Under most operations, when I open a file with C-x C-f Ivy pops up my narrowing list at the bottom and its great.

However, I have a current situation when I'd like to open a file on a remote host in a directory that has 60,000 files in it. So when I C-x C-f into that directory over tramp, it takes an awfully long time until I can find the file I am looking for. Sometimes, though I know what the file name is and I'd just like to type it and not have Ivy butt in so that I can get on with it. How would I bet go about doing this?

  • 1
    No: ivy hooks into completing-read. May 21, 2020 at 8:00
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    You can toggle ivy with M-x ivy-mode and then do as @phils suggested and do M-x find-file. May 21, 2020 at 8:03
  • Or indeed C-x C-f, I expect. I've deleted my erroneous suggestion in any case.
    – phils
    May 21, 2020 at 9:05
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    I have to turn ivy-mode off in order to edit TRAMP paths to add multiple hops. Because of key bindings set to use counsel I cannot use C-x C-f because counsel butts in and calls ivy-completing-read! Instead, you have to do M-x find-file after disabling ivy-mode
    – gregoryg
    May 21, 2020 at 20:58
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    @gregoryg, I haven't had a chance to come back to it yet. In something of an ebb with that work
    – Vince W.
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


In default Ivy configurations, C-x C-f is bound to counsel-find-file which will invoke ivy-completing-read even if global ivy-mode is turned off!

Rather than going through the clumsy steps of disabling Ivy, calling the non-Counsel find-file, then turning Ivy back on, I have implemented this solution.

In the given use case of many files, you can enter a portion of the file name, then use TAB to get completion on the matching set.

(defun gjg/find-file-no-ivy ()
  (let ((ivy-state ivy-mode))
    (ivy-mode -1)
    (call-interactively 'find-file)
    (ivy-mode ivy-state)))

(global-set-key (kbd "C-x F") 'gjg/find-file-no-ivy) ; steals key from set-fill-column

The function restores the state of ivy-mode. Bind to any key that works for you!

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