I want emacs to be truly maximized on start up.

There are solutions to the problem that just make the emacs window width of the screen. That's not enough for me. I want the emacs window to be docked to the right upper corner of the screen, so that when I press there with a mouse, I will close emacs, not Firefox or Krusader or whatever is maximized in the background.

I tried to do it with Kwin - but no luck.

P.S. I'm using Kubuntu, and emacs is quite fresh one 23.2 or something like that.

  • @user maximized or full screen - which do you want? Your second paragraph is a bit vague. Jun 8, 2011 at 20:08
  • There are some window manager dependent solutions. Which WM are you using? In Fluxbox, I use the ~/.fluxbox/apps file to set maximized preference for specific applications. Mar 29, 2012 at 15:31
  • I'm using KWM (it's KDE's default one). It has option "maximised" - but emacs window is not truely maximized: if You'll press "x" at the top right corner with a mouse - You'll close something else - not emacs.
    – Adobe
    Mar 29, 2012 at 15:45

8 Answers 8


I've taken this from somewhere on emacswiki, some time ago. Note that I no longer use it, as I've switched to dwm to have everything fullscreen, but it used to work.

(defun fullscreen ()
       (x-send-client-message nil 0 nil "_NET_WM_STATE" 32
                 '(2 "_NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN" 0)))

If you want it to run on startup, you should be able to add


to your .emacs

EDIT: Rereading your question, I think this is not what you want. This will go really fullscreen, not maximized: you will not have any close button.

This one should do:

(defun fullscreen (&optional f)
  (x-send-client-message nil 0 nil "_NET_WM_STATE" 32
             '(2 "_NET_WM_STATE_MAXIMIZED_VERT" 0))
  (x-send-client-message nil 0 nil "_NET_WM_STATE" 32
             '(2 "_NET_WM_STATE_MAXIMIZED_HORZ" 0)))

Now it's directly from http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/FullScreen


Here are two non-Lisp ways to achieve the same:

  1. Alias your emacs command to emacs -fs. Add this line of code to your .bashrc file in your home directory:

    alias emacs='emacs -fs'

    Personally, I don't like this approach because I wouldn't want Emacs to start up in full screen all the time and would like some control.

  2. My solution: In Ubuntu, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to 'full-screen' any window. This seems to be the most convenient and simple option. Besides, it has the advantage that the same shortcut also applies to all your applications.

  • +1 There's also -mm (short for --maximized) which will "maximize the first frame". The effects of using this option are a little less "drastic" than the -fs option (Emacs title bar and OS panels stay visible).
    – itsjeyd
    Aug 13, 2014 at 8:52

Put (w32-send-sys-command ?\xf030) on your .emacs file. I think it solves your problem.

(works on Windows only)

  • That's cool, only though I'm working in linux. But still -- sometimes I have to work in windows too. Thanks.
    – Adobe
    May 27, 2013 at 3:53
  • I forgot to mention. This solution is only for Windows. May 27, 2013 at 7:45
  • Yep, I see the w32 thing.
    – Adobe
    May 27, 2013 at 8:54

If you would like to toggle fullscreen in emacs with the F11 key, add the following to .emacs:

;; the following should give fullscreen mode when F11 is depressed
(defun fullscreen ()
 (set-frame-parameter nil 'fullscreen
              (if (frame-parameter nil 'fullscreen) nil 'fullboth))

If you want the fullscreen emacs to be very minimal (no tool bar, scroll bar, or menu bar, also add:

  (if (fboundp 'tool-bar-mode) (tool-bar-mode -1))  ;; no toolbar
  (menu-bar-mode -1) ;;no menubar
  (scroll-bar-mode -1) ;; no scroll bar

I currently use Emacs version 28.2 on Windows, and a minimal solution is adding the line below to the Emacs configuration at ~/.emacs.d/init.el (different under unix)

(set-frame-parameter nil 'fullscreen 'fullboth)

I think emacs will respect gconf settings, so you could set /apps/emacs/maximize, but don't know if that will help on Kubuntu -- worth a try.


I use the following on Linux:

(defun my-frame-toggle ()
    "Maximize/Restore Emacs frame using 'wmctrl'."
    (shell-command "wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -btoggle,maximized_vert,maximized_horz"))

and then bind it to a key:

(global-set-key [(control f4)] 'my-frame-toggle)

If you want to start out maximized, you can just add a call to my-frame-toggle to the end of your .emacs file.

  • When I write your code, onto my .emacs file. It shows parser error. Aug 22, 2014 at 13:40

I found a funny solution:

emacs -nw

starts emacs in a console - and you can maximize console itself!

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