I mistakenly added files to Git using the command:
git add myfile.txt
I have not yet run
git commit. Is there a way to undo this, so these files won't be included in the commit?
You can undo
git add before commit with
git reset <file>
which will remove it from the current index (the "about to be committed" list) without changing anything else.
You can use
without any file name to unstage all due changes. This can come in handy when there are too many files to be listed one by one in a reasonable amount of time.
In old versions of Git, the above commands are equivalent to
git reset HEAD <file> and
git reset HEAD respectively, and will fail if
HEAD is undefined (because you haven't yet made any commits in your repository) or ambiguous (because you created a branch called
HEAD, which is a stupid thing that you shouldn't do). This was changed in Git 1.8.2, though, so in modern versions of Git you can use the commands above even prior to making your first commit:
"git reset" (without options or parameters) used to error out when you do not have any commits in your history, but it now gives you an empty index (to match non-existent commit you are not even on).
Documentation: git reset
git rm --cached <added_file_to_undo>
When I was new to this, I first tried
git reset .
(to undo my entire initial add), only to get this (not so) helpful message:
fatal: Failed to resolve 'HEAD' as a valid ref.
It turns out that this is because the HEAD ref (branch?) doesn't exist until after the first commit. That is, you'll run into the same beginner's problem as me if your workflow, like mine, was something like:
git add .
... lots of crap scrolls by ...
=> Damn, I didn't want to add all of that.
google "undo git add"
=> find Stack Overflow - yay
git reset .
=> fatal: Failed to resolve 'HEAD' as a valid ref.
It further turns out that there's a bug logged against the unhelpfulness of this in the mailing list.
And that the correct solution was right there in the Git status output (which, yes, I glossed over as 'crap)
... # Changes to be committed: # (use "git rm --cached <file>..." to unstage) ...
And the solution indeed is to use
git rm --cached FILE.
Note the warnings elsewhere here -
git rm deletes your local working copy of the file, but not if you use --cached. Here's the result of
git help rm:
--cached Use this option to unstage and remove paths only from the index. Working tree files, whether modified or not, will be left.
I proceed to use
git rm --cached .
to remove everything and start again. Didn't work though, because while
add . is recursive, turns out
-r to recurse. Sigh.
git rm -r --cached .
Okay, now I'm back to where I started. Next time I'm going to use
-n to do a dry run and see what will be added:
git add -n .
I zipped up everything to a safe place before trusting
git help rm about the
--cached not destroying anything (and what if I misspelled it).
If you type:
Git will tell you what is staged, etc., including instructions on how to unstage:
use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage
I find Git does a pretty good job of nudging me to do the right thing in situations like this.
Note: Recent Git versions (1.8.4.x) have changed this message:
(use "git rm --cached <file>..." to unstage)
git add moves changes from the current working directory to the staging area (index).
This process is called staging. So the most natural command to stage the changes (changed files) is the obvious one:
git add is just an easier-to-type alias for
Pity there is no
git unstage nor
git unadd commands. The relevant one is harder to guess or remember, but it is pretty obvious:
git reset HEAD --
We can easily create an alias for this:
git config --global alias.unadd 'reset HEAD --' git config --global alias.unstage 'reset HEAD --'
And finally, we have new commands:
git add file1 git stage file2 git unadd file2 git unstage file1
Personally I use even shorter aliases:
git a # For staging git u # For unstaging
An addition to the accepted answer, if your mistakenly-added file was huge, you'll probably notice that, even after removing it from the index with '
git reset', it still seems to occupy space in the
This is nothing to be worried about; the file is indeed still in the repository, but only as a "loose object". It will not be copied to other repositories (via clone, push), and the space will be eventually reclaimed - though perhaps not very soon. If you are anxious, you can run:
git gc --prune=now
Update (what follows is my attempt to clear some confusion that can arise from the most upvoted answers):
So, which is the real undo of
git reset HEAD <file> ?
git rm --cached <file>?
Strictly speaking, and if I'm not mistaken: none.
git add cannot be undone - safely, in general.
Let's recall first what
git add <file> actually does:
<file> was not previously tracked,
git add adds it to the cache, with its current content.
<file> was already tracked,
git add saves the current content (snapshot, version) to the cache. In Git, this action is still called add, (not mere update it), because two different versions (snapshots) of a file are regarded as two different items: hence, we are indeed adding a new item to the cache, to be eventually committed later.
In light of this, the question is slightly ambiguous:
I mistakenly added files using the command...
The OP's scenario seems to be the first one (untracked file), we want the "undo" to remove the file (not just the current contents) from the tracked items. If this is the case, then it's ok to run
git rm --cached <file>.
And we could also run
git reset HEAD <file>. This is in general preferable, because it works in both scenarios: it also does the undo when we wrongly added a version of an already tracked item.
But there are two caveats.
First: There is (as pointed out in the answer) only one scenario in which
git reset HEAD doesn't work, but
git rm --cached does: a new repository (no commits). But, really, this a practically irrelevant case.
Second: Be aware that
git reset HEAD can't magically recover the previously cached file contents, it just resynchronises it from the HEAD. If our misguided
git add overwrote a previous staged uncommitted version, we can't recover it. That's why, strictly speaking, we cannot undo [*].
$ git init $ echo "version 1" > file.txt $ git add file.txt # First add of file.txt $ git commit -m 'first commit' $ echo "version 2" > file.txt $ git add file.txt # Stage (don't commit) "version 2" of file.txt $ git diff --cached file.txt -version 1 +version 2 $ echo "version 3" > file.txt $ git diff file.txt -version 2 +version 3 $ git add file.txt # Oops we didn't mean this $ git reset HEAD file.txt # Undo? $ git diff --cached file.txt # No dif, of course. stage == HEAD $ git diff file.txt # We have irrevocably lost "version 2" -version 1 +version 3
Of course, this is not very critical if we just follow the usual lazy workflow of doing 'git add' only for adding new files (case 1), and we update new contents via the commit,
git commit -a command.
* (Edit: the above is practically correct, but still there can be some slightly hackish/convoluted ways for recovering changes that were staged, but not committed and then overwritten - see the comments by Johannes Matokic and iolsmit)
Undo a file which has already been added is quite easy using Git. For resetting
myfile.txt, which have already been added, use:
git reset HEAD myfile.txt
After you staged unwanted file(s), to undo, you can do
Head is head of your file in the local and the last parameter is the name of your file.
I have created the steps in the image below in more details for you, including all steps which may happen in these cases:
Git has commands for every action imaginable, but it needs extensive knowledge to get things right and because of that it is counter-intuitive at best...
What you did before:
git add ., or
git add <file>.
What you want:
Remove the file from the index, but keep it versioned and left with uncommitted changes in working copy:
git reset HEAD <file>
Reset the file to the last state from HEAD, undoing changes and removing them from the index:
# Think `svn revert <file>` IIRC. git reset HEAD <file> git checkout <file> # If you have a `<branch>` named like `<file>`, use: git checkout -- <file>
This is needed since
git reset --hard HEAD won't work with single files.
<file> from index and versioning, keeping the un-versioned file with changes in working copy:
git rm --cached <file>
<file> from working copy and versioning completely:
git rm <file>
The question is not clearly posed. The reason is that
git add has two meanings:
git rm --cached file.
git reset HEAD file.
If in doubt, use
git reset HEAD file
Because it does the expected thing in both cases.
Warning: if you do
git rm --cached file on a file that was modified (a file that existed before in the repository), then the file will be removed on
git commit! It will still exist in your file system, but if anybody else pulls your commit, the file will be deleted from their work tree.
git status will tell you if the file was a new file or modified:
On branch master Changes to be committed: (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage) new file: my_new_file.txt modified: my_modified_file.txt
As per many of the other answers, you can use
I found this great little post that actually adds the Git command (well, an alias) for
git unadd: see git unadd for details or..
git config --global alias.unadd "reset HEAD"
Now you can
git unadd foo.txt bar.txt
Alternatively / directly:
git reset HEAD foo.txt bar.txt
git add -i to remove just-added files from your upcoming commit. Example:
Adding the file you didn't want:
$ git add foo $ git status # On branch master # Changes to be committed: # (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage) # # new file: foo # # Untracked files: # (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed) # [...]#
Going into interactive add to undo your add (the commands typed at git here are "r" (revert), "1" (first entry in the list revert shows), 'return' to drop out of revert mode, and "q" (quit):
$ git add -i staged unstaged path 1: +1/-0 nothing foo *** Commands *** 1: [s]tatus 2: [u]pdate 3: [r]evert 4: [a]dd untracked 5: [p]atch 6: [d]iff 7: [q]uit 8: [h]elp What now> r staged unstaged path 1: +1/-0 nothing [f]oo Revert>> 1 staged unstaged path * 1: +1/-0 nothing [f]oo Revert>> note: foo is untracked now. reverted one path *** Commands *** 1: [s]tatus 2: [u]pdate 3: [r]evert 4: [a]dd untracked 5: [p]atch 6: [d]iff 7: [q]uit 8: [h]elp What now> q Bye. $
That's it! Here's your proof, showing that "foo" is back on the untracked list:
$ git status # On branch master # Untracked files: # (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed) # [...] # foo nothing added to commit but untracked files present (use "git add" to track) $
Here's a way to avoid this vexing problem when you start a new project:
Git makes it really hard to do
git reset if you don't have any commits. If you create a tiny initial commit just for the sake of having one, after that you can
git add -A and
git reset as many times as you want in order to get everything right.
Another advantage of this method is that if you run into line-ending troubles later and need to refresh all your files, it's easy:
Note that if you fail to specify a revision then you have to include a separator. Example from my console:
git reset <path_to_file> fatal: ambiguous argument '<path_to_file>': unknown revision or path not in the working tree. Use '--' to separate paths from revisions git reset -- <path_to_file> Unstaged changes after reset: M <path_to_file>
(Git version 188.8.131.52)
git restore --staged <file>
and unstage all files (from the root of the repo) with:
git restore --staged .
git restore was introduced in July 2019 and released in version 2.23.
--staged flag, it restores the content of the index (what is asked here).
git status with staged uncommitted file(s), this is now what Git suggests to use to unstage file(s) (instead of
git reset HEAD <file> as it used to prior to v2.23).
To remove new files from the staging area (and only in case of a new file), as suggested above:
git rm --cached FILE
Use rm --cached only for new files accidentally added.
To reset every file in a particular folder (and its subfolders), you can use the following command:
git reset *
For a specific file:
- git reset my_file.txt
- git checkout my_file.txt
For all added files:
- git reset .
- git checkout .
Note: checkout changes the code in the files and moves to the last updated (committed) state. reset doesn't change the codes; it just resets the header.
There is also interactive mode:
git add -i
Choose option 3 to un add files. In my case I often want to add more than one file, and with interactive mode you can use numbers like this to add files. This will take all but 4: 1, 2, 3, and 5
To choose a sequence, just type 1-5 to take all from 1 to 5.
git add myfile.txt # This will add your file into the to-be-committed list
Quite opposite to this command is,
git reset HEAD myfile.txt # This will undo it.
so, you will be in the previous state. Specified will be again in untracked list (previous state).
It will reset your head with that specified file. so, if your head doesn't have it means, it will simply reset it.
git reset filename.txt
Will remove a file named filename.txt from the current index, the "about to be committed" area, without changing anything else.
In Sourcetree you can do this easily via the GUI. You can check which command Sourcetree uses to unstage a file.
I created a new file and added it to Git. Then I unstaged it using the Sourcetree GUI. This is the result:
Unstaging files [08/12/15 10:43] git -c diff.mnemonicprefix=false -c core.quotepath=false -c credential.helper=sourcetree reset -q -- path/to/file/filename.java
reset to unstage new files.
You can unstage/undo using the git command or GUI git.
git reset File.txt
git reset File1.txt File2.txt File3.txt
git reset src/components/home/Home.js src/components/listItem/ListItem.js src/components/update/Update.js
Same Example using git GUI
git reset command helps you to modify either the staging area or the staging area and working tree. Git's ability to craft commits exactly like you want means that you sometimes need to undo changes to the changes you staged with
You can do that by calling
git reset HEAD <file to change>. You have two options to get rid of changes completely.
git checkout HEAD <file(s) or path(s)> is a quick way to undo changes to your staging area and working tree.
Be careful with this command, however, because it removes all changes to your working tree. Git doesn't know about those changes since they've never been committed. There's no way to get those changes back once you run this command.
Another command at your disposal is
git reset --hard. It is equally destructive to your working tree - any uncommitted changes or staged changes are lost after running it. Running
git reset -hard HEAD does the same thing as
git checkout HEAD. It just does not require a file or path to work.
You can use
git reset. It resets the repository to the commit you specify and stages all of those changes. Any changes you have already staged are not affected, nor are the changes in your working tree.
Finally, you can use
--mixed to reset the working tree without staging any changes. This also unstages any changes that are staged.
You can using this command after git version 2.23 :
git restore --staged <filename>
Or, you can using this command:
git reset HEAD <filename>
I would use
git restore --staged . or
git restore --staged <filename>
You can also use
git rm --cached, however, the
git rm command should be ideally used for already tracked files.
If you want to revert the last commit but still want to keep the changes locally that were made in the commit, use this command:
git reset HEAD~1 --mixed
The first time I had this problem, I found this post here and from the first answer I learned that I should just do
git reset <filename>. It worked fine.
Eventually, I happened to have a few subfolders inside my main git folder. I found it easy to just do
git add . to add all files inside the subfolders and then
git reset the few files that I did not want to add.
Nowadays I have lots of files and subfolders. It is tedious to
git reset one-by-one but still easier to just
git add . first, then reset the few heavy/unwanted but useful files and folders.
Let's say that you have the following situation:
Folder/SubFolder1/file1.txt Folder/SubFolder2/fig1.png Folder/SubFolderX/fig.svg Folder/SubFolder3/<manyfiles> Folder/SubFolder4/<file1.py, file2.py, ..., file60.py, ...>
You want to add all folders and files but not
fig1.png, and not
SubFolderX, and not
file60.py and the list keeps growing ...
First, make/create a
bash shell script and give it a name. Say,
Then add all the paths to all folders and files you want to
git reset preceded by
git reset -- . You can easily copy-paste the paths into the script
git_add.sh as your list of files grows. The
git_add.sh script should look like this:
#!/bin/bash git add . git reset -- Folder/SubFolder2/fig1.png git reset -- Folder/SubFolderX git reset -- Folder/SubFolder4/file60.py
#!/bin/bash is important. Then do
source git_add.sh to run it. After that, you can do
git commit -m "some comment", and then
git push -u origin master if you have already set up Bitbucket/Github.
Disclaimer: I've only tested this in Linux.
If you have lots of files and folders that you always retain in your local git repository but you don't want git to track changes when you do
git add ., say video and data files, you must learn how to use
.gitignore. Maybe from here.