I am using Emacs 24.5.1 on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, with Gnome 3.16, and the title of the GTK window with Emacs in it is always emacs@hostname. How can I change it to the name of the current file I'm editing?

  • Why do you need this? I'm curious for your use case. The file name is already shown in the mode line, isn't it? Sep 22, 2015 at 21:25
  • Gnome in Overview mode has the window title in big text below the window thumbnail, the one in the mode line is too small to see.
    – Sean
    Sep 23, 2015 at 13:32
  • 1
    Just a side remark: If you have several frames open - for example if you open a file in another frame with C-x 5 f - then each frame will show the buffer name as title. It's only when you have just a single frame that you see "emacs@hostname".
    – pst
    Aug 24, 2020 at 10:55
  • @Dieter.Wilhelm The title bar can show the buffer name and mode of the minibuffer, which the mode line doesn't display. Jan 30, 2021 at 11:50

2 Answers 2


The file name as frame name

    (setq-default frame-title-format '("%f"))

The file name and the major mode as frame name (my conf)

    (setq-default frame-title-format '("%f [" mode-name "]"))


  • 11
    Use %b to get the filename without the path
    – Adversus
    Jun 12, 2017 at 7:24
  • 4
    '%b' is also better for unsaved buffers, like "scratch"
    – teroi
    May 16, 2018 at 8:29
  • Does somebody know how to set it in custom-set-variables?
    – yPhil
    Jan 6, 2021 at 22:50
  • @yPhil (custom-set-variables '(setq-default frame-title-format '("%f [%m]"))) ?
    – djangoliv
    Jan 7, 2021 at 14:08
  • %m is now deprecated in favor of the variable mode-name. See %-Constructs in the Mode Line Feb 21, 2023 at 15:35

Make emacs' window title show path of the current file:

(setq-default frame-title-format
                (format "%s@%s: %s %s"
                        (or (file-remote-p default-directory 'user)
                        (or (file-remote-p default-directory 'host)
                          (concat "(" buffer-file-truename ")"))
                          (concat "{" dired-directory "}"))
                          "[no file]")))))

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