I have multiple items in my org-mode, example:

* work                       wanted behavior when emacs startup
** item_1                  | ** item_1
Notes ...                  | ** item_2
** item_2                  | Notes...
Notes...                   |

my setup:

(require 'org)
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook (lambda ()
                           (local-set-key (kbd "C-c s") 'org-show-subtree)))

When I restart emacs all show up as expanded. Would it be possible to keep selected ones collapsed?

1 Answer 1


You can set the VISIBILITY property of an entry:

* work   
** item_1

** item_2

See the "Initial Visibility" section of the manual: C-h i g(org)initial visibility.

  • Is :END: required to be added?
    – alper
    Dec 16, 2021 at 20:47
  • Still all shown unfolded :-( Should I also disable org-show-subtree ?
    – alper
    Dec 16, 2021 at 20:50
  • Did you kill the buffer and reopen the file? This controls initial visibility only.
    – NickD
    Dec 16, 2021 at 21:31
  • Yes, :END: is part of the drawer (any drawer, not just a properties drawer), but it gets inserted automatically if you create the properties drawer with C-c C-x p.
    – NickD
    Dec 17, 2021 at 4:00
  • Yes I killed the buffer and emacs and re-open it. But everthing stills unfolded (not sure why) . Could org-show-subtree force to unfold all items?
    – alper
    Dec 17, 2021 at 10:55

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