I am using the helm-projectile setup from prelude and it has been a huge improvement to my workflow. The only remaining issue are auto-generated files (e.g. generated by CMake) which show up during helm-grep and similar operations.

Question: is there a way to exclude files in the projects folder tree from Projectile?


Looking at projectile it seems to offer four customizations for ignoring files/directories globally. I am listing each of them below, with their documentation


A list of files globally ignored by projectile.


A list of directories globally ignored by projectile.


A list of file suffixes globally ignored by projectile.


A list of regular expressions for major modes ignored by projectile.

If a buffer is using a given major mode, projectile will ignore it for functions working with buffers.

Please note that these are global options so for example a directory in projectile-globally-ignored-directories will be ignored irrespective of the project you are working with. To ignore a file/directory for a particular project you can add a .projectile file to the project's root and add the paths to ignore prefixed with - to it like following


See the documentation of projectile-parse-dirconfig-file (or projectile's docs) for more info

Parse project ignore file and return directories to ignore and keep.

The return value will be a cons, the car being the list of directories to keep, and the cdr being the list of files or directories to ignore.

Strings starting with + will be added to the list of directories to keep, and strings starting with - will be added to the list of directories to ignore. For backward compatibility, without a prefix the string will be assumed to be an ignore string.

  • 1
    I'm unable to get projectile-globally-ignored-file-suffixes to work as (I think) it is intended. Should this contain just the suffix (i.e. "o" for object files), a file glob (i.e. "*.o") or something else? Frankly I've tried every combo I can think of and it hasn't worked. – Bklyn Nov 20 '17 at 15:17
  • I am using Scala with ensime, and projectile already defines .ensime_cache as globally ignored. However C-c p h brings up helm-projectile and shows all the .ensime_cache files. Any ideas? – Arne Mar 28 at 12:48

Yes, in your .projectile file, on each line specify similar to: each line looks like:

- /path/to/somefile

Each line contains one file path.

See the official documentation on ignoring files


Another solution would be to use ag(the_silver_searcher) or rg (ripgrep) to generate project files. Here's how you can do it with rg:

(setq projectile-enable-caching t)

;;; Default rg arguments
  ;; https://github.com/BurntSushi/ripgrep
  (when (executable-find "rg")
      (defconst modi/rg-arguments
        `("--line-number"                     ; line numbers
          "--follow"                          ; follow symlinks
          "--mmap")                           ; apply memory map optimization when possible
        "Default rg arguments used in the functions in `projectile' package.")

      (defun modi/advice-projectile-use-rg ()
        "Always use `rg' for getting a list of all files in the project."
        (mapconcat 'identity
                   (append '("\\rg") ; used unaliased version of `rg': \rg
                           '("--null" ; output null separated results,
                             "--files")) ; get file names matching the regex '' (all files)
                   " "))

      (advice-add 'projectile-get-ext-command :override #'modi/advice-projectile-use-rg)))

In your project directory, specify the files you want to ignore in .gitignore and you're good to go :)

Code is from kaushalmodi's emacs config.


search that respects ignored dirs/files:

  1. install ack (An alternative to grep. I install via homebrew.)

  2. put --ignore-case in your ~.ackrc file (assuming you want to ignore case)

  3. bind helm-projectile-ack to a key. I do this in my emacs init via:

(use-package helm
  :bind (...
         ("C-c p s a" . helm-projectile-ack)
  1. create a .projectile file. E.g.,


C-c p s a     ;; search that respects .projectile ignore


C-c s p g     ;; search everything

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