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19.2 Listing Existing Buffers

C-x C-b​

List the existing buffers (list-buffers).

To display a list of existing buffers, type C-x C-b. This pops up a buffer menu in a buffer named *Buffer List*. Each line in the list shows one buffer’s name, size, major mode and visited file. The buffers are listed in the order that they were current; the buffers that were current most recently come first. This section describes how the list of buffers is displayed and how to interpret the various indications in the list; see Several Buffers, for description of the special mode in the *Buffer List* buffer and the commands available there.

β€˜.’ in the first field of a line indicates that the buffer is current. β€˜%’ indicates a read-only buffer. β€˜*’ indicates that the buffer is modified. If several buffers are modified, it may be time to save some with C-x s (see Save Commands). Here is an example of a buffer list:

CRM Buffer                Size  Mode              File
. * .emacs 3294 Emacs-Lisp ~/.emacs
% *Help* 101 Help
search.c 86055 C ~/cvs/emacs/src/search.c
% src 20959 Dired by name ~/cvs/emacs/src/
* *mail* 42 Mail
% HELLO 1607 Fundamental ~/cvs/emacs/etc/HELLO
% NEWS 481184 Outline ~/cvs/emacs/etc/NEWS
*scratch* 191 Lisp Interaction
* *Messages* 1554 Messages

The buffer *Help* was made by a help request (see Help); it is not visiting any file. The buffer src was made by Dired on the directory ~/cvs/emacs/src/. You can list only buffers that are visiting files by giving the command a prefix argument, as in C-u C-x C-b.

list-buffers omits buffers whose names begin with a space, unless they visit files: such buffers are used internally by Emacs.