Why does my Vim requires double tapping ^ to go to the first character of the line instead of a single tap, and is there anything I can do to change it?

I'm on Windows 10 with a the Vim plugin 'vscodevim' in Visual Studio Code. I also have a standalone (not a plugin for vscode) Vim 9.0 which I tried it on in case it's a vscode problem, but this one has the same problem.

The vimrc that I use doesn't contain any remappings involving ^.

I tried googling, and I can find a lot of info, but nothing about double tapping.

Visual Studio Code version info:

Version: 1.58.2 (user setup)
Commit: c3f126316369cd610563c75b1b1725e0679adfb3
Date: 2021-07-14T22:10:15.214Z
Electron: 12.0.13
Chrome: 89.0.4389.128
Node.js: 14.16.0
OS: Windows_NT x64 10.0.19045
  • 2
    Welcome to Vim :-) Could you tell us what is your keyboard layout? I particular what is the result of ^o (^o or ô)? Commented Feb 21 at 2:49
  • FYI, the tag [original-vim] is rarely used and usually to denote differences between different Vim implementations. Anyway, did Vivian's answer help you find a solution? If not, please provide more information as to what you expect. Thank you.
    – Friedrich
    Commented Feb 21 at 16:08
  • 1
    @VivianDeSmedt, My layout is United States-International, which after what I've learned now, should be called US with dead keys. Your solution with _ also works, but getting rid of dead keys altogether also solves issues with the other Vim commands like the backtick. Lucky I'm not a Frenchman so I can live without accent graves and accent circumflexes. Commented Feb 21 at 19:55
  • 1
    @Friedrich, done Commented Feb 22 at 10:41

2 Answers 2


I suspect that in your keyboard layout (like in mine ;-)) the ^ key is an 'dead' key, it produces a character only in combination of the next one ^o gives ô, ^^ gives ^.

The solution I have is to use: _.

  • 2
    OP's user name suggests they're using QWERTY btw :-)
    – Friedrich
    Commented Feb 21 at 7:05
  • 3
    Or that's what they would want you to believe.
    – romainl
    Commented Feb 21 at 9:50
  • 3
    FWIW, the exact name of this is "dead key".
    – romainl
    Commented Feb 21 at 9:52
  • 1
    Wikipedia's example for a dead key is the grave accent (use the English pronunciation!). Someone seems to have a dark sense of humor...
    – Friedrich
    Commented Feb 21 at 10:48
  • 1
    @romainl, thanks for the 'dead key' I knew I was using the wrong term but I couldn't find out the good one (I'm a fish). Commented Feb 21 at 10:48

My own solution (with credits to Vivian):

It appears that ^ is a dead key, used to produce accented characters (e.g. for French). Apparently, my Windows installation came with the default keyboard:

English (United Kingdom) - United States-International

Which to get rid of the dead keys, I had to change to:

English (United Kingdom) - US

With what I know now, the former setting should actually be called

English (United Kingdom) - US with dead keys

So in the end it wasn't a problem specific to Vim, but I still think it's valuable to keep the question up here, as I can't imagine I'm the last Vim user running into this issue.

  • Thanks for that! I learned about the United States-International layout that I didn't knew before :-) Commented Feb 22 at 11:18

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