The frame title I can see in an emacs window on my computer running Windows 11 is "emacs@NEYMAN", where "Neyman" is the computer name. Is it possible to make the frame title more informative and reflect the contents of the file? Ideally, I would like to be able to specify the frame title in one of the first lines of the text file.

The reason I am asking is that I am accustomed to never combining taskbar buttons in Windows 10, but Windows 11 has removed this option. When I hover over a combined emacs button on the taskbar, I am shown the frame titles of all open emacs files, and those titles don't give me any idea of the files' contents.

There is a section (C.11 in my version) about frame titles in "GNU Emacs Manual", but I can't see how I can customize the frame title for an individual file.

  • 1
    You can also use frame-title-format to specify what is displayed in the title bar. I have the following in my .emacs file (setq-default frame-title-format '("%& %b [%m] %f - " invocation-name "@" system-name))
    – rsp
    Nov 30, 2021 at 18:07
  • @rsp: Thank you, I like the option (setq-default frame-title-format '("%b")) a lot.
    – Vlad
    Nov 30, 2021 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


You can use a file-variable for this, at the start or at the end of your file (as explained in the manual).

For example in a bash file, where # is used for comments, you can set the frame title statically, e.g. by adding the following line at the beginning of the file

# -*- frame-title-format: "new title" -*-

Or you can set it dynamically using e.g.

# -*- eval : (setq frame-title-format (buffer-file-name)) -*-

In a .c file, you can use

/* -*- frame-title-format: "new title" -*- */


  • Works perfectly.
    – Vlad
    Nov 30, 2021 at 11:59
  • You can see that I am not knowledgeable in emacs (despite using it all the time). It would be great not to be asked to confirm that I do want to set the risky local variable "frame-title-format" every time I open the file. However, I am not given the "!" option (only "y" and "n"). Is there a simple way of achieving this?
    – Vlad
    Nov 30, 2021 at 16:30
  • You can find that answer here, and read more about it here Nov 30, 2021 at 20:56
  • 1
    Thank you; the first link is particularly useful for non-expert readers like me.
    – Vlad
    Dec 1, 2021 at 11:30
  • The answer in the comment by @rsp seems a generally more elegant solution to me (I was not aware of that option as I actually never have wanted to change the frame title, yet) Dec 1, 2021 at 12:14

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