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In emacs, sometimes I will be in the middle of finding a file or switching buffers or doing something in the minibuffer, and I will click somewhere else for some reason. When I go back, the only way to make the minibuffer prompt active again is to click inside the minibuffer, which is annoying because it is a thin area. Is there any way to switch back to an active minibuffer prompt without using the mouse?

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1  
+1 I had the same question. – Geoff Mar 3 '12 at 22:11
up vote 23 down vote accepted

This will do what you want. Bind to the key of your choice:

(defun switch-to-minibuffer-window ()
  "switch to minibuffer window (if active)"
  (interactive)
  (when (active-minibuffer-window)
    (select-frame-set-input-focus (window-frame (active-minibuffer-window)))
    (select-window (active-minibuffer-window))))
(global-set-key (kbd "<f7>") 'switch-to-minibuffer-window)
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1  
If you have multiple frames then you need to add (select-frame-set-input-focus (window-frame (active-minibuffer-window))) before the select-window. – dshepherd Jun 18 '15 at 8:28
    
@dshepherd I can confirm that after inserting your Elisp line, the enriched function is working well with only one frame as well. Thanks. – dimitko Dec 7 '15 at 15:11
    
@dshepherd Thanks, have updated code appropriately. – Trey Jackson Dec 7 '15 at 20:38
C-x o 

Repeat as necessary.

C-x o runs the command other-window, which is an interactive built-in function in `C source code'.

If you do not want to cycle through windows, you can add a function in your init file and bind it to a key. Something like this might work:

(defun select-minibuffer ()
 "Make the active minibuffer the selected window."
 (interactive)
 (when (active-minibuffer-window)
   (select-window (active-minibuffer-window))))
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Why would you want to include RET like that? It would automatically accept whatever was in the minibuffer (assuming a single C-x o switched to the minibuffer). Generally, one may need to use C-x o multiple times if there are (in Emacs parlance) multiple windows open in the frame (in normal GUI terms: multiple panes in the window). – Chris Johnsen Apr 18 '10 at 19:39
    
You're right. My bad. – Richard Hoskins Apr 18 '10 at 20:10
    
Is there any way to get directly to the minibuffer without potentially cycling through all windows? Should I just write a loop that does other-window until current window is minibuffer? – Ryan Thompson Apr 18 '10 at 21:29

Another option is using switch-window

I find it to be a really useful package: it allows you to quickly move to any Emacs window, visually (and I do use a lot of open windows in Emacs).

But I just find out it also allows you to move to the minibuffer, if it is active:

enter image description here

Hope it helps.

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A related package is swap-buffers which uses the same method for swapping the current buffer with that in another window. – pyrocrasty May 16 '15 at 16:57

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