Certain org-mode buffers seem to write to file automatically when left idle even for a second. I've tried disabling a few minor modes but to no avail. It makes it all the more difficult to debug this since it only happens with a few org-mode buffers.


GNU Emacs 24.5.1 (x86_64-apple-darwin14.1.0, Carbon Version 157 AppKit 1344.72)

Enabled Minor modes in the buffer:

Async-Bytecomp-Package Auto-Composition Auto-Fill
Auto-Revert Blink-Cursor Company Delete-Selection Diff-Auto-Refine Disable-Mouse
File-Name-Shadow Flx-Ido Font-Lock Global-Auto-Revert Global-Company
Global-Font-Lock Global-Git-Commit Global-Prettify-Symbols Helm Ido-Everywhere
Ido-Vertical Line-Number Mac-Mouse-Wheel Magit-Auto-Revert Org-Bullets
Org-Indent Override-Global Recentf Shell-Dirtrack Show-Paren Smartparens
Smartparens-Global Tooltip Transient-Mark Window-Numbering Yas Yas-Global

My configuration is located at https://github.com/kirang89/.emacs.d.

I'd be really awesome if someone could help me out on this one. Thanks!

  • 2
    I don't have an answer, but it may be worthwhile to check the timers to see if you can get the name of a function that looks suspicious. M-x describe-variable RET timer-idle-list RET and M-x describe-variable RET timer-list RET. Be sure to check both variables.
    – lawlist
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 7:11
  • Ah, that was the clue I was looking for. I found a deft-auto-save function that runs instantly when idle. Delaying the interval did the trick. Thanks!
    – Kiran
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 9:24

1 Answer 1


According to the suggestion by @lawlist, I ran M-x describe-variable RET timer-idle-list RET to find out that a function named deft-auto-save ran instantly after Emacs went idle. Setting

(setq deft-auto-save-interval 20)

did the trick. Apparently, this interval matters only for org files that were launched by deft. This explains why the autosaving behaviour wasn't consistent across all org-mode buffers that I dealt with.

  • Yes, auto-saving is a feature of deft and isn't really related to org mode -- I think deft uses text mode by default.
    – glucas
    Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 15:14

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