Anytime I modify the spacemacs dotfile, I need to restart emacs in order for my modification to take effect. I have tried spc+f+e+R, but this does not work. Am I misunderstanding what spc+f+e+R (Reload configuration) does, or if not, has anybody else encountered this problem?

Sorry, I am new to emacs/spacemacs.

Edit: spc+f+e+R in my configuration corresponds to "Reload configuration". When I say that it does not work, I mean that whatever I changed does not take effect until I restart emacs. As an example, I tested remapping my 9 key to (. When I reload the configuration (without restarting emacs), the keys are not remapped. However, when I restart emacs, the keys are now remapped.

  • This happens to me with doom emacs, every time modified a file I needed to restart, but I don't think there is a solution to load configs in real time.
    – EasterEgg
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 0:12
  • For those of us who live Doom-free, what command exactly is the indicated key sequence bound to? What does the doc string for this command say? What does "does not work" mean? An error, a crash, some indication that the modififation has not "taken"? In the latter case, how do you know that the modfication is ineffective? Please edit the question and add any relevant information.
    – NickD
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


There are lots of ways to re-evaluate elisp without restarting Emacs.

https://www.masteringemacs.org/article/evaluating-elisp-emacs is a nice article to read on the subject.

eval-last-sexp, eval-region, eval-defun, and eval-buffer are go-tos, and you can always load-file.

What will that do? Who knows? Your config is a software program written in the Emacs Lisp programming language, so re-evaluating your config in part or in whole is executing a program that you can see and we can't, so we can't tell you what the outcome will be.

Most elisp files are (expected to be) written such that loading them twice is no different to loading them once, but whether or not that is true depends entirely on the author of the code.

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