I'm trying to use use-package to load projectile. Projectile uses helm for completion, which I'm also loading with use-package. Since projectile and helm have :bind sections I believe they're both being lazy-loaded.

My problem is that when I try to open a project in projectile it gives me the error message 'No projects need to be removed' after I've pressed C-c p. If I C-g to get out of that, and then press C-c p p I get the error message Please install helm from https://github.com/emacs-helm/helm.

If I open up my config file and evaluate the use-package form for helm then the 'open project' feature works great in projectile (i.e., C-c p p puts me into helm to open a known project).

My gut feeling is that use-package is deferring the loading of both helm and projectile. Pressing the projectile key combo must load projectile but not helm (even though I've got an :after section in my projectile config saying to load after helm.

Indeed - I can force helm to load (by invoking helm-recentf), after which projectile's open project feature works great.

How do I force use-package to load both projectile AND helm, when a key combo for projectile is pressed?

Here's what I've got for helm & projectile in my config file:

(use-package helm
    :ensure t
    :bind (
        ("C-x b" . helm-buffers-list)
        ("C-S-y" . helm-show-kill-ring)
        ("C-x m" . helm-M-x)
        ("C-x C-f" . helm-find-files)
        ("C-r" . helm-recentf)
        (helm-mode 1)
        (setq helm-ff-file-name-history-use-recentf t)

(use-package projectile
  :ensure t
  :pin melpa-stable
  :after helm
  :bind-keymap (
      ("C-c p" .  projectile-command-map)
      ;; (define-key projectile-mode-map (kbd "s-p") 'projectile-command-map)
      ;; (define-key projectile-mode-map (kbd "C-c p") 'projectile-command-map)
      (projectile-mode +1)
          projectile-completion-system 'helm
          projectile-switch-project-action #'projectile-find-file-dwim
          ;; Display project name, or else remove this section
          projectile-mode-line '(:eval (if (string= "-" (projectile-project-name) ) " " (format " [%s] " (projectile-project-name) ) ) )

EDIT: If I add :demand t to the use-package for helm then projectile's open-project works great. So it looks like the problem is that use-package is loading projectile, but not it's dependencies.

EDIT 2: Is this a bug in use-package?

  • You can add (require 'helm) to the :config section of projectile. projectile needs helm but without loading helm, thus its users have to make sure helm is loaded by themselves if they want the helm support.
    – xuchunyang
    Sep 4, 2018 at 10:30
  • I like how you think, but that doesn't work. I still get the error about 'No projects need to be removed' Sep 4, 2018 at 16:56
  • I am not sure the meaning of the error, I don't use projectile myself, however according to the source code, it's just a message, not an error. BTW, you also need to remove :after helm, since it just makes all your projectile configuration unavailable until helm has been loaded. If you are not very familiar with use-package, simply use the plain with-eval-after-load etc, after everything is working "translate" it to the use-package form. BTW, use-package is a hard thing, I guess many users (me included) don't understand its implementation.
    – xuchunyang
    Sep 5, 2018 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


I have the same issue using helm-20190606.606, after downgrade to helm-3.2 (stable version), problem resolved.

You can :pin melpa-stable when config helm like this: https://github.com/anler/.emacs.d/blob/a28e70cff90231dab62e84d520b40b6790ca7c23/init.el#L599

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