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In questions like this one about using the Emacs Desktop options to arrange for a saved session to be re-loaded upon startup, it is explained how to reload buffers automatically on startup.

But what if you want to launch Emacs without re-loading any previous buffers and then after some time and after opening a few new buffers you then want to re-load all of the buffers from some previously save desktop session.

I expected there to be some command like M-x desktop-load or something, but after a lot of Googling around the Emacs Desktop stuff I can't seem to find out how to do this.

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  • You can load a desktop file at any time --- it need not be at Emacs startup. See function desktop-read.

  • You can have multiple desktop files ("desktops") and switch among them.

  • If you use Bookmark+ then you can even bookmark desktops --- jump to a bookmark to restore its recorded desktop.

    • Command bmkp-set-desktop-bookmark saves the current Emacs session (configuration) as a desktop bookmark. It is bound to C-x r K by default.
    • Command bmkp-desktop-jump "jumps" to (i.e., restores) a desktop bookmark. It is bound to C-x j K by default.
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You might be interested in package which is targeted at saving frames with their window configurations.

If it's not exactly what you searched for then you could try to make something on top of it, like this

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