How to exit Vim

Let me help you finally exit Vim!

Want to save your changes and exit? Press the esc key, then type :wq, which means write and quit.

Want to exit without saving changes? Press the esc key, then type :q!

Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone in not knowing how to exit Vim,, and if you search Twitter you’ll see all sorts of memes and funny tweets:

  • “How do you generate a random string? Put a first year Computer Science student in Vim and ask them to save and exit.”
  • “One does not simply exit Vim”
  • “Nobody knows how to exit Vim”
  • “I’ve been using Vim for a long time now, mainly because I can’t figure out how to exit”

It also looks to be one (if not the one) most popular question on Stack Overflow.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Vim. I don’t love it, it’s just a tool. I usually use VS Code for day to day writing and coding, but I sometimes use it.