Is it possible for tmux to have some visual indicator if synchronized-panes is enabled for the window?

Perhaps the status bar changes to blue, or just a star appears somewhere?

I often set synchronized-panes, leave for a few hours, and come back to forget if it's enabled or not.

3 Answers 3


The pane_synchronized format variable can be used with conditional formatting to adjust bits of the various format-using status options.

You could add  SYNC!!! in a blue background to the end of status-right:

set-option -ag status-right '#{?pane_synchronized, #[bg=blue]SYNC!!!#[default],}'

Or you could add blue asterisks around the entry in the window list:

set-option -gw window-status-current-format '#{?pane_synchronized,#[fg=blue]***#[default],}#I:#W#F#{?pane_synchronized,#[fg=blue]***#[default],}'

(the #I:#W#F in the middle is the default format)

You might also want to adjust window-status-format if you want to know when an inactive window’s panes are synchronized.

  • 4
    Thank you for the tips! I combined it with unicode characters to produce the following window labels: " #{?pane_synchronized,⛓ , }#W ".
    – kstep
    Oct 19, 2015 at 13:10
  • 1
    went with a little more bloated solution, and FWR my 🧠 thinks 🏊‍♀️ when thinking about the word synchronize 🤷‍♂️ # styles for windows ## styles for current active window setw -g window-status-current-format "#[fg=#000000]#[bg=colour208] #I:#W#{?window_zoomed_flag,🔍,}#{?pane_synchronized,🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️,}" ## styles for inactive windows, ie. background windows setw -g window-status-format "#I:#W#{?window_zoomed_flag,🔍,},#{?pane_synchronized,🏊‍♀️🏊‍♀️,}" And yeah the mag lens looks like a ping pong paddle ...gotta work on that one.
    – ipatch
    Mar 16, 2019 at 16:25

These are the lines from my tmux.conf which turn pane sync on and off. In the commands I also set the color of the status bar.

bind C-y set-window-option synchronize-panes on \; set-window-option status-bg red \; display-message "Panes synchronized."
bind C-u set-window-option synchronize-panes off \; set-window-option status-bg green \; display-message "Panes un-synchronized."

This is an incomplete solution for me, because when I switch to another window where panes are not sync, the status bar stays red.


here's what I use in my config:

set -g status-left " #[fg=white,bold][#h] #{?pane_synchronized,#[fg=green]SYNC ,#[fg=yellow]SYNC }"

It'll display the hostname on the left side of the status bar, then the word "SYNC" in green if it's synchronized and yellow if not.

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