Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've installed gVim and the install has gone into here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Vim

Would there have been advantages to installing it in the following location?:


share|improve this question
Why do you ask? You don't like the default install location? – romainl May 13 '13 at 15:00
@romainl ...I'm starting to get the feeling that you are quite involved with vim? – whytheq May 13 '13 at 17:46
@romainl Calvin cheng's answer in here seemed to suggest installing it in a non-default location:‌​t-the-plugin-installs – whytheq May 13 '13 at 17:49
who marked this question down and why? It is specific but not too wide. It is a proper question. It asks for a definite answer and not opinion. So please tell me why it is marked down? – whytheq May 14 '13 at 11:56

Vim is not as weird or complicated or mysterious as you seem to believe it is.

You let the installer put Vim and its default runtime wherever it thinks Vim should be installed and customize it by dropping plugins/colorschemes in $HOME\vimruntime ($HOME/.vim on UNIX-y systems) and setting options in $HOME\_vimrc ($HOME/.vimrc on UNIX-y systems).

That's all there is to it.

As long as your system knows where the Vim executable is located, you have no business messing with that executable and/or its support files: where they are and what they contain is completely irrelevant to you and your configuration effort.

share|improve this answer
+1 whoops the _vimrc file I have been changing is the one stored in Program Files! ....I should just create a copy of _vimrc and keep the copy in $HOME`, for me M:`? The put the C:\Program Files (x86)\Vim\_vimrc back to it's default settings? Can I safely put that file back to default settings using vim itself? – whytheq May 14 '13 at 6:55
If you can remember what settings are yours yes, you can revert the default _vimrc to its pristine state. Make sure you also remove all the plugins and colorschemes you may have installed in the default runtime as well. – romainl May 14 '13 at 7:21

Program Files is the canonical and recommended place for system-wide software installations on Windows. Especially on "real" multi-user systems (like Unixes), some users may not have sufficient permissions and have to do a user-local installation in their home directory, but that's rarely the case on Windows.

Rather, I guess your real question is about installing plugins and configuring Vim. Again, this is not dependent on the Vim installation location, but rather governed by the 'runtimepath' option. Admittedly, it's complex (and therefore also powerful!) in Vim, but you'll find many resources around this topic (starting with the excellent built-in :help).

share|improve this answer
+1 again thanks for help Ingo - no need to mention :help to me now though as I've found it and am definitely on the learning curve associated with :help ! – whytheq May 14 '13 at 11:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.