I am used to having a block cursor in normal mode in Vim. This makes sense with the Vim paradigm; when you press x, it is clear which character will be deleted.

I've installed Cygwin on a Windows computer, but when I use Vim in its terminal, I get the I cursor, even in normal mode. How can I make the cursor be a block instead?


This question on the Cygwin mailing list answers the question by setting some arcane variables to the appropriate escape sequences. Add this to your .vimrc:

let &t_ti.="\e[1 q"
let &t_SI.="\e[5 q"
let &t_EI.="\e[1 q"
let &t_te.="\e[0 q"
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  • 3
    this worked for me when using mintty to ssh to a linux server – zzapper Apr 15 '14 at 12:41
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    Thank you so much. Gotta love a clean solution that works in 2 most annoying cases :) – rld. Jun 8 '14 at 5:58
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    Nice. Unfortunately, in ConEmu this affects the cursor for the entire session. That said, it works as expected in vim. It also works fine in cygwin's terminal emulator. But, who uses that? ;) – George Marian Aug 17 '16 at 15:44
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    Almost perfect... but when leaving insert mode, it returns to a line cursor until you move the cursor in some direction. – Joe Coder Jun 12 '17 at 15:55
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    Worked for me in the version of Vim installed automatically with Cmder. Thank You! – Bangash Jun 16 '17 at 14:03

There's a setting for that, in the cygwin terminal emulator:

Right-click on the window title bar > Options > Looks > Cursor > Cursor radio button

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  • To complete, this kind of options are the same as any other windows terminal window, which cygwin is. – mveroone Aug 22 '13 at 9:35
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    Pro: my .vimrc can be more compatible with my Linux or Windows .vimrc. Con: now I have the block cursor in insert mode, when I wanted the I cursor in that mode. +1 – Kazark Aug 22 '13 at 13:21
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    the question was asking about controlling the cursor in VIM but this answer affects the cursor for the entire shell session, both at the command prompt and in VIM – David Alpert Jan 15 '16 at 16:09
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    @EdRandall this is a question about the Cygwin terminal AND vim. This answer pertains to the Cygwin side of the question. – shmup Jul 14 '16 at 19:57
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    This doesn't answer the question completely. Vim uses 2 types of cursors. In normal, visual, or command mode it's a block. In insert mode, it's a vertical bar. These instructions are for a wholesale change in a specific terminal emulator (cygwin), though most should have something similar. So, it affects the cursor everywhere in the terminal, and, more importantly, it doesn't mimic vim's cursor functionality. – George Marian Aug 17 '16 at 15:35

Create a file ~/.minttyrc, add below line to it


Then re-launch mintty, which is Cygwin's default terminal.

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Or, you could create a batch file:

 %SYSTEMDRIVE%\cygwin\bin\mintty.exe ^
        -s 132,50 -o ScrollbackLines=10000 ^
        -o BackgroundColour=54,54,54 ^
        -o Transparency=High -o OpaqueWhenFocused=yes ^
        -o CursorColour=Green -o CursorType=block -o CursorBlinks=no ^
        -o Font=Consolas -o FontHeight=10 ^
        /bin/env CHERE_INVOKING=1 /bin/bash -l -i

And run it.

If you don't like the blinking cursor in the DOS command windows too use %COMSPEC% instead of /bin/env/... and be surprised.

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