How to Save & Quit in VIM or VI

Dec 27, 2021 - 2 Comments

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If you’re new to VI or VIM, the command line text editors, you may be wondering some of the basics, like how to save files, or how to both save and quit in vim in one fell swoop.

How to Save & Quit a File in VIM or VI

The simplest way to both save and quit out of VI or VIM is with a keyboard shortcut ZZ. Note the capitalization, which means the save and quit command is executed by pressing Escape, then holding the Shift key then pressing Z twice, thus:

  • Press the ESC key, then hold the Shift key then press Z twice

You’ll immediately save the current file and exit out of vi/VIM with ZZ.

Similarly you can use ZQ to quit vim/vi in general, but without saving the file.

How to Save File Without Quitting in VI or VIM

You can also save a file in VI or VIM without quitting:

  • Press the ESC key to enter command mode (getting out of Insert mode)
  • Type :w and hit return

Save File and Quit in vi/vim

You can also use command mode to save and quit in one command:

  • Press the ESC key to enter command mode (getting out of Insert mode)
  • Type :wq and hit return

Note the colon and not semi-colon, as : puts you into command mode and then wq (write and quit) is the command used to save and exit out of vim/vi.

VIM/VI can be a bit of a confounding mystery if you’re new to using it, but like anything else once you learn a few basics you’ll be more comfortable with it. If you’re new to VIM and want to learn more, there’s a well-done online VIM interactive tutorial at The ‘vimtutor’ command can also help you along. Or you can always just launch your Terminal, type vim, hit return, and perform your own crash course.

VIM is a powerful text editor, but you can use it for other stuff too, like creating a password protected text file to function as a journal, diary, or credential file or whatever else you’d find a locked text file for.

Now you know how to save, and save and quit out of vim. There are other ways too, but these are the most commonly used and easiest to use.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Command Line, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Emid says:

    The easier way – use nano as your command line text editor. For most users nano will do everything you want, and the most commonly used commands are listed at the bottom of the screen. vi/vim are for people with really good memories.

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