Feedback on my Emacs installation instructions

People have used the instructions and sent me some comments, but I have not kept them. Well, today (October 23, 2003) I decided to start logging them because I think they will be helpful for others who are thinking about installing emacs using these instructions. Many people have successfully installed emacs using them over the years.

Acknowledgement: The original version of the instructions was written by Joe Zachary of the University of Utah and I have inherited and revised them over the years.

So, here are comments I have recevied so far starting from 10/23/2003. I am including these messages without seeking the sender's permission, thus omitting the commenter's full name.

October 23, 2003:

   I have just used your instructions to install emacs on windows,
   and it went smoothly. I am grateful to you for providing such
   detailed, extensive and correct instructions.
   Best regards,

October 30, 2003:
   Thanks for the great, explicit windows emacs installation
   instructions. (found by google).  It's really nice when you follow 
   instructions and things just work :-)

January 14, 2004:
   Thanks so much for the careful directions on how to install Emacs!
   I followed them and it worked fine!

January 23, 2004:
   I would just like to take the time to thank you for putting such
   excellent instructions on the web for the installation of g++ and
   emacs for windows.  I've attempted these before and it felt like
   running full speed into a brick wall. 

   Thank you,
January 27, 2004:
   Thanks for the windows installation instructions at  They worked great!

    - Susan
February 1, 2004:
   At last, after all this time...  You see, I was brought up on Linux
   but have recently been getting used to XP:  but all along I was
   wishing I still had a PROPER editor/newsreader/et cetera....  I didn't
   need to try and install a whole Linux emulator, all I needed was
   *your* instructions and downloads.

   I can't believe how easy this was, and only wish I'd found it earlier! 
   Many thanks indeed!

   Oxford, UK.

February 3, 2004:

   Thanks for the super instructions and links at  I stumbled across them
   while working from home, and it makes sharing files between my linux
   and windows partitions much neater. Thanks again.

   Database Administrator

May 22, 2004:

   Many thanks for the idiotproofed install for emacs!

   Melbourne, Australia

July 2, 2004:


   I just installed emacs on my machine. Your instructions were
   perfect to the last detail. Thanks very much.

   Thanks & Regards,
   University of Wisconsin-Madison

April 9, 2005:

   I want to thank you for the instructions on how to install emacs on
   a Windows box.  The instructions worked the first time I tried
   them.  I can now use emacs on both my Linux and Windows boxes.
   Again, thank you.

April 26, 2005:


   I found your instructions very helpful and they were
   quite accurate. Thanks a lot for the great help.


May 25, 2005:

   Professor Lee,

   I just installed emacs on my Windows XP system at work, using your 
   excellent instructions, and it was very easy.  I had tried on a
   UNIX system a few years ago and failed, so this was a pleasant
   surprise.  My world is now a better place.  Thanks very much.

   D. H.

September 23, 2005:

   Hash: SHA1

   Dear Mr Lee,

   thanks for Your helpfull instructions concerning the emacs installation
   on a windows machine.

   J. M. ... Dipl.Inf.
   software engineer
   60322 Frankfurt a. M.

October 11, 2005:

   I was desperately wanting to install Emacs at my system here at
   work and the only comprehensive guide that I could find was
   yours. Thank you much!! 


   Intel Corporation

October 15, 2005:


   for your notes on installing emacs on a windows XP machine. Just
   worked like a charm.

   University of Washington

November 2, 2005:

   Thanks Art. Your instructions to install emacs work great.

   Research Scientist, The Boeing ... Group

November 12, 2005:

   i've been using emacs for windows for a number of years (and on a
   number of computers), always using your instructions for the
   original download and install. works like a charm, but i have a new
   obstacle. is there a way to run emacs locally and save to (or open
   from) a machine that requires ssh/sftp? is this configurable in
   emacs? tia.


November 19, 2005:

   Professor Lee,

   Your instructions worked great.  Thanks for the help!


December 5, 2005:

   Dear Art,

   Thanks for the great emacs install docs!
   They made installing emacs a breeze.

   Best Regards,


December 22, 2005:

   Subject: Excellent Emacs Installation Gude

   Dear Dr. Lee,
   Thank you for the very helpful emacs installation guide.
   Kind regards,

March 14, 2006:

   Subject: Thank you

   Hi Arthur H. Lee,

   I just wanted to thank you for the :

   You've made my day! Something that have been a problem for quite
   some time have now been solved permanently.

   Thank you so much for writing the page and making it public for

   Anna K S., Sweden

July 2, 2006:

   Subject: emacs installation guide

   Hi Art,

   Thanks for providing a clear, concise and accurate set of
   instructions for Windows installation of Emacs - this is a great
   resource for users and would-be users of Windows Emacs.  Everything
   worked as described and the links were very helpful.



September 6, 2006:

   Subject: Thanks for your web page on Emacs on Windows!

   Dear Dr. Lee,

   I am a confirmed Emacs/Unix user. But once in a while I am forced
   to use a Windows machine. I recently came across your web page on
   installing Emacs on Windows. I was able to follow the clear
   instructions and successfully downloaded and installed Emacs on my
   machine. Just wanted to say, "thanks a bunch!".

   Best wishes,


October 25, 2006:

   Subject: emacs installation instructions

   Hello Art,
   I just wanted to give you some feedback on the emacs installation
   They're perfect.
   Thanks for taking the time to do that for us.

October 26, 2006:

   Subject: HOWTO: install emacs for windows

   I learned emacs many years ago (before I learned unix).  Your
   HOWTO directions for installing unix on windows are on the money.
   Thanks for providing this service.  (By the way, I found you on



   best regards,

April 24, 2007:

   Subject: Emacs

   Professor Lee,
   Thanks for the installation instructions. They are very explicit,
   and they worked great (Windows XP). 

April 26, 2007:

   Subject: Thanks for Windows Emacs installation instructions!

   Professor Lee,
   Thank you for providing succinct and followable instructions.  I
   just now double-clicked on my emacs shortcut and joined the group
   of people who've appreciated your guidance. 
   I wish you the best of success in your endeavors!
   Thanks again,


May 31, 2008: For Vista

   Subject: Emacs on Vista (Regarding Emacs installation instructions)

   Hi Mr. Lee, I have been using a test Vista laptop for our
   department (IS at the University of Vermont, College of
   Medicine).  I will be out of town this weekend with no Internet
   access.  I typically run emacs off of our Unix cluster over the Web
   as my programming environment, but won’t be able to this weekend.  
   I followed your instructions (only changing the destination to
   C:\Program Files\emacs) and it is running just fine.  I’m sure
   you’ve had others already contacted you, but I also wanted to thank
   you for the instructions.



October 23, 2008:

   Subject: Emacs installation

   Hello, Mr. Lee,

   I am a student of Université de Montréal, Qc, Canada.
   Just wanted to let you know, that web page with the instructions on
   emacs installation on windows helped me a lot. 
   Thank you very much!


February 13, 2009:

   i was having problem in installing emacs for windows, however after
   reading ur instructions, i was able to install it without any
   i m really thankful to you for such a nice work.
   God bless you

April 30, 2009: For Version 22.3


   just tried emacs 22.3 for winXP and used your instructions for the
   HOME env variable. It works very nicely! thanks for the tips :)


September 16, 2009: For Vista, Windows 7

   Dear Mr. Lee

   Thank you for your Emacs-Installation Guide provided at 

   I just wanted to inform you that the guide works as expected for
   windows vista and the new windows 7 by adding the environment
   variable as described for windows XP.

   The only difference is that, since the control panel icons are now 
   grouped together, you will find "System" in Control Panel ->
   System and Security -> System

   Best Regards


July 13, 2012: For Windows 7

   From: Carol D.
   Sent: Fri 7/13/2012 9:28 AM
   To:   Lee, Art
   Subject: Great site for emacs instructions. Thanks.

   Directions for windows 7 is slightly site different:

   Windows 7 64 bit: add HOME as an environment variable. Follow Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings. Followed by Environment Variables. Then, add HOME as a user variable with its value C:\emacs\.

   Carol D, Professor and Adviser

September 8, 2012:

   Dear Art Lee,

   Many thanks for your installation instructions for Emacs on Windows.

   I would like to mention my experience (Windows 7 by the way) in
   following them so you can make you instructions even better. In step
   7, you explain how to download the init.txt file to the .emacs.d
   folder. However, this directory does not exist after a fresh install
   by extracting the zip file. The directory is created by runemacs.exe
   the first time it is started. Adding a note that this hidden directory
   is only created by running emacs might prevent some confusion with
   future readers of your notes looking for a hidden directory that is
   simply not there in the first place.

   Keep up the good work and greetings from the Netherlands,

   Stefan V

June 28, 2013:

   I am a computer-phobe, but have just got paid work which required me 
   to install Emacs on the bootcamped Mac I use (for word processing, if 
   I'm honest).
   And I followed your instructions and they worked! Even for a Luddite 
   like myself -
   So, cheers,
   Much appreciated!

January 14, 2014:

   Dear Art,

   Just a quick thank you for your note on Emacs installation. I have
   used it many times and it works perfectly. 
   Contrary to many things written by mathematicians, this note is
   practical and easy to use. 
   Thanks again,

   A. A.

April 17, 2014:

   This is just a note of thanks from a Linux user who has been forced
   to use a Windows machine some of the time. 

   I have gone through endless semi-successful installations, but I
   simply don't understand how Windows does things.  Your careful
   guidance took me through a smooth and completely sucdcessful
   installation.  Many, many thanks. 

   Pierre. M.