I'm trying to use NeoVim as a tmux replacement, and have found that no matter what I do, I can't get it to go into insert mode when I click in a pane that has a terminal in it.

Here's the config I'm trying to use, with no luck. Currently the config lets me navigate between panes, and when I enter the pane using the keyboard it switches to insert mode.

But when I enter the pane by clicking the mouse, it goes back to normal mode, which I almost never want.


set mouse=a

if has('nvim')
    autocmd TermOpen term://* startinsert
    autocmd TermEnter term://* startinsert
    autocmd BufEnter term://* startinsert

" Edit files within Nvim's terminal without nesting sessions.
augroup prevent_nested_edit
  autocmd VimEnter * if !empty($NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS) && $NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS !=# v:servername
          \ |let g:r=jobstart(['nc', '-U', $NVIM_LISTEN_ADDRESS],{'rpc':v:true})
          \ |let g:f=fnameescape(expand('%:p'))
          \ |noau bwipe
          \ |call rpcrequest(g:r, "nvim_command", "edit ".g:f)
          \ |call rpcrequest(g:r, "nvim_command", "call lib#SetNumberDisplay(1)")
          \ |qa
          \ |endif
augroup END

NOTE: I have found very similar questions, but they don't seem to work for when I "click" in the terminal - they work for navigating into the terminal pane with the keyboard:

How to enter insert mode when entering neovim terminal pane?

  • 1
    What if you did something like nnoremap <LeftMouse> <LeftMouse>i ?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Dec 21, 2019 at 2:49
  • 1
    @Ben Knoble - tried various flavors of that, and none of them worked - just tried that one too, and still a no go
    – Brad Parks
    Dec 21, 2019 at 12:55
  • 1
    It's a known issue.
    – dedowsdi
    Dec 24, 2019 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Neovim's terminal has "a specialty": a mouse click automatically switches it to "Terminal-Normal" mode. (BTW. That's not a case for Vim, so it does not suffer from this issue.)

So it won't work from <LeftMouse>, but we can map <LeftRelease> instead:

if has('nvim')
    augroup terminal_setup | au!
        autocmd TermOpen * nnoremap <buffer><LeftRelease> <LeftRelease>i
        " more stuff
    augroup end

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