When using Spacemacs on vim mode, you can toggle between Emacs/Vim modes with Ctrl-Z. This works per buffer, is there a way to do this globally so when you switch to a mode, every buffer you open/visit after that keeps the mode you just switched to?

2 Answers 2


I found a workaround using holy-mode. If it's enabled, you get Emacs mode for every buffer. If it's disabled, you can switch between Vim and Emacs per buffer with C-z. It can be used globally, disable for Vim mode and enable for Emacs mode.

It can be enabled/disabled with M-x holy-mode or the keyboard shortcut M-m t E e.

  • 3
    I never understood why it was called holy mode until I accidentally disabled it, then found this post, turned it back on and said "Thank God" (I know about the Church of Emacs but still... it was different this time)
    – learner
    May 2, 2019 at 18:13

You just need to toggle holy-mode on and off.

If holy-mode is off you can turn it on with SPC t E e.
If holy-mode is on you can turn it off with M-m t E e.

It is possible to toggle it on and off with SPC t E e and M-m t E e. When off the vim style is enabled.

Without holy-mode:

Spacemacs behaves like in Vim using Evil mode package to emulate Vim key bindings. This is the default style of Spacemacs

With holy-mode:

Spacemacs behaves like in raw Emacs using the Holy mode which configures Evil to make the emacs state the default state everywhere.


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