I installed the WSL Bash on Windows 10 so it can act as my terminal in VScode, but the default directory is ~/home/USERNAME

I would like it to be /mnt/c/Users/USERNAME (so on my windows domain side)

I've looked at so many different angles on how to change the default from adding a command to .bashrc that manually changes the directory on startup, to going to the registry editor and trying to change the default directory for CMD, (turns out even that's a challenge as the file I needed to alter doesn't even exist but that's a problem for another day)

Any ideas on how I can change the WSL ubuntu18.04 terminal so that the default directory on startup is different?

  • 1
    This may do what you need 👍🏻
    – matigo
    Oct 28, 2021 at 4:50
  • Annoyingly enough, this is exactly what the Terminal app does for me if I don't set a starting directory (leaving me in /mnt/c/Users/USERNAME)
    – muru
    Oct 28, 2021 at 4:52
  • @muru How do you set a starting directory?
    – ZaneK
    Oct 28, 2021 at 13:49
  • @matigo Sorry, it seems that changing .bashrc DOES make a different for the regular Ubuntu terminal but perhaps NOT for the WSL ubuntu terminal on windows 10 which is what a require it for. (it ignores my additions to the bashrc file, I try cd .. and it does nothing)
    – ZaneK
    Oct 28, 2021 at 14:02
  • @ZaneK I was talking about the new Windows Terminal app which has an option to set the starting directory for each profile.
    – muru
    Oct 29, 2021 at 5:17

1 Answer 1


All of this is done in VS Code.

First, make sure to install the Remote - WSL VS Code extension.

Open user preferences: File -> Preferences -> Settings

In "Search settings" type cwd

In the block labeled Terminal > Integrated: Cwd enter /mnt/c/Users/[your windows user name]

Close settings and reopen the terminal and the starting directory should now be your windows user directory.

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