How To Download and Install Vim In Windows?

Vim is a popular text editor derived from the Vi. Vim is the improved version of the Vi. Vim is a cross-platform and command-line text editor that can be used with or without a GUI. Vim is mainly created for the Unix, BSD, and Linux systems but as a cross-platform and command-line text editor, it is ported to the other operating systems like Windows.


Vim is a command-line text editor and in order to use native vim you should work on the command line. Gvim is the graphical vim that can be used with graphic environments. For Windows, the installation of Vim will also install Gvim in order to use the Vim from the desktop.

Download Vim Installer For Windows

The vim installers for Windows are provided in different formats like 32-bit installed, 64-bit installer, Portable version 32-bit, or 64-bit executables. These installers are provided via the Vim Github repository on the release page.

Download Vim Installer For Windows

As an example, a 64-bit Vim installer can be installed via the following link for version 8.2.1970.

The 32-bit installer for Vim can be downloaded from the following link for version 8.2.1970.

Install Vim On Windows

First, we will double click on the downloaded Windows installer file which will show the following start screen. This screen is named Installer Language where English is the default language but you can install it in different languages like French, German, etc.

Set Vim Installer Language

In this step, we will see the following welcome screen which provides some generic information.

In this step, the license agreement and license information about the Vim will be provided.

Vim License Agreement

The most important part is the following step where the components which will be installed are selected. You can select the type of install which can be full, minimal, etc. Or select the components one by one with the checkboxes.

Choose Components To Install In Vim

In this screen, we will select some Vim configuration and behavior which will be set in _vimrc configuration file.

  • Compatibility and enhancements
  • Mappings
  • Mouse
Set Vim and _vimrc Settings

In this step, we will provide the installation path of Vim for Windows. The default provided path is C:\Program Files\Vim .

Vim Installation Path

This step contains the installation where dll, executables, configuration, resource files will be copied and configured.

Install Vim on Windows

When the installation is completed successfully you will see the following screen.

Vim Windows Installation Completed

Vim from the start menu by typing vim like below. This will provides a complete CLI experience with no GUI-related menu.

Open Vim

Vim can be opened from the Start menu by typing vim which will list the Vim application launcher. After the Vim is opened we will see a very similar screen like in Linux. We can start adding text by pressing i like below.

Windows Vim

Open Gvim

or Gvim can be opened from the desktop shortcut which is added to the desktop automatically. Gvim provides GUI related menu and functions like below. The welcome screen of the GVIM provides information about the Vim version, how to get help from the Vim command line, and a social message which is “Help poor children in Uganda!” that is supported by us too.

Open Gvim

Run Vim via MS-DOS

Alternatively, after installing Vim we can run it via the MS-DOS command-line interface. Just run the gvim command like below via the MS-DOS.

> gvim

Run Vim via PowerShell

Like the MS-DOS command-line interface the PowerShell can be used to run Vim. The gvim command can be used to run Vim.

> gvim

Open Vim/Gvim Startup Configuration File

Similar to the Unix and Linux Vim/Gvim configuration file is used to set different attributes and features. The configuration file is located “C:\Program Files\Vim\_vimrc” for 64-bit Vim installation and “C:\Program Files (x86)\Vim\_vimrc” for 32-bit Vim installation The GUI can be used to open this configuration file directly via Edit -> Startup Settings .

Open Vim/Gvim Startup Configuration File

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