I am trying to make emacs start on the folder where all my orgfiles are saved. I achieved this in my windows machine by changing the "Start In" field of the shortcut properties, as suggested in this SO question.

However I haven't been able to make the changes in my .emacs file have any effect on this matter on my ubuntu machine. I am still left in my home folder when emacs is opened. I have tried several options such as the ones here and here. For clarity I'll write them below:

;; Efforts to change default emacs folder
;;(cd (concat (getenv "HOME") "/Dropbox/orgs/"))
;;(cd "~/Dropbox/orgs/")
;;(setq default-directory (concat (getenv "HOME") "/Dropbox/orgs/"))
;;(setq default-directory "~/Dropbox/orgs/")
;;(add-hook 'find-file-hook #'(lambda () (setq default-directory (expand-file-name "~/Dropbox/orgs/"))))

Any tips on how can I go about this? I am using GNU Emacs 24.5.1.

  • 1
    Please clarify what you mean by "have any effect". E.g. with the (setq default-directory "~/Dropbox/orgs/"), what failed to behave like you expected?
    – Stefan
    Dec 9, 2017 at 15:12
  • @Stefan thanks for giving it a look. I have edited the question as i was not clear. But basically I am sill left in my home folder no matter which method I tried to use to make emacs open in ~/Dropbox/orgs/ as default (or after C+x C+f)
    – brodoll
    Dec 9, 2017 at 21:54
  • 2
    maybe have a look here: superuser.com/questions/249525/… Dec 9, 2017 at 22:10
  • @PicaudVincent Thanks for the link. That was definitely the answer. None of the alternatives I tried worked since the startup screen changed "default directory back to the one where the welcome screen files are to be found". After adding (setq inhibit-startup-screen t)to my .emacs file they worked. I don't know the course of action here, if you'd like to make it an answer I'll gladly accept. I don't think it is a duplicate since the other question was on super user..
    – brodoll
    Dec 10, 2017 at 16:43
  • 1
    @brodoll that's very kind of you. I have written my answer with the right link. I all cases I am happy it solved your problem, thanks for the feedback Dec 10, 2017 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


According to https://superuser.com/a/478766/770454, one must disable startup-screen:

(setq inhibit-startup-screen t)

I think that the default welcome screen with the links to the tutorial etc, changes the default directory back to the one where the welcome screen files are to be found.

  • 1
    really helpful!
    – yanpengl
    Oct 31, 2022 at 14:08

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