from the help: :h syntax-reset

If you have changed the colors and messed them up, use this command to get the defaults back: >

:syntax reset

It is a bit of a wrong name, since it does not reset any syntax items, it only affects the highlighting.

This doesn't change the colors for the 'highlight' option.

so this tells us: it does not reset any syntax items and it doesnt change the highlight option

what does it do?

1 Answer 1


It resets the colors for

  • Comment
  • Constant
  • Special
  • Identifier
  • Statement
  • PreProc
  • Type
  • Underline
  • Ignore

according to the selected background (dark or light).

Links that point to these colors (String, Number, etc.) are also reset.

See https://github.com/vim/vim/blob/master/runtime/syntax/syncolor.vim

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