In the past when this happened, I was able to google the answer with no problem, but this time nothing's coming up.

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    Letter keys are normally bound to self-insert-command, so you can bind it to that function again. Are you asking about a universal approach to rebind a key back to it's original keybinding?
    – user12563
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 21:58
  • Can anyone explain why this was downvoted? I spent 15 minutes googling and SO couldn't suggest an answer. A downvote seems incredibly unwelcoming, particularly since StackExchange owners have recently blogged about how they're trying to change the unwelcoming nature of the StackExchange sites. Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:02
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    I upvoted it. ;-) A guess is that someone thought it was too basic a question. But there is no question too basic. @DoMiNeLa10: Please consider posting your comment as an answer. OP: You can accept that answer, if you feel it's correct (which I think it is).
    – Drew
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:15
  • You are right that whoever voted down could have, for the benefit of the community, explained why this question is not written in an acceptable form for SE. Please read the guidelines. Basically it is preferred to write a complete question (not just in the subject of the post) and to phrase it in a manner that will be useful for the next member that searches for a solution. keep posting @MichaelTerry Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:19
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    Well, I was searching for self-insert-command on the basis that it was the most likely way to turn up a duplicate :) I can't comment on how easy it was to find if you didn't already know exactly what you were looking for.
    – phils
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


Letter keys are normally bound to self-insert-command, so you can simply evaluate this:

(global-set-key (kbd "x") #'self-insert-command)

Of course, you'll have to replace that x with whatever key you want to rebind. You can eval this by yanking it into a scratch buffer, putting point after it and typing C-x C-e or you can enter it in the M-: prompt.

  • 1
    Or M-x global-set-key if it's a one-time problem.
    – phils
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 11:10
  • @phils TIL global-set-key is interactive, I've always used M-: or the scratch buffer for it!
    – Omar
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 12:55
  • Ditto for local-set-key, for (usually) the major mode's keymap.
    – phils
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 23:08

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