I only have a limited experience with coding and mostly chop together python scripts for doing simple tasks.

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 when ever 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 for the life of me. 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.

Any help is appreciated.


  • It should be in your home directory. ls ~/.viminfo – muru Oct 21 '19 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 '19 at 10:58

Launch vim and run

set viminfofile?

That should tell you the location. (The default is probably listed at :help 'viminfofile'.)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Defaults are listed at :help viminfo-file-name. – Ralf Oct 20 '19 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 '19 at 1:16
  • @DPP open vim and you can :e $VIM\_viminfo – D. Ben Knoble Oct 21 '19 at 1:22
  • @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 '19 at 1:42
  • Try flipping the slash @DPP – D. Ben Knoble Oct 21 '19 at 10:11

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