A recent update must have slipped my testing afterwords and now this hook mu4e-compose-mode-hook does not work anymore. On every new email I must set the input-method manually again.

Any ideas about how to fix this behaviour?

(add-hook 'mu4e-compose-mode-hook
          (lambda () (set-input-method "german-postfix")))

tried this snippet as well without success

  (add-hook 'mu4e-compose-mode-hook 'my-mu4e-mode-hook)
  (defun my-mu4e-mode-hook ()
    "Custom behaviours for `mu4e-compose-mode'."
    (activate-input-method "german-postfix"))


C-h v major-mode

  major-mode is a variable defined in ‘C source code’.

  Its value is ‘mu4e-compose-mode’
  Original value was ‘fundamental-mode’
  Local in buffer *draft*; global value is fundamental-mode

C-h v mu4e-compose-mode-hook

  mu4e-compose-mode-hook is a variable defined in ‘mu4e-compose.el’.

  Its value is
  ((lambda nil
    (use-hard-newlines t 'guess))

M-x trace-function RET activate-input-method RET

  1 -> (activate-input-method "german-postfix")
  1 <- activate-input-method: nil

The moment I start composing the message / typing:

  1 -> (activate-input-method nil)
  1 <- activate-input-method: nil

M-x debug-on-entry RET activate-input-method RET


Debugger entered--entering a function:
* activate-input-method("german-postfix")
  run-hooks(change-major-mode-after-body-hook text-mode-hook message-mode-hook mu4e-compose-mode-hook)
  apply(run-hooks (change-major-mode-after-body-hook text-mode-hook message-mode-hook mu4e-compose-mode-hook))
  call-interactively(mu4e-compose-new nil nil)

Upon hitting i to insert text / compose message:

* activate-input-method(nil)
  evil-insert(1 nil nil)
  evil-append(1 nil)
  funcall-interactively(evil-append 1 nil)
  call-interactively(evil-append nil nil)
  • 1
    Does C-h v mu4e-compose-mode-hook show anything unexpected?
    – phils
    Mar 13, 2023 at 23:51
  • 1
    If the hook value looks good, I suggest running M-x trace-function RET activate-input-method RET and then composing a new message (untrace-function to remove). If there's an unexpected call, then use M-x debug-on-entry RET activate-input-method RET and find out where it's coming from (cancel-debug-on-entry to remove). See C-h i g (elisp)Debugger Commands for driving the debugger. Edit any relevant details into your question.
    – phils
    Mar 13, 2023 at 23:56
  • 1
    I strongly recommend NOT using the lambda approach in any case -- lambdas in hooks are a bad idea in general... they make the hook hard to inspect; the functions themselves can't be updated and are annoying to remove; and they can't be linked to the source code. Using named functions avoids all these issues.
    – phils
    Mar 14, 2023 at 0:12
  • Good updates. Your hook is clearly working, but something else deactivates the input method again afterwards, so it's that second call (activate-input-method nil) you want the debugger to tell you about. Check the debugger command documentation again, and use c to continue execution until you trigger the second call, and then show the backtrace for that.
    – phils
    Mar 14, 2023 at 10:44
  • Perfect, we can see clearly that it's evil-insert-state which is disabling the active input method. Why? I have no idea -- I don't use evil, so I'll leave it to someone who has that installed to provide an Answer for you -- but I think that's a very clear question now.
    – phils
    Mar 15, 2023 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Based on the comments, a successful workaround is to update your hook function so that it enables evil-insert-state first and then sets the input method:

(add-hook 'mu4e-compose-mode-hook 'my-mu4e-mode-hook)

(defun my-mu4e-mode-hook ()
  "Custom behaviours for `mu4e-compose-mode'."
  (activate-input-method "german-postfix"))
  • @jjk Please make edits to this answer to add details/clarity as appropriate. I've used a slightly different approach to the code you added to your answer, which I would expect to be equivalent; but obviously I've not tested it.
    – phils
    Mar 17, 2023 at 12:01

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