Sometimes I use dired to view or edit several files in one folder, one after the other. Dired is open in one window, and I open the files in another window by typing o in dired. When I finish with one file and kill the associated buffer, I would like focus to switch back to the dired window, instead of remaining in the window that used to hold the buffer I just killed.

  • 1
    Does opening file in another windows is critical to your workflow? Using <RET> instead of o will open file in same window and after killing the file buffer dired buffer will remain in current window.
    – muffinmad
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


C-x 4 0 is bound to kill-buffer-and-its-window. It should do just what you're asking for in this context: kill the file buffer you're visiting and delete its window, putting you back in the previously selected window, which is the Dired window.

(Otherwise, as @muffinmad said in a comment, if you don't need to view the visited file in a separate window, but can instead view it in the window that Dired was using, then just use f or RET followed by C-x k.)

  • It must be C-x k instead of C-x 0 because C-x 0 will delete window but we want to kill buffer and stay in current window.
    – muffinmad
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 19:11
  • @muffinmad: Yes, thanks; corrected the typo.
    – Drew
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 19:12
  • This is what I need, thanks! I was originally thinking of something that would keep the second window open with another buffer in it, but actually there's no reason I need that. Commented Jun 9, 2019 at 23:47

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