When I open 3 or more files at once with Emacs, e.g.

emacs file-1.txt file-2.txt file-3.txt ...

then the initial Emacs view is two panes, one for one of the files, and the other for the buffer list. Is there a way to change this behavior? I'd like to just show a single pane displaying one of the files. (If there's a way to show just the buffer list, that might be nice too.)

1 Answer 1


I think (setq inhibit-startup-buffer-menu t) will skip showing the buffer list.

If you mostly care about avoiding window splits, you can add the following to your ~/.emacs file:

(add-hook 'emacs-startup-hook 'delete-other-windows)
  • That gets me half-way there, but Emacs still splits into two panes, which is actually the annoying part. Didn't see any other obvious inhibit-startup-* variables, suggestions?
    – shawkinaw
    Dec 11, 2014 at 21:35
  • I don't see any obvious way to prevent the splits, but see my updated answer for a way to undo the splits.
    – Stefan
    Dec 12, 2014 at 1:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .