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Q&A

Activate `Prefer tabs when opening documents` only for one application

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In macOS 11.6, I can go to System Preferences->General and activate the Prefer tabs when opening documents option so that new windows are opened as new tabs. This setting will influence many applications e.g. Mail, Terminal, Finder etc.

Screenshot of general settings with the  option enabled

How can I enable this only for one specific application, e.g. the Terminal, without influencing the other applications?

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The setting can be changed on a per application basis with

defaults write -app terminal AppleWindowTabbingMode -string always

(replace terminal with the name of the app you want to change)

Important: this only works if the application in question is not running. This is a bit tricky if, like me, you want to change the behaviour of the terminal itself, but one can temporarily install another terminal emulator like iTerm, execute the command and then uninstall again.

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