I'm ussing Putty to connect via SSH and running VIM. Whenever I enter a greater than character '>' the bell sound rings.

I can disable the bell entirely in Putty but that's not ideal.

Can anyone suggest why the bell rings when entering this character and how to make it stop?

  • 1
    hu... what? That the bell rings when typing the '>' in insert mode?? does it happen only with the '>' character?
    – leonbloy
    Jun 4, 2012 at 17:40
  • The bell rings whenever the > character is typed in insert mode. Presumably there are other times that the bell rings in VIM although I can't think of what they are right now. But if I type something like this: <html><head> the bell would ring twice
    – Hibiscus
    Jun 5, 2012 at 16:17

3 Answers 3


You may need to disable the bell in VIM

PuTTY is responding to a terminal bell signal sent from VIM. To disable it type the following while in VIM normal (not insert) mode (hit ESC several times to make sure).

:set vb t_vb=

This will disable the audible and visual bell entirely for VIM.

You can add it to ~/.vimrc to make it permanent.

  • 1
    But VIM normally beeps when you've press some incorrect key, or when wants to call to attention to something. The OP seems to get a beep for an unexpected scenario.
    – leonbloy
    Jun 5, 2012 at 16:32

I was just fighting with this problem myself. According to a thread I found on nabble, the beep is caused by showmatch being on and vim trying to find and jump to the opening < for the > you're typing.

This can either be fixed by setting noshowmatch, or adjusting matchpairs so that it doesn't match < and >


Command for > in VIM:

> : Shift right (indent)

  • Yes, and if this happened in visual mode then maybe it would be because I couldn't indent or something like that. But this happens on insert mode.
    – Hibiscus
    Jun 5, 2012 at 16:18

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