I added (display-time) to my .emacs file to display the TOD in the status line. What I get is:

11:31PM 1.27

No idea what 1.27 means, or why it changes randomly to other numbers of the form N.NN. I added a setq display-time-format command to see what would happen but the number still appears. Any suggestions how to get rid of it?

1 Answer 1


Always gotta read the documentation:

Enable display of time, load level, and mail flag in mode lines.

That’s your load average. It’s not a super useful number, but it’s easy to calculate and display so people use it to gauge how busy their computer is.

If you poke around you will soon find the variable display-time-default-load-average which you can use to turn off the load average; I’m not sure why it’s not mentioned in the documentation. There are a half–dozen other variables that control other things, so you should use M-x customize-group display-time to see them all.

  • Would be useful to include the short answer, (setq display-time-default-load-average nil)
    – Chap
    Dec 31, 2022 at 17:46

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