When I start emacs, it opens an empty buffer named BLANK. I have no idea where this comes from and would like to not have it there, since there's nothing in it and it clutters up the buffer list.

I do use desktop mode and lazy loading, but I don't see any references to something named BLANK.

How can I track down what this buffer is, how it gets opened, and how to get emacs to not open it?


1 Answer 1


This is from Hyperbole.

I still don't know why this was happening on startup, but the exact source of the empty buffer named BLANK is the hycontrol--blank-buffer variable in hycontrol.el, which is used by hycontrol-window-display-buffer.

The function is called when using hycontrol-windows-grid and your grid has more windows than buffers, and it fills in the remaining spaces with this fake, blank buffer.

Why was that always getting run when starting emacs? I have no idea.

But, just to make it more obvious what that buffer is (and that it can safely be ignored, killed, etc), I changed the definition from

(defvar hycontrol--blank-buffer (get-buffer-create "BLANK")


(defvar hycontrol--blank-buffer (get-buffer-create " *hycontrol--blank-buffer*")

Since byte-compiling that, the spurious blank buffer no longer appears on startup, so perhaps there was some artifact about some update to Hyperbole?

  • 1
    If it starts happening again, put (debug-on-entry 'hycontrol-window-display-buffer) early in your init (I'm assuming that's a function name).
    – phils
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 8:20
  • Thank you! I was struggling trying to debug that -- I can use C-u C-M-x to instrument a function for edebug -- but that's useless when trying to debug during initialization. I knew there was this kind of thing I could put into the lisp source but couldn't remember it.
    – Dan Drake
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 11:26

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