To quote,

By default, Auto-Revert mode works using file notifications, whereby changes in the filesystem are reported to Emacs by the OS. You can disable use of file notifications by customizing the variable auto-revert-use-notify to a nil value, then Emacs will check for file changes by polling every five seconds. You can change the polling interval through the variable auto-revert-interval.

Even auto-revert-use-notify is t, auto revert still polls for every 5 seconds. I want to disable such a polling because it results a block every time it polls. The block is due to the files are on a fuse mounted disk (via vmware).

  • Mounted filesystems cannot be watched by file notification. Likely, this is the reason autorevert continues to poll. Apr 24, 2019 at 11:59
  • 1
    Is switching off auto-revert-mode an option? If not, you should mention that in your question.
    – Tobias
    Apr 24, 2019 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


See https://debbugs.gnu.org/35418 - it discusses the problem.

  • This is an interesting discussion, thanks for the link. I was just wondering why auto-revert-avoid-polling isn't set to nil by default, and apparently that's the theme of the discussion. But please, could you provide a short summary of the discussion inside your answer? Otherwise it falls into "link-only" category, and is a subject to being removed.
    – Hi-Angel
    Aug 9, 2021 at 9:16

You can just set auto-revert-interval to a very large value (like most-positive-fixnum).

  • interesting workaround.
    – FunkyBaby
    Apr 25, 2019 at 3:29
  • the problem seems more involved because inotify is disabled until the next call of auto-revert-buffers, which is due to auto-revert-buffers-counter-lockedout
    – FunkyBaby
    Apr 25, 2019 at 5:18

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