list-packages prompts you to upgrade packages when newer versions are available. How do you tell package.el to never consider a particular package for auto-upgrades? There are some packages which I have minor customizations for and don't care about newer versions of them.

  • Does Emacs automatically auto-upgrade all packages? Why should you need to tell it not to automatically upgrade a particular package? (I would hope that users have some control over this.)
    – Drew
    Feb 18, 2015 at 0:47
  • It offers to automatically upgrade packages which have updates available. I like this feature - usually there would be a ton of packages and if the package author put something up on elpa/melpa/marmalade saying there's something new, I would want it. In a handful of cases, I would want to make an exception and say "No, lay off these packages."
    – Pradhan
    Feb 18, 2015 at 0:49
  • I see. I agree that it should be easy for users to do as you request. Maybe someone will say it is, and tell you how.
    – Drew
    Feb 18, 2015 at 0:51
  • 1
    I believe this functionality is referred to as pinning in other package managers. I have heard reference to it for package.el, but haven't found a description of how to do it.
    – dgtized
    Feb 18, 2015 at 0:57
  • 1
    @dgtized You can pin the packages to one of the repositories but you can't pin a package to stay put with a local version that doesn't belong to either of the repositories. Feb 18, 2015 at 1:32

1 Answer 1


Add the following code to your init-file (replace package-1, package-2, etc. with names of packages you would like to freeze at the current version):

(defvar package-menu-exclude-packages '("package-1" "package-2" "package-n"))

(defun package-menu--remove-excluded-packages (orig)
  (let ((included (-filter
                   (lambda (entry)
                     (let ((name (symbol-name (package-desc-name (car entry)))))
                       (not (member name package-menu-exclude-packages))))
    (setq-local tabulated-list-entries included)
    (funcall orig)))

(advice-add 'package-menu--find-upgrades :around #'package-menu--remove-excluded-packages)


package-menu--find-upgrades is responsible for building the list of packages to upgrade. To do this, it looks at each entry in tabulated-list-entries. So in order to ignore certain packages, we need to:

  1. Introduce a variable that holds a list of packages to ignore (called package-menu-exclude-packages above).

  2. Advise package-menu--find-upgrades to run with a modified version of tabulated-list-entries that excludes the packages we'd like to ignore.

  • 3
    This will be a good addition to the emacs trunk on git. Feb 18, 2015 at 15:13
  • No longer works, getting error: error in process filter: Symbol’s function definition is void: -filter
    – Keks Dose
    Apr 26, 2018 at 16:40
  • @KeksDose -filter is defined in the dash library, so you'll need to install that before using this snippet.
    – itsjeyd
    Jun 20, 2018 at 6:33
  • @itsjeyd Thank you. Adding (require dash) to .emacs after installing solved the issue.
    – Keks Dose
    Jun 22, 2018 at 11:16

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