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This troubleshooting guide lists steps to take in order to find the source of some common problems.
Try a newer version of MacVim first
Download the latest snapshot build of MacVim and see if the problem is still there.
Ensure that configuration files (
.gvimrc) and the preferences are not the cause
Quit MacVim, to ensure, Open
Terminal.app, and kill all MacVim and Vim processes using
$ killall -9 MacVim $ killall -9 Vim
Reset the preferences. (It cannot be undone, so you will have to open up the preferences and restore them manually later.)
$ defaults delete org.vim.MacVim
Open MacVim from command line. The path of
MacVim.app may vary with your installation.
$ /Applications/MacVim.app/Contents/MacOS/Vim -g -u NONE -U NONE
See if the problem persists. If not, then the problem is in some configuration file or a plugin.
(If the problem is in the config files then you can find it by commenting out all lines in the config files and uncommenting one line at a time, restarting MacVim in between to see if the problem reappeared.)
Test the original Vim
If it is not a problem with the GUI itself, then you can see if the problem also appears in the original version of Vim. It's easy. First, install Homebrew. Then install vim.
$ brew install vim
Use the vim.
If you can reproduce the problem this way then it is not a bug in MacVim. Try asking for help on the vim_use Google Group.
Ensure that other rc-files are not the cause
Quit MacVim, temporarily rename all rc-files for whatever shell you are using
.bashrc, etc.), then restart MacVim and see if the problem
persists. Exactly which files to rename depends on which shell you are using.
(To be on the safe side you may want to move all files from your home folder
into a temporary folder.)
Remove MacVim duplicates
Make sure that you only have one copy of MacVim on your computer. Try
MacVim.app in Spotlight to find all copies, then delete all but
For zsh users
Rename the /etc/zshenv file to /etc/zprofile
If MacVim appears to use the wrong
PATH variable, you may have run into a zsh
configuration problem. Try the following:
$ sudo mv /etc/zshenv /etc/zprofile
NOTE: If the system already has a
/etc/zprofile, make sure you merge the two
files instead of overwriting
The problem is caused by
/etc/zshenv, which (somewhat erroneously) resets the
PATH for every zsh instance, not just login shells. MacVim, running in a
non-interactive shell, gets a
PATH variable that has the OS X system paths but
is missing user-defined paths.
If the above alone does not work, there is an additional step involved. Set
PATH (or any other variable you may need) in
~/.zprofile. To do that,
assuming you have your
PATH set in
~/.zshrc, use the command
$ cat ~/.zshrc | grep "export PATH" >> ~/.zprofile
There is a caveat: when using
Terminal.app, the variables present
.zshrc will contain duplicate items. To avoid confusion
typeset -U name_of_the_variable to your
Ask for help
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