Is there a way to have emacs open up, say, 3 tabs, upon start up ?

I am tired of all the time having to open them manually and then split window also.

I would like to automate this via setting in my init.el file.

Maybe someone can help?

2 Answers 2


You could use desktop-save for this. Start Emacs and manually set up the window configuration that you want (e.g. call M-x split-window-right twice, followed by C-x +). Then do M-x desktop-save and choose some directory to store the .emacs.desktop file (for example "~").

Then in your init file put (desktop-read "~") (or the directory that you chose previously) followed by (global-tab-line-mode) (or (tab-bar-mode) if you prefer that functionality) to open Emacs with tabs and your preferred window configuration.

  • thanks I wlll try that. whats the difference between tab-line-mode and tab-bar-mode?
    – CD86
    Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 15:39
  • I don't use tabs myself, so I can only refer you to the documentation of tab-bar-mode and tab-line-mode. If the documentation does not clarify things, then you could consider to posting another question here on SE. A very quick look, gave me the idea that tab-bar-mode is more for 'project-wise' tabs, and global-tab-line-mode is more like traditional tabs (but I might be wrong). Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 16:33

In your init file, you can add code to make the window configuration the way you want. Say, three windows, equally balanced:

  • In this case this would indeed be the (even) more straightforward solution (followed by the tab-...-mode line of course). Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 8:11

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