Safe Mode

Added in:4.0

Sublime Text includes an execution mode called safe mode that disables all customizations. This can be used when attempting to diagnose problems, as it allows easily running the editor in a pristine state, while leaving all preferences and third-party packages unchanged.

Safe mode is available starting in version 4.0. To accomplish a similar result in earlier versions, please see Reverting to a Freshly Installed State.


When starting Sublime Text in safe mode, the application uses an alternate data directory. The data directory is where all preferences, custom key bindings, session data and third-party packages are stored. To ensure that safe mode is not influenced by previous sessions, the safe mode data directory is fully erased when starting. Do not store any important files or customizations within the safe mode data directory.

Safe mode can only be entered if the application has been fully closed. If any windows remain open (or on Mac the application itself), then safe mode will not work.

  • Windows: %AppData%\Sublime Text (Safe Mode)\

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text (Safe Mode)/

  • Linux: ~/.config/sublime-text-safe-mode/

To prevent having to re-install any license key each time Sublime Text starts, safe mode will copy the license key from the normal data directory.


Sublime Text can be started in safe mode via the Command Line Interface:

subl --safe-mode

Additionally on Windows and Mac, holding a modifier key while starting the application will open it in safe mode:

  • Windows: Shift+Alt

  • Mac: Option