When searching for text in evil mode using / key, then entering text. The value searched for isn't saved as it is in vim, where the up/down arrow keys can cycle search history.

Is it possible for emacs/evil mode to store each search as it does with : commands?

Update, isearch keys aren't configured for vim-like behavior.

I looked into this and the isearch keymap can be modified, will add own answer.


2 Answers 2


You will find things more Vim like with the Evil search module rather than isearch search module with Evil :

(evil-select-search-module 'evil-search-module 'evil-search)
  • Thanks, I needed to follow steps in this answer to get it working - stackoverflow.com/a/34252236/432509
    – ideasman42
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 18:26
  • Note that using this disables case sensitivity... checking on how to resolve.
    – ideasman42
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 6:01

To have up/down arrow keys cycle history as with vim, you can define isearch keymap.

(define-key isearch-mode-map (kbd "<down>") 'isearch-ring-advance)
(define-key isearch-mode-map (kbd "<up>") 'isearch-ring-retreat)
  • Nice answer as it allows to use the usual editing hotkeys you may have configured, while the caret is inside the regexp line. The 'evil-search from the other answer has its own hotkeys.
    – Hi-Angel
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 13:27
  • Note that using the arrow keys right after a search (while the isearch highlight is still active) will not work correctly.
    – trxgnyp1
    Commented Jun 17 at 14:39

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