Recently I have started to split my Emacs windows horizontally. However, when I do this, moving the cursor down frequently raises the following error:

posn-col-row: Wrong type argument: windowp, #<frame buffer/file-name 0x11756e8>

And the cursor will be stuck wherever it is. In the example below, as soon as I hit the dollar sign/newline (I have whitespace-mode enabled to help myself with diagnosis) I can no longer move the cursor down (although I can always move left and right).

enter image description here

The stranger thing, is that if I have a horizontal split with two windows and the same buffer in each window, then the problem only happens in the window on the right...It seems to only happen when I have visual-line-mode disabled - but I have disabled it in certain modes precisely because visual-line-mode seems to do weird things when the window is too narrow, so I would prefer a fix that doesn't involve enabling visual-line-mode. Any suggestions? Thank you!


This problem was occurring on my work computer, and I just tried to recreate it on my home computer. My configuration is synced through github, so I thought everything was exactly the same, but I just remembered that the version of Emacs I am using at work (the one with the problem) is the one from the Ubuntu repositories, while the one I am using at home (which doesn't seem to have a problem) was compiled from source and is a newer version.

Knowing this, I will do some more debugging on Monday when I get back to my work computer, and maybe just get a more recent version of Emacs.

  • Sounds like a bug in Emacs, I would suggest sending a bug report. If possible, include a step-by-step guide on how to reproduce the errror. Dec 4, 2015 at 19:45
  • What @Lindydancer said. M-x report-emacs-bug.
    – Drew
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:18
  • 1
    Are there any third-party major/minor modes that are active in the visible windows that use posn-col-row? [A grep for that function in the .emacs.d folder and inside the .emacs file may be helpful.] If not already done, you can enable debugging with: (setq debug-on-error t) If this just started happening recently and you didn't upgrade or install a new version of Emacs, then the user-configuration and third-party installed libraries would be the most likely source of the problems.
    – lawlist
    Dec 4, 2015 at 22:49

1 Answer 1


I was having this issue on my work computer, and once I got home, I tested it out on my home computer, which uses the same init file. No problems at all! This made things even more confusing for me, until I remembered that I was running an older version (24.4) on my work computer than on my home computer (running 24.5).

Today I installed Emacs 24.5 on my work computer following the super-easy instructions in the answer to this question. After that, I no longer have this issue, and everything works fine with horizontal and vertical window splits! I am not going to bother submitting a bug report, because it seems to have been fixed in the most recent version of Emacs.

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