When I open a file in Emacs.app, via Finder, via the edit-server or during merging on an SVN update, it shows up in a new frame. When I kill that buffer, I pretty much always also want close the frame that came with it. Is there a way to easily recognize such situations and add an appropriate advice to kill-buffer? Is there perhaps a buffer history for each frame? If that history only contains one buffer, and the frame is not the last remaining one, it would be safe to close.

  • 1
    I've just tested it, it just quits Emacs.app entirely.
    – Lenar Hoyt
    Dec 27, 2015 at 20:24
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    OK, this behaviour seems to be different on OS X and Ubuntu. Try calling the command delete-frame (for me it is bound to s-w or C-x 5 0.
    – elethan
    Dec 27, 2015 at 20:34
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    That will delete the current frame, but does not kill the current buffer.
    – Lenar Hoyt
    Dec 27, 2015 at 20:36
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    I'll be using this solution for now: emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/2888/… (thanks to elethan for bringing it to my attention), but perhaps there is a simple solution to my question?
    – Lenar Hoyt
    Dec 27, 2015 at 22:20
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    If you just want to "kill current buffer and frame" without plugins: C-x k RET C-x 5 0. This calls kill-buffer, accepts the default (= current buffer), then calls delete-frame.
    – hraban
    May 13, 2022 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


The solution you found here should be fine.

Here is another approach, which I use. To use it you will need to either pull out the relevant code from these libraries or require each of them.

This approach does two things:

  1. Defines an alternative command to kill-buffer, for interactive use: kill-buffer-and-its-windows. I remap all keys bound to the former to the latter, like this:

    (define-key global-map [remap kill-buffer] 'kill-buffer-and-its-windows)
  2. Advises delete-window so that if the window is alone in its frame, then the frame is deleted (using delete-frame).

In other words, when you use C-x k you will get this behavior: the buffer will be killed and its window (or its frame, if it has only one window) will be deleted.

The code:

(As I said, you do not need all of that code to do only what you want. You could just copy the code I mentioned from misc-cmds.el and frame-cmds.el.)


This isn't precisely what you're asking for, but from the discussion in comments, it sounds like it might still work for you. This is a slight modification of the command I use on C-x C-c (I added the buffer-killing feature).

It will kill the current buffer and close the current frame, unless there's only one frame open. In that case, it will ask you for the go-ahead to kill Emacs. If you're using emacsclient, note that the daemon appears to have its own frame in (visible-frame-list), so in this situation you can close the last open frame without killing Emacs entirely.

(defun my/kill-buffer-and-frame-or-exit (&optional arg)
  "Kill this buffer and frame.  With only one frame, exit Emacs.

When there is more than one visible frame, run `delete-frame'.
Otherwise, exit Emacs with `save-buffers-kill-terminal' after
confirming this with user.

If a prefix ARG is supplied, ignore it in the multiple-frame
case.  Otherwise, bypass confirmation and pass the argument to
  (interactive "P")
   ((> (length (visible-frame-list)) 1)  (kill-this-buffer) (delete-frame))
   ((or arg (y-or-n-p "Quit Emacs?"))    (save-buffers-kill-terminal arg))
   (t                                    (message "Abort"))))

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