Abstract We have investigated structure and solubility of H, as well as H–vacancy interaction in tungsten (W) single crystal employing a first-principles method. Single H atom is shown to be energetically favorable sitting at the tetrahedral interstitial site (TIS). The solubility of H is estimated in W according to the Sieverts’ law. We found that the solution concentrations are 2.3 × 10 −10 and 1.8 × 10 −7 at the typical temperatures of 600 K and 1000 K, respectively. The calculated results are basically consistent with the experiments. The vacancy can be found to play a key role on the trapping of H in W. There exists a very strong binding between single H and vacancy with the binding energy of 1.18 eV. With the H atoms added, the H n V complexes can be easily formed in the vacancy. A monovacancy is shown to be capable of trapping as many as 7 H atoms. Kinetically, we show that the H jumps into the vacancy from the first nearest neighboring TIS into vacancy with a much reduced barrier of 0.02 eV, which indicates a down-hill “drift” diffusion of H towards vacancy. The physical mechanism underlying H assisted vacancy formation is originated from that H atoms can stimulate the formation and growth of vacancy or void by binding with vacancy to decrease the effective formation energy of vacancy in W.