# Command line interface parameters

You can use these parameters on the command line interface (CLI) to control the behavior of the application:

Parameter Description
--help Shows the help screen
--version Prints out the version number of the application
--portable Runs the application in portable mode
--clear-settings Clears the settings and runs the application
--dump-settings Prints out a dump of the settings and other information about the application and environment in GitHub Markdown and exits the application
--session <name> Runs the application in a different context for settings and internal files
--allow-multiple-instances Allows multiple instances of QOwnNotes to be started even if disallowed in the settings
--action <name> Triggers a menu action after the application was started (see below)
--completion <shell> Generate shell completion code. Supports fish, bash.


If you run into troubles with your installation of QOwnNotes you may want start the application with fresh settings without losing your current settings by using the --session parameter.

QOwnNotes --session test

You may run the application on the command line interface differently on different operating systems:

Operating system Command
Linux QOwnNotes (or qownnotes if installed as snap)
macOS /Applications/QOwnNotes.app/Contents/MacOS/QOwnNotes
Windows QOwnNotes.exe


To directly copy the settings dump to the clipboard to post in a GitHub issue (opens new window) you can use xclip or xsel on Linux, pbcopy on macOS and clip on Windows:

# Copy the settings dump to the clipboard with xclip on Linux
QOwnNotes --dump-settings | xclip -selection clipboard

# Copy the settings dump to the clipboard with xsel on Linux
QOwnNotes --dump-settings | xsel --clipboard

# Copy the settings dump to the clipboard with pbcopy on macOS
QOwnNotes --dump-settings | pbcopy

# Copy the settings dump to the clipboard with clip on Windows
QOwnNotes --dump-settings | clip

# Trigger menu actions after startup

With the parameter --action <name> you can trigger menu actions after the application was started.

For example to open the todo list dialog after startup use:

QOwnNotes --action actionShow_Todo_List


You can get the object names of the menu action from mainwindow.ui (opens new window). Just search for the English menu title. Note that these texts can change over time.

To trigger scripting actions use customAction_ followed by the identifier of the custom action. The identifier of the custom action is the first parameter of the script.registerCustomAction call in the script.

For example to run the custom action myAction start QOwnNotes like this:

QOwnNotes --action customAction_myAction


If you run QOwnNotes a second time with the action parameter and only have allowed one application instance, then the menu action will be triggered in the first instance.