How To

How To Disable Minimap in VSCode

Written by Kells



Screen real estate is crucial to every programmer, and Visual Studio Code’s preview pane can ruin your coding experience quickly. As useful as some may find it, the VSCode minimap function isn’t ideal on smaller screens or when working on a screen with higher resolutions.

How To Disable Minimap in VSCode

Fortunately, the minimap doesn’t have to take up unnecessary space. You can easily disable it in newer and older versions of Visual Studio Code, and this article will show you how.

Disable Minimap in VSCode Versions Released After July 2022

The minimap option is found in the “View” menu of the VSCode editor. Thus, you can enable or disable it in two easy steps.

  1. Click on the “View” menu button.
  2. Select the “Appearance” button and to go “Minimap” to disable or enable the feature.

Once disabled, you’ll get prime screen real estate back in the right part of the screen. The “Show Minimap” option should be available on all Windows, Mac, and Linux VSCode editors from July 2022 and newer.

Disable Minimap in Older VSCode Versions

The menu bar didn’t have the same “View” options in older versions as the VSCode editors released after July 2022. Therefore, the process of disabling the minimap isn’t as quick but is just as easy.


How to Disable the Minimap on Windows Systems

  1. Launch your VSCode editor.
  2. Go to the “File” menu.
  3. Click the “Preferences” button.
  4. Select “Settings.”
  5. Look for the “Minimap” option and uncheck the “Controls Whether the Minimap is Shown”.

How to Disable the Minimap on Linux Systems

  1. Start the VSCode editor.
  2. Head to the “File” menu.
  3. Select “Preferences.”
  4. Click “Settings.”
  5. Find the “editor.minimap.enabled” option and uncheck it.

How to Disable the Minimap on Mac Systems

  1. Start your VSCode editor.
  2. Go to the “Code” menu.
  3. Click the “Preferences” button.
  4. Select “Settings.”
  5. Find the “editor.minimap.enabled” option and disable it.

Doing it like this saves your selection automatically, so you won’t have to worry about the VSCode editor minimap popping up again.

Alternative Method to Disable the VSCode Minimap Preview Pane

You can add a specific command line in the user settings if you want an even shorter route for disabling the VSCode minimap feature.

Disable VSCode Minimap in User Settings on Windows Systems

Here’s how to quickly remove the minimap preview pane in the VSCode editor on a Windows laptop or PC.

  1. Press “Ctrl + ,” to bring up the user settings.
  2. Type the following line: “editor.minimap.enabled” : false
  3. Hit “Save.”

Disable VSCode Minimap in User Settings on macOS Systems

Mac users can disable the VSCode minimap from the user settings similarly to all other users but need to press a different keyboard shortcut.

  1. Press the Apple command and comma keys together.
  2. Type the following in the user settings: “editor.minimap.enabled” : false
  3. Hit “Save” to apply the changes and remove the preview pane.

Disable VSCode Minimap in User Settings on Linux Systems

Disabling the VSCode minimap on a Linux laptop or PC involves the same steps and keyboard shortcuts as a Windows system.

  1. Press “Ctrl + ,” to access the user settings.
  2. Type: “editor.minimap.enabled” : false
  3. Save to apply the changes.

How to Change the VSCode Minimap Position

The VSCode editor minimap is displayed by default on the right side of the screen. Not everyone wants to remove the preview, but they still don’t like its position.

If you want to use it in a different position, you can place it on the left pane with a simple command.

Change the VSCode Minimap Position on Windows System

Here’s how to move the minimap in the VSCode editor from right to left.

  1. Press “Ctrl + ,” to access the user settings.
  2. Type: “editor.minimap.side” : “left”
  3. Enter: “editor.minimap.enabled” : true
  4. Save to apply the changes.

Change the VSCode Minimap Position on Linux Systems

The Linux VSCode editor has the same shortcuts and commands as the Windows version.

  1. Press “Ctrl + ,” to go to the user settings.
  2. Enter: “editor.minimap.side” : “left”
  3. Type: “editor.minimap.enabled” : true
  4. Hit “Save.”

Change the VSCode Minimap Position on Mac Systems

The steps are the same in the Mac version of VSCode, except for the user settings keyboard shortcut.

  1. Press “Command + ,” to access the user settings.
  2. Type: “editor.minimap.side” : “left”
  3. Enter: “editor.minimap.enabled” : true
  4. Save to apply the changes.

How to Change the Minimap Size in Visual Studio Code

The editor’s minimap size setting enables you to adjust how the program scales the minimap depending on your file size or length. Visual Studio Code scales the minimap size proportionally to the size of the file by default.

But that isn’t necessarily the best option for all screen sizes, resolutions, and files. You may want to set different scalability rules until you find the best preview pane display for the minimap.

The VSCode editor offers three options.

Proportional scaling is the default option that forces the minimap to scroll and scale proportionally with the file size. This means you won’t be able to see more of the file in the minimap.

The fill scaling option stretches and shrinks the minimap as much as it needs to fill the entire height of the editor. While this drastically shrinks the text size, it also lets you view the whole file in the minimap. Thus, it eliminates the need to scroll through the minimap to move to a specific file section.

When selecting the fit scaling option, the editor shrinks the minimap to prevent it from being larger than the editor. Again, this eliminates scrolling. This option makes sense on larger files but isn’t useful when working in short files because the text would be too small.

Here’s how you can adjust the minimap scaling on all VSCode versions.

Adjust Minimap Scalability in Windows

  1. Press “Ctrl + ,” to bring up the user settings.
  2. Type “minimap size” in the search bar.
  3. Click the dropdown menu and choose a different option.

Adjust Minimap Scalability in Linux

  1. Press “Ctrl + ,” to go to the user settings menu.
  2. Type “minimap size” in the search bar.
  3. Select a new option from the dropdown menu.

Adjust Minimap Scalability in MacOS

  1. Press “Command + ,” to open the user settings.
  2. Look for the “minimap size” in the search bar.
  3. Click the dropdown menu and select a different option.

Is It Worth Using the Minimap Preview Pane?

The minimap feature in VSCode was launched in early 2017. Many coders don’t appreciate how it looks, think it interferes with the usable screen space, or don’t like how it works. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its uses.

Unfortunately, many programmers agree that screen real estate is just too valuable to use the minimap, whether positioned on the right or left side of the screen.

Firstly, the minimap makes working in vertical split screen mode even more difficult as it takes up too much space. While it’s possible to use it when working on two files simultaneously, it’s nearly impossible to do so with three files.

Secondly, seeing the structure of a longer file doesn’t necessarily make navigation easier. High resolutions make the minimap screen very tough to read and identify specific file sections.

Furthermore, even moving from the top to the bottom of the file quickly can be accomplished without the VSCode minimap. Users can press the following keyboard shortcuts instead:

  • “Ctrl + Home/End” in VSCode for Windows and Linux
  • “Command + Up/Down Arrow” in VSCode for Mac

That said, some coders may use the minimap for highlighting purposes. You may filter the minimap for quick navigation for colors, search results, lint errors, git history, etc.

The VSCode  Minimap – A Love-Hate Relationship With Programmers

It’s clear that the minimap feature isn’t for everyone, but the sentiment doesn’t only apply to VSCode programmers. Minimap preview panes can be annoying in any coding editor. Therefore, learning to manipulate and customize the minimap is essential to make your coding experience more enjoyable.

Sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn’t. But whether you choose to use a minimap comes down to personal preference more often than functionality.

How often do you use the minimap, and when do you find it most useful when coding? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your thoughts on what screen resolutions can maximize screen space while using the minimap without making its preview pane too hard to read.


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