My Emacs inserts whitespace on the next line if the current line starts with whitespace. IE

   <--- whitespace

This happens across modes (python, text-mode, fundamental-mode), and versions (24.5, 26.3). How do I get turn this off? (to be more like nano or pico behavior)? This messing with my terminal's copy-paste

  • When you paste into the terminal, your terminal is supposed to tell Emacs that this is a paste which completely avoids this problem. This was supported in Emacs-24, but it should definitely work in Emacs-26, so if you see the problem when pasting into your terminal with Emacs-26, it's presumably a problem with your terminal or a bug in Emacs. Please report it.
    – Stefan
    Feb 27, 2020 at 23:17
  • It seems likely that my terminal (iterm2) treats copy/paste equivalently to typing the text manually (ie, there's an option to "paste slowly"). How is "this is a copy/paste" signaling supposed to work exactly? Feb 28, 2020 at 21:46
  • iterm2 is supposed to have support for "bracketed paste" (as do most terminal emulators nowadays) so if paste misbehaves in Emacs-26, please M-x report-emacs-bug
    – Stefan
    Feb 29, 2020 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


In Emacs 25, they changed the default behavior of RET. Previously (prior to Emacs 25) RET just inserted a newline char (taking you to the beginning of the next line), and C-j did what RET does now: inserts a newline char and then indents according to the previous line's code.

You can restore the previous default behavior this way (it's what I do):

(when (fboundp 'electric-indent-mode)
  (electric-indent-mode -1)) ; Use classic `C-j' and `RET'.

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