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2 days ago

:sparkles: Features

  • :evergreen_tree: Supports sessions across multiple git branches
  • :telescope: Telescope extension to work with saved sessions
  • :tickets: Custom events which users can hook into for tighter integration
  • :memo: Simple API to save/stop/restore/delete/list the current session(s)
  • :open_file_folder: Supports autosaving and autoloading of sessions with allowed/ignored directories
  • :floppy_disk: Automatically saves the active session under .local/share/nvim/sessions on exiting Neovim

:zap: Requirements

  • Neovim >= 0.8.0

:package: Installation

Install the plugin with your preferred package manager:


-- Lua
  lazy = false, -- make sure the plugin is always loaded at startup
  config = true

[!NOTE] Setting lazy = true option may be useful if you use a dashboard


-- Lua
  config = function()

Vim Plug

" Vim Script
Plug 'olimorris/persisted.nvim'

lua << EOF
  require("persisted").setup {
    -- your configuration comes here
    -- or leave it empty to use the default settings
    -- refer to the configuration section below

If you wish to use session autoloading alongside a dashboard plugin, it is recommended that you give this plugin a greater loading priority. With Packer the after config option can be used and in Lazy.nvim, the priority property.

Telescope extension

Ensure that the telescope extension is loaded with:


The layout can then be customised from within Telescope:

  defaults = {
  extensions = {
    persisted = {
      layout_config = { width = 0.55, height = 0.55 }

:rocket: Usage


The plugin comes with a number of commands:

  • :SessionToggle - Determines whether to load, start or stop a session
  • :SessionStart - Start recording a session. Useful if autosave = false
  • :SessionStop - Stop recording a session
  • :SessionSave - Save the current session
  • :SessionLoad - Load the session for the current directory and current branch (if git_use_branch = true)
  • :SessionLoadLast - Load the most recent session
  • :SessionLoadFromFile - Load a session from a given path
  • :SessionDelete - Delete the current session

Telescope extension

The Telescope extension may be opened via :Telescope persisted. The available actions are:

  • <CR> - Open/source the session file
  • <C-b> - Add/update the git branch for the session file
  • <C-c> - Copy the session file
  • <C-d> - Delete the session file

Global variables

The plugin sets a number of global variables throughout its lifecycle:

  • vim.g.persisting - (bool) Determines if the plugin is active for the current session
  • vim.g.persisted_exists - (bool) Determines if a session exists for the current working directory
  • vim.g.persisted_loaded_session - (string) The file path to the current session

:wrench: Configuration


The plugin comes with the following defaults:

  save_dir = vim.fn.expand(vim.fn.stdpath("data") .. "/sessions/"), -- directory where session files are saved
  silent = false, -- silent nvim message when sourcing session file
  use_git_branch = false, -- create session files based on the branch of a git enabled repository
  default_branch = "main", -- the branch to load if a session file is not found for the current branch
  autosave = true, -- automatically save session files when exiting Neovim
  should_autosave = nil, -- function to determine if a session should be autosaved
  autoload = false, -- automatically load the session for the cwd on Neovim startup
  on_autoload_no_session = nil, -- function to run when `autoload = true` but there is no session to load
  follow_cwd = true, -- change session file name to match current working directory if it changes
  allowed_dirs = nil, -- table of dirs that the plugin will auto-save and auto-load from
  ignored_dirs = nil, -- table of dirs that are ignored when auto-saving and auto-loading
  ignored_branches = nil, -- table of branch patterns that are ignored for auto-saving and auto-loading
  telescope = {
    reset_prompt = true, -- Reset the Telescope prompt after an action?
    mappings = { -- table of mappings for the Telescope extension
      change_branch = "<c-b>",
      copy_session = "<c-c>",
      delete_session = "<c-d>",
    icons = { -- icons displayed in the picker, set to nil to disable entirely
      branch = " ",
      dir = " ",
      selected = " ",

What is saved in the session?

As the plugin uses Vim's :mksession command then you may change the vim.o.sessionoptions value to determine what to write into the session. Please see :h sessionoptions for more information.

[!NOTE] The author uses: vim.o.sessionoptions = "buffers,curdir,folds,tabpages,winpos,winsize"

Session save location

The location of the session files may be changed by altering the save_dir configuration option. For example:

  save_dir = vim.fn.expand(vim.fn.stdpath("data") .. "/sessions/"), -- Resolves to ~/.local/share/nvim/sessions/

[!NOTE] The plugin may be unable to find existing sessions if the save_dir value is changed

Git branching

One of the plugin's core features is the ability to have multiple session files for a given project, by using git branches. To enable git branching:

  use_git_branch = true,


By default, the plugin will automatically save a Neovim session to disk when the VimLeavePre event is triggered. Autosaving can be turned off by:

  autosave = false,

Autosaving can be further controlled for certain directories by specifying allowed_dirs and ignored_dirs.

There may be occasions when you do not wish to autosave; perhaps when a dashboard or a certain buftype is present. To control this, a callback function, should_autosave, may be used which should return a boolean value.

  should_autosave = function()
    -- do not autosave if the alpha dashboard is the current filetype
    if vim.bo.filetype == "alpha" then
      return false
    return true

Of course, if you wish to manually save the session when autosaving is disabled, the :SessionSave command can be used.

[!NOTE] If autosave = false then the should_autosave callback will not be executed.


The plugin can be enabled to automatically load sessions when Neovim is started. Whilst off by default, this can be turned on by:

  autoload = true,

You can also provide a function to run when autoload = true but there is no session to be loaded:

  autoload = true,
  on_autoload_no_session = function()
    vim.notify("No existing session to load.")

Autoloading can be further controlled for certain directories by specifying allowed_dirs and ignored_dirs.

[!NOTE] Autoloading will not occur if the plugin is lazy loaded or a user opens Neovim with arguments other than a single directory argument. For example: nvim some_file.rb will not result in autoloading but nvim some/existing/path or nvim . will.

Following current working directory

There may be a need to change the working directory to quickly access files in other directories without changing the current session's name on save. This behavior can be configured with follow_cwd = false.

By default, the session name will match the current working directory:

  follow_cwd = true,

[!NOTE] If follow_cwd = false the session name is stored upon loading under the global variable vim.g.persisting_session. This variable can be manually adjusted if changes to the session name are needed. Alternatively, if follow_cwd = true then vim.g.persisting_session = nil.

Allowed directories

You may specify a table of directories for which the plugin will autosave and/or autoload from. For example:

  allowed_dirs = {

Specifying ~/Code will autosave and autoload from that directory as well as all its sub-directories.

[!NOTE] If allowed_dirs is left at its default value and autosave and/or autoload are set to true, then the plugin will autoload/autosave from any directory

Ignored directories

You may specify a table of directories for which the plugin will never autosave and autoload from. For example:

  ignored_dirs = {

Specifying ~/.config will prevent any autosaving and autoloading from that directory as well as all its sub-directories.

You can also specify exact directory matches to ignore. In this case, unlike the default behavior which ignores all children of the ignored directory, this will ignore only the specified child. For example:

  ignored_dirs = {
    { "/", exact = true },
    { "/tmp", exact = true }

In this setup, ~/.config and ~/.local/nvim are still going to behave in their default setting (ignoring all listed directory and its children), however / and /tmp will only ignore those directories exactly.

Ignored branches

You may specify a table of patterns that match against branches for which the plugin will never autosave and autoload from:

  ignored_branches = {

Events / Callbacks

The plugin fires events at various points during its lifecycle:

  • PersistedLoadPre - For before a session is loaded
  • PersistedLoadPost - For after a session is loaded
  • PersistedTelescopeLoadPre - For before a session is loaded via Telescope
  • PersistedTelescopeLoadPost - For after a session is loaded via Telescope
  • PersistedSavePre - For before a session is saved
  • PersistedSavePost - For after a session is saved
  • PersistedDeletePre - For before a session is deleted
  • PersistedDeletePost - For after a session is deleted
  • PersistedStateChange - For when a session is started or stopped
  • PersistedToggled - For when a session is toggled

These events can be consumed anywhere within your configuration by utilising the vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd function.

Example use case

A commonly requested example is to use the Telescope extension to load a session, saving the current session before clearing all of the open buffers:

local group = vim.api.nvim_create_augroup("PersistedHooks", {})

vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd({ "User" }, {
  pattern = "PersistedTelescopeLoadPre",
  group = group,
  callback = function(session)
    -- Save the currently loaded session using a global variable
    require("persisted").save({ session = vim.g.persisted_loaded_session })

    -- Delete all of the open buffers

Using callback data

When certain events are fired, session data is made available for the user to consume, for example:

  branch = "main",
  dir_path = "Code/Neovim/persisted.nvim",
  file_path = "/Users/Oli/.local/share/nvim/sessions/%Users%Oli%Code%Neovim%persisted.nvim@@main.vim",
  name = "Code/Neovim/persisted.nvim@@main",

To consume this data, use the session.data table in your autocmd:

vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd({ "User" }, {
  pattern = "PersistedLoadPost",
  group = group,
  callback = function(session)

[!NOTE] This data is available for the PersistedLoad, PersistedDelete and PersistedTelescope events

:page_with_curl: License