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In a clean installation of Emacs 26.3 with Spacemacs, I have two glaring bugs that mess up my workflow:

  1. Archiving a TODO with C-c C-x C-a produces an error: org-copy-subtree: Invalid function: org-preserve-local-variables. I have also seen this error also when using org-refile.

  2. Performing an org-agenda tag filter via C-c a m for any tag causes Emacs to hang indefinitely.

It seems that both of these are addressed by explicitly deleting packages in .emacs.d/elpa, which forces Emacs to reinstall them. To address 1., run (source):

cd ~/.emacs.d/elpa/
find org*/*.elc -print0 | xargs -0 rm

To address 2., run (source ) :

rm -rf ~/.emacs.d/elpa/*

I’m not an Emacs expert, so it’s not immediately clear to me why this works. More mysteriously, it seems that the command to solve problem 2. does not solve problem 1. A .elc file a compiled Elisp file, so this seems to force a recompile of org packages themselves.