In VSCode, rust-analyzer features (such as code completion) doesn't work in certain conditions

There's an issue with the rust-analyzer extension in vscode: the features, especially code completion, in the extension doesn't work if I start vscode and open the folder to a directory and then go to sub-directories to open a rust file. The features only work when I open a rust file via vscode. Whenever I type something in, the vscode auto-completion only appears. When I install other extensions for other languages that includes coding completion such as java, it is guaranteed to work, unlike for rust-analyzer. I'm fairly new to rust, and I need help.

I don't know why it is like that, and I need help fixing it. I use Linux as my operating system and vscode as my editor. Any help would be appreciated

I don't use vscode. But I know that a common vscode problem is neglecting to create a Cargo.toml file using, for example, cargo new.

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Could you clarify exactly what isn't working for you? I agree that I have seen that rust-analyzer doesn't start running checks until the first time you open a Rust .rs file. But what is this preventing you from doing? You need to open a Rust file to work on Rust code, no? Is it just the time that you have to wait?

By the latter I believe they mean it only works when they run code SOURCE_FILE at the command line.

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I'm sorry that I couldn't really word it. It's whenever I open a folder with vscode and then open the source file when my cargo project is the sub-directory, rust-analyzer works. If I put the cargo project in another folder and then opening the source file, rust-analyzer doesn't work. This also happens when I create a new rust file without using cargo. The below images are here to prove it

One additional thing: while I was testing, a notification popped up saying the document highlighting failed for some reason
and this was the output

Panic context:
version: 0.3.1860-standalone
request: textDocument/documentHighlight DocumentHighlightParams {
    text_document_position_params: TextDocumentPositionParams {
        text_document: TextDocumentIdentifier {
            uri: Url {
                scheme: "file",
                cannot_be_a_base: false,
                username: "",
                password: None,
                host: None,
                port: None,
                path: "/run/media/tbf96/CODE/Coding/Rust/test/subdirectory/testing_twi/src/",
                query: None,
                fragment: None,
        position: Position {
            line: 2,
            character: 9,
    work_done_progress_params: WorkDoneProgressParams {
        work_done_token: None,
    partial_result_params: PartialResultParams {
        partial_result_token: None,

thread 'Worker' panicked at /github/home/.cargo/registry/src/
Bad offset: range 0..45 offset 52
stack backtrace:
   0: rust_begin_unwind
             at /rustc/07dca489ac2d933c78d3c5158e3f43beefeb02ce/library/std/src/
   1: core::panicking::panic_fmt
             at /rustc/07dca489ac2d933c78d3c5158e3f43beefeb02ce/library/core/src/
   2: rowan::cursor::SyntaxNode::token_at_offset
   3: ide::highlight_related::highlight_related
   4: std::panicking::try
   5: ide::Analysis::highlight_related
   6: rust_analyzer::handlers::request::handle_document_highlight
   7: std::panicking::try
   8: core::ops::function::FnOnce::call_once{{vtable.shim}}
note: Some details are omitted, run with `RUST_BACKTRACE=full` for a verbose backtrace.
[Error - 9:52:11 AM] Request textDocument/documentHighlight failed.
  Message: request handler panicked: Bad offset: range 0..45 offset 52
  Code: -32603 

Overall, it was pretty confusing for me to explain because it was so complicated to explain.
I just want to use rust-analyzer for convenience, and this issue is just annoying. Also, waiting by itself doesn't seem to fix the issue.

I understand. Yes. This is a limitation of rust-analyzer's project auto-discovery: it only looks at most one subdirectory deep. (I I think I heard that this is to avoid spending lots of time searching the file system in case the project isn't Rust.) Here is what you can do about that:

  • The normal way to use rust-analyzer is that you should open, in VS Code, the directory that contains the project's Cargo.toml file — which can be a workspace Cargo.toml if you want to work on multiple packages together.

  • If you intend to set up a project with deeply located Cargo packages, you'll have to use the rust-analyzer.linkedProjects setting to give explicit paths to each Cargo.toml file. I don't recommend doing this.

This also happens when I create a new rust file without using cargo.

That's more inherent. In order to know how to assist with a file, rust-analyzer has to be able to compile it, and Cargo.toml is necessary to know how it should be compiled. This applies to most other tools too; Rust code should always be accompanied by a Cargo.toml unless you're intentionally using a different build system than Cargo (this is rare and done for special purposes).

while I was testing, a notification popped up saying the document highlighting failed for some reason

rust-analyzer is not completely free of bugs. The rust-analyzer maintainers would like to hear your bug reports, and they're not going to automatically send logs (that would be a violation of privacy) so they rely on you to share them. It's possible to turn off those notifications, though; the setting is rust-analyzer.showRequestFailedErrorNotification.

Yes please create a bug report with rust-analyzer and include at least the panic context and stack trace. The team will be happy to help.