I found a function, that will kill all buffers except the current buffer that's open.

(defun kill-other-buffers () 
  "Kill all buffers but the current one.
Doesn't mess with special buffers."
  (when (y-or-n-p "Are you sure you want to kill all buffers but the current one? ")
     (delete (current-buffer) (seq-filter #'buffer-file-name (buffer-list))))))

It works great. However, when I have two windows open with a different buffer in each window, I noticed it kills the visible buffer in the other window too, except for the buffer where the cursor currently in is.

I studied the manuals of Emacs, in order to detect the open buffers that are visible in all windows. But I found not one. So I'm wondering if anyone have a good suggestion for this?

1 Answer 1


You can iterate over the window-list of each frame in frame-list.

Rather than:

(delete (current-buffer) 
        (seq-filter #'buffer-file-name (buffer-list)))

You could use:

(let (buflist)
  (dolist (frame (frame-list))
    (dolist (window (window-list frame t))
      (push (window-buffer window) buflist)))
  (seq-filter (lambda (buf)
                (and (buffer-file-name buf)
                     (not (memq buf buflist))))

You could simplify that slightly using walk-windows which accepts an ALL-FRAMES parameter:

(let (buflist)
  (walk-windows (lambda (window)
                  (push (window-buffer window) buflist))
                t t)
  (seq-filter (lambda (buf)
                (and (buffer-file-name buf)
                     (not (memq buf buflist))))
  • I might be mistaken, but when I add your first suggestion and then the second suggestion. They also kill the visible buffers in the other windows. So I wondered if you tried the function kill-other-buffers itself with the buflist modification?
    – ReneFroger
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 13:33
  • Each of my suggestions produces the list of buffers to kill (if substituted into your original code). You can trivially test each suggestion with M-: and confirm whether the resulting list includes any of the visible buffers. I've just tested your kill-other-buffers function with one of my alternatives, and for me it's working as I expected.
    – phils
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 12:41
  • You're right, I didn't read your message thoroughly. I evalated your modification for buffer outside the function kill-other-buffers instead inside the function, replacing the (delete [..] ). It works greatly, thanks for that.
    – ReneFroger
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 10:19
  • One question, I wondered how I could kill with the same function special buffers like Buffer list as well? I noticed they don't get killed (Buffer list, Magit status window, helm, etc).
    – ReneFroger
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 8:00
  • n.b. That behaviour is based on your original code, which filters the list of candidates to only those which are visiting a file -- for which (buffer-file-name BUFFER) returns non-nil.
    – phils
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 9:21

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