How to Clear Terminal Screen on Mac

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 8 Min Read
8 Min Read

Hey there! Let’s talk about the Terminal on your Mac. It’s a super powerful tool that gives you a lot of information. Imagine it like a chatterbox, always telling you what’s happening when you type commands. But sometimes, all this talking can make things look messy and crowded, right?

So, here’s a cool thing: you can actually clean up your Terminal screen. It’s like wiping a blackboard clean after it’s full of equations and notes. This way, you get to start fresh and see everything clearly for your next command. And guess what? Clearing your Terminal screen is super easy! You can do it with a simple command, a couple of keyboard shortcuts, or even from the Terminal menu itself.

I’m Eric, by the way. I’ve been hanging out with command-line interfaces like Terminal for a long time. I totally get how important it is to have a clear screen in Terminal. It’s like having a clean desk where you can focus better on your next task.

Let’s dive in, and I’ll show you some quick tricks to tidy up your Terminal screen. Oh, and we’ll also look at how to clear up the stuff that’s off-screen but still lurking there when you scroll back. Ready? Let’s do this!

Type the command

First up, let’s talk about the fastest way to clean your Terminal screen: the ‘clear’ command. It’s like saying “Abracadabra” and watching the magic happen! I use this method all the time, and now it’s like an automatic reflex for me.

Here’s how you do it: Just type the word clear into your Terminal.


Then, press the return or enter key, and voilà! Your Terminal screen will be as clean as a new sheet of paper.

Use the Keyboard Shortcut

Next, let’s look at a neat keyboard shortcut. This is like having a secret handshake! It’s easy, but I sometimes forget about it. To clear your screen, simply press CONTROL + COMMAND + L. It’s a little combo move with your fingers, and your screen will be cleared instantly.

Use the Menu

Lastly, there’s another method that’s like using a remote control to tidy up your room. You can use the Terminal menu. Just click on Edit at the top of your screen and then select Clear Screen. It’s that simple! This method is like walking up to the blackboard and erasing it with your own hands.

Clear Scrollback

So, we’ve seen how to clear the visible part of the Terminal, but what about all the stuff that’s off-screen? You know, when you scroll up and still see old data? Well, there’s a trick for that too!

Even though the clear command tidies up your current view, it’s kind of like sweeping things under the rug. The old data is still there, just out of sight. But sometimes, you want to completely erase everything, right? Like shaking off the rug outside!

To do this, you can use the ‘Clear Scrollback’ option. It’s like a magic eraser for your entire Terminal history. Here’s how to do it:

  • You can find ‘Clear Scrollback’ in the Terminal menu, as shown below.
  • Or, if you’re feeling like a keyboard wizard, you can press OPTION + COMMAND + K.

Either way, this action clears everything, even the data hidden above your current screen. It’s like a fresh start!

Other Features on the Menu

While you’re in the Terminal menu, you might have noticed some other cool options for clearing data. It’s like having a toolbox with different types of erasers, each for a specific task.

  • ‘Clear to Previous Mark’
  • ‘Clear to Previous Bookmark’
  • ‘Clear to Start’

These options are like having special commands for different types of cleaning. Feel free to experiment with them and see what they do. It’s like trying out different cleaning hacks to see which one works best for you.

And, if you’ve selected some text on the screen, you’ll also see an option called ‘Clear to Start of Selection’. This one’s like carefully erasing just a part of a sketch, keeping the rest intact.

Each of these actions has its own keyboard shortcut too. So, if you like quick fixes, these shortcuts can be your best friends!


And there you have it! We’ve explored some super handy ways to keep your Mac’s Terminal neat and tidy. Remember, a clear Terminal is like a clear mind – it helps you focus and makes things a lot less overwhelming.

Whether you choose the quick ‘clear’ command, the slick keyboard shortcuts, or the hands-on menu options, you’ve got all the tools you need to keep your Terminal space clean and organized. It’s like having a neat desk where you know exactly where everything is.

And don’t forget about those extra menu features. They’re like hidden gems, ready to make your Terminal experience even smoother. Feel free to play around with them and find what works best for you.

I hope this guide helps you as much as knowing these tips has helped me. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and most importantly, keep your Terminal clutter-free. Happy computing! 🖥️✨


What’s the easiest way to clear the current view in the Terminal?

The simplest method is to type the clear command and press enter. This clears the visible part of your Terminal screen.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to clear the Terminal screen?

Yes! You can use CONTROL + COMMAND + L to quickly clear the Terminal screen. It’s a handy shortcut for a quick clean-up.

How do I completely clear all the scrollback in the Terminal?

To clear everything, including what’s off-screen, use the ‘Clear Scrollback’ option in the Terminal menu or the keyboard shortcut OPTION + COMMAND + K.

What does the ‘Clear to Start’ option do?

The ‘Clear to Start’ option removes all the content from the current position back to the beginning of your Terminal session. It’s like rewinding and erasing the start of a tape.

Can I clear only a specific part of the Terminal screen?

Yes, if you select text in the Terminal, you can use ‘Clear to Start of Selection’ to clear only the selected area. It’s like using a precision eraser on just a part of your screen.

Are there any other useful clearing functions in the Terminal menu I should know about?

Absolutely! You might also find ‘Clear to Previous Mark’ and ‘Clear to Previous Bookmark’ useful. These options let you clear specific portions of your Terminal history, giving you more control over what stays and what goes.

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