I recently checked my package menu, and found a large number of packages labelled incompat. I can't delete them by typing d on the package menu or running M-x package-menu-mark-delete. Are these packages installed but ignored? If they are present on my system, how do I go about deleting them?

  • I recommend reading the Emacs Manual node on Packages. It's not too long and it should answer most parts of your question (not sure if it describes incompat packages).
    – Basil
    Jun 2, 2017 at 16:18
  • @Basil: I've read the manual, it does not describe incompat packages, as far as I can tell.
    – Dan
    Jun 2, 2017 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


Are you sure they are installed?

The difference between them and the obsolete packages in my package list is that the obsolete packages have a relative path listed in the Status: line, just like installed packages or dependency packages.

I think the package manager lists them as incompatible to show that they're not installable. I also cannot mark not installed packages for deletion, as I can't with the single package which is listed as incompatible.

If I get package.el correctly, a incompatible package may require a newer emacs, or in the lonely case of kiwix in my current Emacs installation because it depends on a package which isn't available.

  • Currently, on my system, most incompatible packages are old and abandoned ones that depend on packages that have since changed name. For example, "nrepl" appears to have become "clojure-repl" but currently listed "nrepl-ritz", "slough" and "nrepl-decompile" depend on "nrepl". Aug 23, 2019 at 15:53

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