Whenever I try to source ~/.vimrc file when NERDTree is open, I get square brackets around the file icons like so:

square brackets around file icons

Is there a way to get rid of them? Is it a bug?

I have already posted this question on the NERDTree github repo, but have not received any answer yet.

UPDATE: I have opened an issue with the vim-devicons project about this.

  • It seems that it is a predefined functionality. By the image you have posted, I guess square brackets serves like cursor and when you move across, [* ] shows that your cursor is in that file. Does it causes any issue for you?
    – SibiCoder
    May 25, 2016 at 5:49
  • 2
    Gotcha. Your question made it seem as if you have no idea how the icons got there. You should contact the authors of vim-devicons if you don't want these brackets to be there, as it seems to be the default behavior (see screenshot) May 25, 2016 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Putting this in your vimrc should fix the re-source issue:

" after a re-source, fix syntax matching issues (concealing brackets):
if exists('g:loaded_webdevicons')
    call webdevicons#refresh()
  • 1
    did not work for me. I tried calling it manually and that did not help (even hardRefresh)
    – Dorian
    Dec 31, 2017 at 22:01

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