How to fix Vim freezes

When I switched from Visual Studio to using Vim I often experienced Vim freezes. This was really annoying. At the beginning I was thinking that maybe I installed too many plugins (using Vundle) or that Vim is not as good as they say.

After a few weeks an idea come to my mind, I noticed that I have a subconscious habit of pressing Ctrl+S when editing a file. But hey Ctrl+S has special meaning for Linux terminal, it’s a terminal scroll lock - basically it freezes program that wants to write to standard output/error. To unfreeze program you must press Ctrl+Q.

You can use this Bash one-liner to check how it works:

for i in {1..100}; do echo "$i"; sleep 0.3; done

It still happens from time to time that I press Ctrl+S while using Vim (old habits die hard), but now I just press Ctrl+Q and continue my work. So far I have never experienced a real Vim freeze again.

Note for Windows users

Terminal scroll lock also works in Windows but there you use Ctrl+S both to freeze and to unfreeze a program.


A Programmer, A Geek, A Human