Being new to Emacs, it often happens to me that I press some key combination and then, seeing the preview with which-key of how the key combination should finish, realize that I made a mistake somewhere, and I want to use none of the combinations shown.

Is there a way to then cancel a partially completed key combination? I usually end up pressing ESC, in the hope that there is no combination that ends in ESC (which sometimes is not true). Is there a better way?

  • I use abort-recursive-edit intuitively in that situation. As I use Caps Lock for this command I can be sure, that no other command will be invoked when I use my personal binding.
    – bertfred
    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


In short, type C-g

Read the manual page on Quitting:

C-hig (emacs) Quitting

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