I'm using macOS and tmux 3.1c. When copying a text via mouse selection, the highlight will be auto-cleared after copying the text to clipboard, this will make it difficult to keep track the last line you copied when you go back to it:

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Is there a way to prevent/disable the auto-clearing of selection after copying? I know about pressing Shift, then selecting the text, and then hitting Cmd + C to copy it to the clipboard, which preserves the selection. But this is relatively inefficient workflow. This is the same behavior with Alacritty/iTerm.

In iTerm, without tmux, selecting a text will auto-copy it in the clipboard, but the selection will not be auto-cleared.

1 Answer 1


You are looking for the copy-selection-no-clear command.

For example, if you are using vi mode, you can define y to copy the selection without clearing it:

bind-key -Tcopy-mode-vi y send -X copy-selection-no-clear 

For emacs use the copy-mode table.

  • 1
    Exactly what I want! Ended up with bind-key -Tcopy-mode-vi MouseDragEnd1Pane send -X copy-selection-no-clear since I usually use the mouse for selection, and it works as intended. Thanks! Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 15:42
  • @RanelPadon glad this helped. don't forget to accept the answer so your question no longer shows up in the unanswered section.
    – laktak
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 8:12
  • Sorry, what do you mean of "accept the answer"? I already upvoted your answer. Am I missing something? Thanks Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:10
  • 1
    Interesting, didn't know that I could accept an answer also, I should have done this even before in my StackOverflow posts. Although some of them, I ended up the one who solved it also. Cheers stackoverflow.com/help/someone-answers Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:16

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