On Mac OS, Emacs 28.2, I have the following lines at the top of my init.el

(require 'package)

(add-to-list 'package-archives
  '("org" . "https://orgmode.org/elpa/")
  '("melpa" . "http://melpa.org/packages/"))

(unless package-archive-contents


But when I run M-x package-list-packages, I don't see any package from MELPA. Under the column "Archive", I only see gnu or nongnu. Running M-x package-refresh-contents doesn't help. I get no error at startup and the file emacs.d/elpa/archives/melpa/archive-contents exists.

I am trying to install some MELPA packages like quelpa, but something seems broken. What is the fix?

  • 3
    As @shynur points out in the answer, you are using add-to-list incorrectly. Do C-h f add-to-list to read its doc string: that would alert you to the fact that you can only use it to add one element at a time. Emacs provides documentation at your fingertips, but you have to learn how to use that facility. Do C-h C-h and explore!
    – NickD
    Apr 24, 2023 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


See the official website of MELPA:

(require 'package)
(add-to-list 'package-archives 
  '("melpa" . "https://melpa.org/packages/") t)

Did you notice that it uses HTTPS?

Also, see add-to-list:

(add-to-list LIST-VAR ELEMENT &optional APPEND COMPARE-FN)

You're using the wrong invocation.

Add these repositories separately:

(add-to-list 'package-archives 
  '("org" . "https://orgmode.org/elpa/"))
(add-to-list 'package-archives 
  '("melpa" . "https://melpa.org/packages/"))

@vpk: please see here:

enter image description here

  • Thanks, this works! But I still don't see quelpa in the list of packages. Not sure why?
    – vpk
    Apr 24, 2023 at 15:18
  • @vpk: Repositories GNU and NonGNU go with Emacs distribution; others do not. So you need to add them manually (just like how you add Org and MELPA). If you want to use quelpa, you should take a look at its official website and see what URL it provides.
    – shynur
    Apr 24, 2023 at 15:26
  • The reason I'm expecting to see quelpa is because quelpa's documentation states that it is provided by melpa, see here github.com/quelpa/quelpa#installation
    – vpk
    Apr 24, 2023 at 16:34
  • @vpk: It seems that quelpa is a package which can be downloaded at MELPA, not a repository. See my updated answer (wait for a minute).
    – shynur
    Apr 24, 2023 at 16:39
  • yes, i edited the question to clarify that quelpa is a package. I can see tons of melpa-provided packages including quelpa-leaf and quelpa-use-package, but I don't see quelpa like you do in your screenshot. I'm referring to the M-x package-list-packages buffer.
    – vpk
    Apr 24, 2023 at 16:43

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