I have remapped "enter terminal normal-mode" to <Esc> with: tnoremap <Esc> <C-\><C-n> and it works.

I also use zsh vi-mode, which requires <Esc> to enter normal mode at the prompt.

With <Esc> bound to "enter terminal-normal mode" I can’t use this feature of zsh vi-mode anymore.

So I tried to remap Neovim’s "enter terminal-normal mode" to something else, but nothing worked. Here are some examples for Shift+Escape and Ctrl+Escape:

tnoremap <S-Esc> <C-\><C-n>
tnoremap <C-Esc> <C-\><C-n>

I tried other random stuff, but I had the same issue.

  • 1
    Welcome to Vi and Vim! Even with the new modifyOtherKeys, I doubt you'll be able to map C-Esc or S-Esc. You'll probably have to pick another key-sequence.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    May 13, 2021 at 15:01
  • Thanks for the welcome message! Indeed, I didn't figure out anything else, your link probably explains why. For now I have remaped Esc to jk and it let me use zsh vi mode with Esc (making that possible wasn't the reason I remaped Esc to jk, but it provided a nice workaround for this problem).
    – flbk
    May 14, 2021 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


I've just hit this problem, too. Using <leader><ESC> seems to work, though:

tnoremap <leader><Esc> <C-\><c-n>
  • Not a new answer; just a matter of preference... I chose to use tnoremap <Esc><Esc> <C-\><c-n>. vi-mode in the shell still works as expected
    – Phil R
    Mar 3, 2023 at 22:15

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