I am using Org mode version 9.3 under GNU Emacs 27.1 (under Linux Debian). Typing enter on links such as file:~/Dropbox/ToProcess/ used to open the directory in dired-mode: I have a bunch of text automatisations based on this behavior.

At some point, emacs' behavior changed, nothing happening when selecting such link: It seems that it generates the message Running less /home/jbarbay/Dropbox/ToProcess/...done. I searched for an instance of less in my orgmode configuration file in particular and in all my emacs configuration files with no success. (Selecting links to specific sections in other orgmode files does work as intended.)

Typing enter on such links (correctly) calls the function 'org-open-at-point', which prints the same message when called directly. org-open-at-point 's documentation describes its behavior for such "syntactically correct links" relatively vaguely:

 On top of syntactically correct links, this function also tries
 to open links and time-stamps in comments, node properties, and
 keywords if point is on something looking like a timestamp or
 a link.

Does any knows what could have changed this behavior and how to return to the previous one, opening a folder into 'dired-mode'?

  • 1
    Do C-h v org-file-apps to read the doc string of the variable and then do the same for the variable that is appropriate for you system: org-file-apps-macos, org-file-apps-windowsnt or org-file-apps-gnu.
    – NickD
    Feb 17 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


The variable org-file-apps controls which app is started on which file. Adding the following to one's configuration reset emacs to open a directory in 'dired-mode':

  (setq org-file-apps
               (append '(
                         (directory . emacs)
                         ) org-file-apps ))

Thanks to @NickD for the pointer to the variable org-file-apps !


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.