I want to save a buffer somewhere temporary so I can later say bring up that buffer I was using.

Is there an equivalent to minimizing a window/buffer? I know you can kill the buffer to go to the previous one, but a true minimizing concept would be ideal.

  • 5
    Could you please clarify your question? (There is bury-buffer, but so far I don't know if it matches your idea of "true" minimization, so I don't know if it fits the bill.) Feb 10, 2016 at 21:25
  • 2
    Please describe the behavior you would like, in some detail. Otherwise, the question risks being closed as unclear or too broad.
    – Drew
    Feb 10, 2016 at 21:38
  • Basically, I want to save a buffer somewhere temporary so I can later say bring up that buffer I was using.
    – Evan Adler
    Feb 10, 2016 at 21:43
  • 1
    Emacs maintains a list of open buffers that you can switch between using e.g. C-x b or C-x C-b. You don't need to kill a buffer in order to look at another one...
    – glucas
    Feb 10, 2016 at 22:18
  • Define "save a buffer".
    – Drew
    Feb 10, 2016 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


The concept of buffer and window in Emacs can be confusing to new users: the terms are used to mean different things in Emacs than in other tools. (See for example this question.)

The Emacs Manual provides details about using multiple buffers.

To answer the specific question: many buffers can be open at one time in Emacs, and you can freely switch between them without having to minimize or kill anything. You can simply switch to another buffer by name (C-x b) or choose one from the list of open buffers (C-x C-b). As mentioned in the comments you can also use bury-buffer, which moves the buffer you are currently looking at to the end of the list of buffers and shows you the next one. You can split the frame in to several windows and display a different buffer in each one... There are many options.

If you are a new Emacs user I would suggest going through the Emacs Tutorial, which covers the basics. You can start the tutorial in Emacs using C-h t (control h, followed by t).

  • C-x b ... just what I was looking for!
    – Evan Adler
    Feb 10, 2016 at 23:31
  • @EvanAdler: if this answer solved your problem, please vote it up and accept it.
    – Dan
    Feb 11, 2016 at 1:20
  • @EvanAdler you can integrate helm-buffers-list in your Helm workflow.
    – ReneFroger
    Feb 11, 2016 at 8:45
  • switch-to-next-buffer and switch-to-prev-buffer may also be useful (they're not bound by default though)
    – npostavs
    Feb 11, 2016 at 17:43

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