I am using M-x galaxy TAB to display minibuffer commands. I get a temporary Completions buffer that says

Click on a completion to select it.

The above means that I cannot complete or go through the possibilities in the minibuffer, but am being forced to use the mouse.

What can I do so that I can use the keyboard to go through the possible completions?

  • You can do exactly what @FranBurstall describes in his answer. BTW, I do that all the time.
    – NickD
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 21:11
  • Emacs could do us a favour and switch to it.
    – Dilna
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 0:34

2 Answers 2


The *Completions* buffer is a buffer like any other: you can switch to it (C-x o a couple of times, though maybe there is something more efficient) and then navigate with the usual keys C-n/p or arrow-keys.


You have to type the next character to get a smaller set of (or a unique) candidates, then press Tab again, in order to complete via keyboard. The next character to be typed is marked in bold.

Another option would be to use a different minibuffer input completion framework. Those are more comfortable than the standard one.
There are multiple available:

  • ivy (extra package, install through MELPA)
  • helm (extra package, install through MELPA)
  • vertico (extra package, install through MELPA)
  • icomplete-vertical-mode (a built in one, enable with M-x icomplete-vertical-mode)
  • ido (another built in one, enable with M-x ido-mode)
  • icicles (extra package, download source and load it yourself in order to install it)
  • There is also icomplete that lets me move from one possibility to another. Does icomplete-vertical-mode immediately allow me to navigate the completion possibilities with the arrow keys?
    – Dilna
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 8:52

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