I have been using Vim/vi for a while but my computer ran out of space while writing a file and then this error appeared and continues to whenever I open or exit vi.

E575: viminfo: Illegal starting char in line: s/School_work/.../t1_plotter.com
E575: viminfo: Ilegal starting char in line: ^I*^I1569136185^I0


Other responses have informed me I need to delete the viminfo file. However, I cannot find it. I have looked in /usr/share where I find the vim directory which contains the vimrc, as well as /mnt/c/Users/<Username>. But so far nothing.

  • It should be in your home directory. ls ~/.viminfo
    – muru
    Oct 21, 2019 at 8:12
  • This did indeed reveal the .viminfo file location /home/<username2>/.viminfo I had scoured this directory before but it was all but empty, only now knowing the file was there did i use ls -a to show the hidden file, i also thought that i was looking for _viminfo as im on Windows but i guess because its a linux subsystem its a linux file. This directory <username2> may be the directory for the wsl i am using as upposed to my main computer directory.
    – DPP
    Oct 21, 2019 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


Launch vim and run

set viminfofile?

That should tell you the location. (The default is listed at :help viminfo-file-name.)

Based on some comments, it looks like the issue was trying to find $HOME\_viminfo, since the OP is on Windows, but they are in the linux subsystem and thus should actually look for $HOME/.viminfo.

  • 2
    Defaults are listed at :help viminfo-file-name.
    – Ralf
    Oct 20, 2019 at 19:01
  • @Ben So i launch vim or open a file with vi and type the command :set viminfofile? this gives viminfofile= . As for the :help viminfofile it is written string (default: ""). The :help viminfo-file-name it tells me $HOME\_viminfo is the default name. Using powershell i identified $HOME is c:\Users\<username> but there is no file _viminfo here. It also suggests $VIM\_viminfo the only folder i have found close to this is usr/share/vim
    – DPP
    Oct 21, 2019 at 1:16
  • @Ben doing this generates a new empty file, apparently /usr/share/vim_viminfo, however i cannot find the file when searching the share folder
    – DPP
    Oct 21, 2019 at 1:42

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