My echo area blinks whenever I move the cursor up to end-of-buffer or beginning of buffer:

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This happens even when I comment out everything in my .emacs file. Where does this feature come from and how do I remove it?

1 Answer 1


You probably have the variable visible-bell set to a non-nil value (have a look at the manual node on Beeping for more information). Here's the docstring:

Documentation: Non-nil means try to flash the frame to represent a bell.

See also ring-bell-function.

You can customize this variable.

You may also wish to set the ring-bell-function. Here's its docstring:

Documentation: Non-nil means call this function to ring the bell. The function should accept no arguments.

Put the following in your init file, which should eliminate the visible bell issues. The first is probably sufficient, but you may wish to eliminate the bell entirely (I know I do), which is why the second part is in there.

(setq visible-bell       nil
      ring-bell-function #'ignore)
  • Thank you so much for this answer! I want NO BELL, especially NO SOUND, but the flashing also annoys me. This is the one answer that actually worked - some were referring to older lisp commands emacs no longer accepted, others simply shifted the problem to he visual bell. I love emacs, but I wish they'd stop fooling around with this. Your answer should come up much higher in search :|
    – bytepusher
    Oct 21, 2023 at 15:58

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