In most cases, it is simple to delete a Git branch. You'll learn how to delete a Git brach locally and remotely in this article.
// delete branch locally git branch -d localBranchName // delete branch remotely git push origin --delete remoteBranchName
When to Delete branches
It is common for a Git repo to have different branches. They are a great way to work on different features and fixes while isolating the new code from the main codebase.
Repos often have a
main branch for the main codebase and developers create other branches to work on different features.
Once work is completed on a feature, it is often recommended to delete the branch.
Deleting a branch LOCALLY
Git will not let you delete the branch you are currently on so you must make sure to checkout a branch that you are NOT deleting. For example:
git checkout main
Delete a branch with
git branch -d <branch>.
git branch -d fix/authentication
-d option will delete the branch only if it has already been pushed and merged with the remote branch. Use
-D instead if you want to force the branch to be deleted, even if it hasn't been pushed or merged yet.
The branch is now deleted locally.
Deleting a branch REMOTELY
Here's the command to delete a branch remotely:
git push <remote> --delete <branch>.
git push origin --delete fix/authentication
The branch is now deleted remotely.
You can also use this shorter command to delete a branch remotely:
git push <remote> :<branch>
git push origin :fix/authentication
If you get the error below, it may mean that someone else has already deleted the branch.
error: unable to push to unqualified destination: remoteBranchName The destination refspec neither matches an existing ref on the remote nor begins with refs/, and we are unable to guess a prefix based on the source ref. error: failed to push some refs to 'git@repository_name'
Try to synchronize your branch list using:
git fetch -p
-p flag means "prune". After fetching, branches which no longer exist on the remote will be deleted.
If you found this tutorial helpful, our nonprofit has more than 8,000 no-nonsense tutorials like this one. All free, with no ads. Tell your friends. 😉