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Start Your Tmux Window and Pane Index Count at 1 Instead of 0


We'll go over how to do the above as well as auto-remove index gaps after closing a window. Your index counts will always be in order.

Quick Jump: Demo Video

Being able to switch windows is typically much easier when your windows are arranged as 1, 2, 3 instead of 0, 1, 2 (the default). This is especially true if your Tmux prefix key is on the left side of your keyboard (mine is with the ` key).

Demo Video

Tmux Configuration

# Start windows and panes index at 1, not 0.
set -g base-index 1
setw -g pane-base-index 1

# Ensure window index numbers get reordered on delete.
set-option -g renumber-windows on


  • 0:09 – Starting off the window index at 1
  • 0:48 – Starting off the pane index at 1
  • 1:20 – Ensuring window index gaps get removed after deleting a window
  • 2:11 – Taking a look at the 3 tmux config options to make all of this work
  • 2:59 – Testing the window index value to start at 2, yep it works

Are you doing this in your config? Let me know below.

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