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Even after closing all instances of vim and vimdiff, when I open two files on a split window (:vsp other_file), a bar appears at the left of the screen, where vimdiff shows diff locations.

How do I remove it and prevent it from appearing again when not in diff mode?

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By default Vim has no such "diff bar". This sounds ilke the sign column, which is used by several plugins. You probably have a plugin that uses the sign column for other purposes. Or, the diff plugin doesn't clean up after itself automatically and you need to invoke something in the plugin to clear it out nicely. – Ben Mar 29 '14 at 5:29

This just started happening to me too. I don't know why it's happening, but the way I found to clear it so far is to go into ~/.vim/view and delete the file associated with that filename. I'd love to hear if you found a better way though.

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