I have installed emacs23 on Linux Mint 8. I would like to hide the toolbar, and I can do it with Options > Show/Hide > Tool-bar. But the Tool-bar comes back next time I start emacs. How can I hide it persistently?

5 Answers 5


Add the following to your init file (~/.emacs or _emacs or ~/.emacs.d/init.el):

(tool-bar-mode -1)
  • Could false be used instead of -1 as the value to achieve the same result?
    – leifericf
    Feb 8, 2021 at 7:14
  • @Leif I don't know about false. But you can do 0, which is what I use, and that's pretty well understood to be false-y.
    – mtraceur
    Jul 10, 2021 at 21:40

Emacs has a nice built-in customization interface.

Select Options › Customize Emacs › Specific Option, start typing tool, then hit TAB to see the options starting with tool. Choose tool-bar-mode then. Toggle its value to switch it off, and press Save for future sessions.

  • Thanks, this was a more general solution. But when I pressed "Save for future sessions", I got "Cannot save customixations; init file was not fully loaded" ...so I think I have some problem with my .emacs-file, but I don't understand it.
    – Jonas
    Apr 8, 2010 at 15:08
  • 4
    Sanoj: the best fix for that, if you don't know any lisp, is to make an empty .emacs, and then copy parts of your old .emacs in one at a time and make sure no errors show up in the Messages buffer at startup for each portion you add back in. Or you can put a ";" before lines to comment them out, and follow a similar process of uncommenting a small section, and making sure there are no errors when you restart. Apr 12, 2010 at 7:11

Just for future reference.

~/.emacs file with tool-bar, menu-bar and scroll-bar hidden

;; Disabling things
(menu-bar-mode -1) 
(toggle-scroll-bar -1) 
(tool-bar-mode -1) 

;;Note: If, after turning any of these off, you want to re-enable them for a single emacs window, you can do so by pressing Meta-x and then typing the command at the M-x prompt. (Copied from Web)
;;M-x tool-bar-mode
;;will turn the toolbar back on. 

Now, your emacs will look like this.


I agree with michael. But if you only add this line to your .emacs file, there will be errors when you run emacs in the command line mode. Thus, a better solution may be adding the following to you .emacs file:

(if window-system
    (tool-bar-mode -1)

so that, tool bar will be hidden only when you run it in GUI. Emacs in command line mode does not seem to have a tool bar.

  • I'm not seeing this problem with Emacs 24 FWIW. Dec 6, 2016 at 15:58

I found this thread but none of the answers helped me directly. I wanted to hide the tab bar rightaway but I wanted to also be able to show it if needed.

So after some searching and then RTFM I realized that one can do M-x toggle-frame-tab-bar. This is handy as you can bind it to a key and toggle it whenever you want it in that particular frame. In Emacs 28.2 it seems like there is a bug and the frame is not refreshed/repainted after the toggle, but when you move the point (e.g C-n) then you see the effect of the toggle.

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