl+Shift+P, and then type “terminal” to access the “Clear Terminal” command.

clear terminal with ctrl shift p

Selecting this option will instantly clear the terminal, leaving you with a clean workspace to continue your coding tasks.

3. Clear the Terminal on Windows or Linux: cls Command

If you are using Windows or Linux operating systems, you can clear the terminal without affecting the history using the cls command.

Simply type “cls” in the terminal and press Enter. The terminal will be cleared, providing you with a fresh canvas for new commands.

clearing terminal with cls

4. Clear the Terminal on macOS: clear Command

For macOS users, the “clear” command is the appropriate option to clear the terminal without clearing its history. Type “clear” in the terminal and press Enter.

This will refresh the terminal, giving you a clean slate to work with.

Whichever method you choose, clearing the terminal is a quick and easy way to start fresh and maintain a clutter-free workspace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I recover cleared terminal history in VS Code? No, once you clear the terminal in VS Code, the previous history cannot be recovered.
    Therefore, it is advisable to back up any crucial information before clearing the terminal.
  2. How often should I clear the terminal in VS Code? The frequency of clearing the terminal depends on personal preference.
    Some developers prefer to clear it after every significant task, while others do it at the beginning of each coding session. Find a rhythm that suits your workflow best.
  3. Does clearing the terminal affect my code or project? No, clearing the terminal only removes the displayed output and does not affect your code or project files. Your code remains intact and unaffected.
  4. Is there a shortcut to clear the terminal on macOS? Yes, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command+K to clear the terminal in macOS. This is an alternative method to the “clear” command.
  5. Can I automate terminal clearing in VS Code? Yes, you can use VS Code extensions or custom scripts to automate the process of clearing the terminal. However, exercise caution when using automated solutions to avoid unintended data loss.
  6. Can I customize the keyboard shortcuts for clearing the terminal? Yes, you can customize keyboard shortcuts in VS Code. Simply navigate to the “Keyboard Shortcuts” settings and modify the keybindings to your preference.