When I hit the arrow keys in insert mode I get characters instead of navigation:

Pressing arrow keys types characters

I'd like to be able to use the arrow keys to navigate.


I recently upgraded to macOS Sierra. Maybe something about the terminal changed, because that must have been about the time this problem started.

Things I've tried

I have set nocompatible in my ~/.vimrc (vimrc pastebin), I am using pathogen and here is my ~/.vim/bundle directory:


The problem only started recently, can't remember the cause.

Some recommend :set term=builtin_ansi, and this fixes the problem but removes all my colors.

$ vim --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 7.4 (2013 Aug 10, compiled Aug 29 2016 12:51:13)
MacOS X (unix) version
Included patches: 1-2290
Compiled by Homebrew
Huge version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):

See http://pastebin.com/5z1HbpqW for the whole output.

$ echo $TERM

and in vim:

:set compatible?

:set term?
  • There are many proposed fixes on the Vim Tips Wiki. – Deltik Oct 4 '16 at 16:23
  • @Deltik I know, none of them worked for me. – theonlygusti Oct 4 '16 at 16:26
  • In the article you link to, in "Solution 5" it says that nocompatible is the default. Did you try setting it to compatible? – Andrew Morton Oct 4 '16 at 18:25
  • Looks like your TTimeoutLen is set to 10 in your vimrc file. Try upping that to like 1000 and see if that makes a difference. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 4 '16 at 19:59
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 how? :set TTimeoutLen says no such option – theonlygusti Oct 4 '16 at 20:01

I had the same problems on multiple ubutnu machines (16.04 LTS). And none of the soultions worked for me, but then i just did one easy thing. I updated vim via sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install vim and voila, it worked.

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