Windows 10, Emacs 26.1


  1. Start Emacs
  2. Open *scratch* buffer.
  3. C-s text
  4. C-g
  5. C-s visit
  6. C-g

Nice. Now I want to go backward and forward through search history with M-p and M-n respectively. But I get error:

M-p/M-n is underfined". 

If I input command "previous-history-element" I get another error: Wrong type argument: number-or-marker-p, nil

I try this in pure Emacs by: emacs -Q

But I get same errors.

  • Why are you typing M-x C-s? I've just checked Emacs 26.1 under windows 7 without any init file, and isearch history seems to just work for me.
    – user12563
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 17:53
  • Maybe this will help out a little bit: asciinema.org/a/nzAMu0WCJrV9vPVV4was69qZk
    – user12563
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 18:01
  • Because C-s is incremental search forward (isearch-forward) Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 20:06
  • 1
    You don't need to prefix it with M-x.
    – user12563
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 20:28
  • I update my post. It's not help. I get same error Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


When you cancel the search with C-g the search item isn't added to your search history. Try this instead:

  1. Start Emacs
  2. Open scratch buffer.
  3. C-s text
  4. ENTER
  5. C-s visit
  6. ENTER

Now you can access your search history:

  1. C-s
  2. M-n or M-p

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