I am using Windows 10. I have cloned spacemacs repository inside my %APPDATA% folder. When I launch Emacs for the first time, it asks me usual question about preferring Evil and Helm mode. Then it creates a .spacemacs files in %APPDATA% folder. So far, so good.

Now, I want to use .spacemacs file that I have in my dotfiles repository. To do so, I open up cmd with administrative privileges, and use following command

$ mklink %APPDATA%\.spacemacs %HOMEPATH%\Repos\dotfiles\spacemacs\spacemacs

It successfully creates a soft linked .spacemacs file. But when I launch Emacs, it asks me again about Evil and Helm mode and overwrites original file, %HOMEPATH%\Repos\dotfiles\spacemacs\spacemacs.

If I instead of creating a soft link, copy spacemacs file from repository to the folder, then Emacs respects the settings in it.

How do I make Emacs to treat this soft linked .spacemacs as a normal configuration?

I have similar setup on macOS where soft link poses no issues.

1 Answer 1


Try moving .spacemacs file to .spacemacs.d/init.el and version control that folder directly. Of course this is Unixy so check the docs to see the equivalent Windows names.


A dotdirectory ~/.spacemacs.d/ can be used instead of a dotfile. If you want to use this option, move ~/.spacemacs to ~/.spacemacs.d/init.el.

It is also possible to override the location of ~/.spacemacs.d/ using the environment variable SPACEMACSDIR. Of course you can also use symlinks to change the location of this directory.

Note: ~/.spacemacs will always take priority over ~/.spacemacs.d/init.el, so ~/.spacemacs must not exist for ~/.spacemacs.d/init.el to be used by Spacemacs.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.