remove - undo git commit




How to undo 'git add' before commit? (20)

git add myfile.txt # this will add your file into to be committed list

Quite opposite to this command is,

git reset HEAD myfile.txt  # this will undo it. 

so, you will be in 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

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?


There are 48 answers so far (some deleted). Please don't add a new one unless you have some new information.


git remove or git rm can be used for this, with the --cached flag. Try:

git help rm

Undo a file which already added is quite easy using git, for resetting myfile.txt which already added, use:

git reset HEAD myfile.txt

Explain:

After you staged unwanted file(s), to undo, you can do git reset, Head is head of your file in local and the last parameter is the name of your file.

I create the steps in the image below in more details for you, including all steps which may happen in these cases:


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 .git directory. 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 up-voted answers):

So, which is the real undo of git add?

git reset HEAD <file> ?

or

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:

  1. If <file> was not previously tracked, git add adds it to the cache, with its current content.

  2. If <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 commited 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 resyncs 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 [*].

Example:

$ 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 lost irrevocably "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)


Git has commands for every action imaginable, but needs extensive knowledge to get things right and because of that it is counter-intuitive at best...

What you did before:

  • Changed a file and used 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.

  • Remove <file> from index and versioning, keeping the un-versioned file with changes in working copy:

    git rm --cached <file>
    
  • Remove <file> from working copy and versioning completely:

    git rm <file>
    

Here's a way to avoid this vexing problem when you start a new project:

  • Create the main directory for your new project.
  • Run git init.
  • Now create a .gitignore file (even if it's empty).
  • Commit your .gitignore file.

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:

  • Check out that initial commit. This will remove all your files.
  • Then check out your most recent commit again. This will retrieve fresh copies of your files, using your current line-ending settings.

If you type:

git status

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)

If you're on your initial commit and you can't use git reset, just declare "Git bankruptcy" and delete the .git folder and start over


Just type git reset it will revert back and it is like you never typed git add . since your last commit. Make sure you have committed before.


Maybe Git has evolved since you posted your question.

$> git --version
git version 1.6.2.1

Now, you can try:

git reset HEAD .

This should be what you are looking for.


Run

git gui

and remove all the files manually or by selecting all of them and clicking on the unstage from commit button.


Suppose I create a new file newFile.txt.

Suppose I add the file accidently, git add newFile.txt

Now I want to undo this add, before commit, git reset newFile.txt


This command will unstash your changes:

git reset HEAD filename.txt

You can also use

git add -p 

to add parts of files.


To clarify: 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 stage

git add is just an easier to type alias for git stage

Pity there is no git unstage nor git unadd commands. The relevant one is harder to guess or remember, but 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

To reset every file in a particular folder (and its subfolders), you can use the following command:

git reset *

To undo git add use

git reset filename


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

git reset

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 repo) 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).


You want:

git rm --cached <added_file_to_undo>

Reasoning:

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:

  1. cd to my great new project directory to try out Git, the new hotness
  2. git init
  3. git add .
  4. git status

    ... lots of crap scrolls by ...

    => Damn, I didn't want to add all of that.

  5. google "undo git add"

    => find - yay

  6. 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 rm needs -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).


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.


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.





git-stage