I wonder how could I disable this annoying square which seems like it's zooming in the text under the emacs' cursor.

How can I get rid of it? And what is this exactly?

I am on emacs 24.5 (homebrew installed) and MacOS X El Capitán.

enter image description here

  • This issue is most definitely caused by something in your init file. The standard recommendation is to bisect it. (You are unlikely to get a more helpful answer unless you provide more information about your setup.) You can try The Bug Hunter by @Malabarba, though. Feb 6, 2016 at 1:16
  • 1
    Well, I was wrong (wouldn't be the first time). Sorry about that. Looks like this is the same issue. Feb 6, 2016 at 2:24

2 Answers 2


I think the cause of the problem is visible-bell. Just put the following to your .emacs file:

(setq ring-bell-function 'ignore)

to get rid of both audible and visible bell


As noted in scaevola's answer, the problem is visible-bell. Completely turning off both audible and visible bell may seem a bit drastic, though. Here's a homebrew version of visible bell that just flashes the mode-line – but excluding some cases where the user deliberately caused the condition triggering the bell:

(setq ring-bell-function
  (lambda ()
    (unless (memq this-command
          '(isearch-abort abort-recursive-edit
                  exit-minibuffer keyboard-quit))
      (invert-face 'mode-line)
      (run-with-timer 0.1 nil 'invert-face 'mode-line))))

Adjust the delay 0.1 (seconds) to taste.

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