I would like to exclude results of a vimgrep search pattern from the quick fix list. The exclusions should be for all files that are under a directory or parent directory called "xyz".

Example: hello/how/xyz/are/you/ty.c or hello/how/are/xyz/you/ty.c should be excluded in the quick fix list from the search results in quick fix list of a string that is contained in ty.c

2 Answers 2


Use the Cfilter plugin that comes with vim:

:packadd cfilter
:Cfilter! /xyz/

(more at :help cfilter-plugin)

See :colder and :cnewer to move between different versions of the quickfix list.

  • Why does :Cfilter! /Xyz/ not work when I add it to my vimrc...but works after I vimgrep and enter it as a command in vim, is there any way to make it work from vimrc? Mar 26, 2021 at 13:16
  • You can put the packadd in your vimrc, but the commands filter the current quickfix list. So if there is no current qf list, it doesn’t do anything; and, it won’t be applied every time the qf list changes. For that you would need an autocommand and that seems likely to get in the way when you don’t want it.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Mar 26, 2021 at 14:12
  • 1
    I think I'll just create a normal mode map shortcut for this, that would be easier Mar 26, 2021 at 14:15

:vimgrep can take multiple file globs. In simple cases that means you can potentially search only places you want instead of excluding (think white-listing vs black-listing)

:vimgrep /foo/ bar/** baz/**

Often :vimgrep isn't up to the task from performance and/or complex searching perspective. Instead you can use Vim's :grep command to use an external command like grep, ag, rg, ack, or git-grep by setting 'grepprg' and 'grepformat'.

An example of using ripgrep to exclude zxy and only search in c files for pattern, pat:

$ rg -g '!zyx' -t c 'pat'

With a few vimrc settings you use :grep:

:set grepprg=rg\ --vimgrep
:set grepformat^=%f:%l:%c:%m

Inside Vim you can now use ripgrep and :grep together:

:grep -g '!zyx' -t c 'pat'

Of course as D. Ben Knoble said above, you can always use :Cfilter to filter/exclude from the quickfix after the fact

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