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when using C-x b followed by TAB, a list of buffers are brought up. Is there a way to quickly kill the buffers that are not needed (by pressing <delete> or d) on the selected buffer?

  • Try the ibuffer package instead. – Dan Sep 23 '18 at 14:06
  • Yes if you are using ivy (which I totally recommend). This binds C-x b to ivy-switch-buffer and then, hitting M-o during buffer selection offers a range of actions including killing the selected buffer. – Fran Burstall Sep 23 '18 at 15:17
  • Also yes if you use the builtin ido-mode. When you activate the mode it rebinds C-x b to ido-switch-buffer and when you run it you can press C-k to kill the buffer at the head of the completion list. – Omar Sep 23 '18 at 15:28
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What do you mean by "the selected buffer" here? In vanilla Emacs, C-x b TAB does not let you select/choose more than one buffer, and it just switches to that chosen buffer.

If you use Icicles then C-x b TAB lets you cycle among or otherwise move to any of the buffer-name candidates. You can then use S-<delete> to delete the buffer named by the current (selected) candidate.

Similar possibilities exist with some other packages that also provide a way to cycle or otherwise navigate to (select) a buffer-name candidate. This includes Ido (from vanilla Emacs), Helm, and Ivy.

In Icicles you can also use C-x k, filter buffer-name candidates in various ways, and then use C-! to kill all of the remaining candidate buffers at once.

See Icicles - Buffer-Name Input.

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