I invested a lot of time to get a Windows file association working with cygwin emacsclient-w32. But every "solution" has some dead end that I can't solve. Any help really appreciated.

What I want is a simple file association for .cfg and .txt files to be opened by cygwin emacsclient-w32 (gui-version). The association has to work for local drive pathes and UNC pathes. What command will do the job?

Let's start at the basic. Command

"C:\cygwin64\bin\run.exe" emacsclient-w32 "%1"

Gets me /cygdrive/c/Users/MYUSERNAME/Desktop/C:\Users\MYUSERNAME\Desktop\myfile.cfg

Drag and dropping files works. Doesn't result in the path problem above.

I even tried cygpath. Problem there was that for UNC pathes there was one missing leading slash. When I add it local files were broken. The cygpath try looked like this:

C:\cygwin64\bin\bash.exe -c "emacsclient-w32 $(cygpath -u '%L')"

1 Answer 1


I did this exercise today, and ended up with the following batch file (I named it runemacs.bat):

setlocal enableextensions enabledelayedexpansion
set bin=C:\cygwin64\bin
IF "%~1" NEQ "" (
    for /f "delims=" %%i in ('%bin%\cygpath.exe %1') do set filepath=%%i
    %bin%\run.exe --quote %bin%\emacs-w32 "!filepath!"
) ELSE (
    %bin%\run.exe --quote %bin%\emacs-w32

The secret for the path parts is to use the "--quote" arguments of cygpath.exe. It seems to work well, except that for some reason the UI freezes a couple seconds shortly after launching Emacs (for me at least), which is annoying.

This batch file can be associated to open any file you like.

  • Changed last line to %bin%\run.exe --quote %bin%\emacsclient-w32 -n "%filepath%" . Seems to work in general with local and UNC path. Still there is a problem with emacs. I used process exporer and found out it somehow does some crazy stuff when opening a file on an SMB share. This stuff is also the reason why it takes so long to open a file on an smb-share compared to programms like notepad++. I've seen some suggestions but none worked. Well at least the file now opens when Emacs is done with it's stuff.
    – Jens Lange
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:17
  • What is the '-n' option supposed to do? It is not documented in the man page of run.exe installed with Cygwin.
    – user30747
    Jul 18, 2016 at 17:03
  • It's not an option of run.exe, it's an option of emacsclient-w32. The manual says "Let emacsclient exit immediately, instead of waiting until all server buffers are finished."
    – Jens Lange
    Jul 20, 2016 at 0:33
  • Strange. I don't see this option detailed anywhere in 'man emacs' (Cygwin) nor online here: gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/…. When I try a plain emacs-w32 -n, it complains about Unknown option -n'.
    – user30747
    Jul 21, 2016 at 18:46
  • 1
    As said, it's an option of emacsclient-w32 not emacs-w32. Check out emacsclient Options.
    – Jens Lange
    Jul 29, 2016 at 19:37

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