I often run into an issue where I will click in a Emacs frame to make it active and accidentally slide my cursor so that it changes from a click to a drag. This means that some text is highlighted which can change behavior of the next commands I run (I am using evil-mode, so this puts me into visual state, but this is applicable outside of evil mode as well).

I don't want to completely disable the mouse, as I find it quite useful I just want to disable selecting text on a drag operation. I tried the following, but it lead to weird behavior (when the pointer leaving frames it will select text and it will still select one character sometimes).

(define-key evil-motion-state-map [down-mouse-1] 'ignore)

Is there a way to accomplish disabling drag to select (in evil specifically or outside)?

  • Because I have emacs full screen (with multiple monitors) and so there is no title bar or edge :) Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 19:54
  • Also I will often click on the window I want to select. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 22:25
  • I find the down-mouse-1 binding confusing. Perhaps emacs.stackexchange.com/a/64966/454 helps to clarify things?
    – phils
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


If I understand you correctly, you want to set the point on click but not set the region on drag.

You can enable this behaviour globally with:

  (global-set-key [mouse-1] 'mouse-set-point)
  (global-unset-key [down-mouse-1])
  (global-unset-key [drag-mouse-1]))
  • Why unbind down-mouse-1?
    – phils
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 8:36

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