Quake Style Drop Down Terminal for Windows

I was used to the convenience of drop-down terminals like Visor in Mac or Yakuake in Linux and needed something similar in Windows.

It turns out, it is possible to achieve almost the same effects in Windows with the use of 2 tools.

  • AutoHotkey –  lets you run scripts triggered by hotkeys anywhere in Windows
  • Console – is a terminal app that lets you run a custom shell with no title bar, no borders, transparency etc.

Follow these steps to get it working:

  1. Download Console and put it somewhere (ie. C:\Program Files\Console2\)
  2. Make sure it’s in your %path% system environment (Right-click My Computer, Properties, Advanced system settings, Advanced, Environment Variables)
  3. Run it, go to Edit -> Settings. Change the settings to suit your taste
    • Change your shell to PowerShell at C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe for Windows 7 and change your startup dir
    • Change the window size columns to take up most of your screen
    • Windows fonts suck, try Andale Mono or Monaco
    • Make sure initial position is at 0, 0 and always on top
    • Under Appearance -> More…, make sure it has no menu, no toolbar, no caption, not resizable, no border, no taskbar, no tray icon for minimal footprint
    • Set your transparency
  4. Download AutoHotkey and install it
  5. Download this script to your Startup foler, change the hotkey to what you want to use in the script. It is initially Ctrl-`
  6. Run the script and press your hotkey
  7. Boom, you got a terminal at your fingertip

Sources: [1] [2]

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. This is awesome. It’s one of things I missed the most about Linux.

  • do you have any idea how to do this with putty?

  • B1

    Sweet. Took all about 2 minutes. Thanks!

  • Tolpp

    Cool, thanks 🙂

  • Alex

    thanks, it worked! made my work easier 🙂

  • muzi

    thanks, awesome post and straight to the point.

  • Tuan Jinn

    Works like a charm. Just as I need. Thank bro

  • Hao Ni

    There’s a large space between input position and cursor~Don’t know how to solve this

  • aceslick911

    I changed your script a little so if the console is visible but not active, it will hide instead of switching to it. Also, the new hotkey is just tidle (`) and not ctrl+`


    toggle = 0
    ; Change your hotkey here
    DetectHiddenWindows, on
    IfWinExist ahk_class Console_2_Main
    if(toggle >0) {
    WinShow ahk_class Console_2_Main
    WinActivate ahk_class Console_2_Main
    WinHide ahk_class Console_2_Main
    WinActivate ahk_class Shell_TrayWnd
    Run Console.exe

    DetectHiddenWindows, off

    ; hide Console on “esc”.
    #IfWinActive ahk_class Console_2_Main
    WinHide ahk_class Console_2_Main
    WinActivate ahk_class Shell_TrayWnd