Quick article on how to search the OSX terminal history

Use ctrl+r to start the history search and start typing your search term (in my example git)

(reverse-i-search)`git': git push origin develop
  • (reverse-i-search) indicates that the search mode is activated
  • git is the search term
  • git push origin develop is the result

Circle through results

If the first result is not the one you are looking for, continuously press ctrl+r

Execute the command

Press Enter to execute the command


Press right arrow to insert the command in the current line

Display search history

In some cases, you might want to display an history of commands containing your search term

You can do this with the following command

$ history | grep 'git'

Will display of all the previous commands that contain git.


The history command displays the full history of executed commands. In this example, we are piping the result into a grep command in order to filter the results we want.