How to clear Mac Terminal screen

To clear the Terminal screen on Mac you can make use of the "clear" command,

% clear

Let's see a demo, below in the gif you can see I ran multiple commands and used the command clear to clean the screen. As soon as the command was fired all the text got cleared and the prompt moved to the top of the window.

Demo - Clearn Terminal Screen
Demo - Clearn Terminal Screen

As you can see after the screen is cleared when I scroll the window up, I can yet see the previous commands, there is a blank space added after the clear command.

You can read more about the clear command by taking a look at the manual,

% man clear
clear(1)                                                                          clear(1)

       clear - clear the terminal screen


       clear  clears your screen if this is possible.  It looks in the environment for the terminal type and then in the terminfo database to figure out how to clear the screen.

       clear ignores any command-line parameters that may be present.

       tput(1), terminfo(5)

       This describes ncurses version 5.7 (patch 20081102).

Clear Terminal Screen using Keyboard Shortcut

There is another quick way to clear the Mac Terminal screen and that is using the keyboard key combinations

Clear the previous command text

Press the Key Combinations Command + L to clear the screen to the previous mark. By pressing these keys multiple times you can clear the screen incrementally.

Clear full screen using Keyboard

Press the Key Combinations Command + K to clear the whole screen just like the clear command.


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Rakesh (He/Him) is a seasoned developer with over 10 years of experience in web and app development, and a deep knowledge of operating systems. Author of insightful How-To articles for Code2care.

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