Neovim installation

by on under Tutorial
2 minute read

This is a tutorial to install the Neovim text editor, a drop-in replacement for Vim. Neovim logo

Note: This tutorial requires basic Vim knowledge. For a more guided approach, read the Vim article first.


  • Latest Neovim release: Select the latest stable release. Package installation is possible. More information on this page.
  • Depending on your plugins, you’ll need specific interpreters. Refers to Installation section.


After downloading Neovim, extract the zip contents to C:\Program Files\Neovim.

Neovim supports multiples interpreters, mainly python2/3, nodejs and ruby. For each interpreter, a module must be installed.

For python 2 and 3, simply run:

$ pip install setuptools
$ pip2 install --upgrade pynvim
$ pip3 install --upgrade pynvim

Finally open nvim (or nvim-qt) and type :checkhealth. This will greatly help you troubleshooting the installation.

dotfiles.git repository

This repository contains all the configuration file for Neovim and plugins. It is compatible with Vim and Neovim.
Refer to the Vim article for installation.

Neovim integration

Neovim doesn’t come yet with Windows integration but this is easily feasible.
Open regedit and add the following keys:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\*\shell\y Open with Neovim\command
    with the following value: C:\Neovim\bin\nvim-qt.exe “%1”
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\y Open with Neovim\command
    with the following value: C:\Neovim\bin\nvim-qt.exe “%1”

Alternatively, you can open a nvim.reg file, copy the following contents and execute it: This will create the relevant keys (Make a backup first).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\Open with Neovim]
@="Open with &Neovim"
"icon"="C:\\Program Files\\Neovim\\bin\\nvim-qt.exe"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\Open with Neovim\command]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Neovim\\bin\\nvim-qt.exe \"%1\""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\*\shell\Open with nvim]
@="Open with &Neovim"
"icon"="C:\\Program Files\\Neovim\\bin\\nvim-qt.exe"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\*\shell\Open with nvim\command]
@="C:\\Program Files\\Neovim\\bin\\nvim-qt.exe \"%1\""

Neovim configuration

Only 2 files are required to load the configuration from your Vim. Both of those files are located under %LOCALAPPDATA%\nvim\ on Windows:

ginit.vim holds the configuration for Neovim GUI. Currently, it only sets the font. init.vim holds the configuration for Neovim. If your config exists someplace else, you can simply source your config file here.


GuiFont! FantasqueSansMono NF:h12   " the ! after the command disable the warning for a non monospaced font
GuiTabline 0                        " Disable the ugly tabline from nvim-qt


source D:/Users/LOGIN/repos/dotfiles/vimrc.main    " location of your vim config file

For detailed Vim configuration, please refers to the vim article

Starting Neovim

Neovim can be started with nvim in a terminal or nvim-qt in GUI mode.