uncommitted - How do I discard unstaged changes in Git?

git unstage (20)

git checkout -f

man git-checkout:

-f, --force

When switching branches, proceed even if the index or the working tree differs from HEAD. This is used to throw away local changes.

When checking out paths from the index, do not fail upon unmerged entries; instead, unmerged entries are ignored.

How do I discard changes in my working copy that are not in the index?

Another quicker way is:

git stash save --keep-index --include-untracked

You don't need to include --include-untracked if you don't want to be thorough about it.

After that, you can drop that stash with a git stash drop command if you like.

As you type git status, (use "git checkout -- ..." to discard changes in working directory) is shown.

e.g. git checkout -- .

For all unstaged files use:

git checkout -- .

For a specific file use:

git checkout path/to/file/to/revert

Make sure to include the period at the end.

I really found this article helpful for explaining when to use what command: http://www.szakmeister.net/blog/2011/oct/12/reverting-changes-git/

There are a couple different cases:

  1. If you haven't staged the file, then you use git checkout. Checkout "updates files in the working tree to match the version in the index". If the files have not been staged (aka added to the index)... this command will essentially revert the files to what your last commit was.

    git checkout -- foo.txt

  2. If you have staged the file, then use git reset. Reset changes the index to match a commit.

    git reset -- foo.txt

I suspect that using git stash is a popular choice since it's a little less dangerous. You can always go back to it if you accidently blow too much away when using git reset. Reset is recursive by default.

Take a look at the article above for further advice.

If all the staged files were actually committed, then the branch can simply be reset e.g. from your GUI with about three mouse clicks: Branch, Reset, Yes!

So what I often do in practice to revert unwanted local changes is to commit all the good stuff, and then reset the branch.

If the good stuff is committed in a single commit, then you can use "amend last commit" to bring it back to being staged or unstaged if you'd ultimately like to commit it a little differently.

This might not be the technical solution you are looking for to your problem, but I find it a very practical solution. It allows you to discard unstaged changes selectively, resetting the changes you don't like and keeping the ones you do.

So in summary, I simply do commit, branch reset, and amend last commit.

If you aren't interested in keeping the unstaged changes (especially if the staged changes are new files), I found this handy:

git diff | git apply --reverse

If you merely wish to remove changes to existing files, use checkout (documented here).

git checkout -- .
  • No branch is specified, so it checks out the current branch.
  • The double-hyphen (--) tells Git that what follows should be taken as its second argument (path), that you skipped specification of a branch.
  • The period (.) indicates all paths.

If you want to remove files added since your last commit, use clean (documented here):

git clean -i 
  • The -i option initiates an interactive clean, to prevent mistaken deletions.
  • A handful of other options are available for a quicker execution; see the documentation.

If you wish to move changes to a holding space for later access, use stash (documented here):

git stash
  • All changes will be moved to Git's Stash, for possible later access.
  • A handful of options are available for more nuanced stashing; see the documentation.

Instead of discarding changes, I reset my remote to the origin. Note - this method is to completely restore your folder to that of the repo.

So I do this to make sure they don't sit there when I git reset (later - excludes gitignores on the Origin/branchname)

NOTE: If you want to keep files not yet tracked, but not in GITIGNORE you may wish to skip this step, as it will Wipe these untracked files not found on your remote repository (thanks @XtrmJosh).

git add --all

Then I

git fetch --all

Then I reset to origin

git reset --hard origin/branchname

That will put it back to square one. Just like RE-Cloning the branch, WHILE keeping all my gitignored files locally and in place.

Updated per user comment below: Variation to reset the to whatever current branch the user is on.

git reset --hard @{u}

It seems like the complete solution is:

git clean -df
git checkout -- .

git clean removes all untracked files (warning: while it won't delete ignored files mentioned directly in .gitignore, it may delete ignored files residing in folders) and git checkout clears all unstaged changes.

My favorite is

git checkout -p

That lets you selectively revert chunks.

See also:

git add -p

No matter what state your repo is in you can always reset to any previous commit:

git reset --hard <commit hash>

This will discard all changes which were made after that commit.

Since no answer suggests the exact option combination that I use, here it is:

git clean -dfx
git checkout .

This is the online help text for the used git clean options:


Remove untracked directories in addition to untracked files. If an untracked directory is managed by a different Git repository, it is not removed by default. Use -f option twice if you really want to remove such a directory.


If the Git configuration variable clean.requireForce is not set to false, Git clean will refuse to delete files or directories unless given -f, -n, or -i. Git will refuse to delete directories within the .git subdirectory or file, unless a second -f is given.


Don’t use the ignore rules from .gitignore (per directory) and $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, but do still use the ignore rules given with -e options. This allows removing all untracked files, including build products. This can be used (possibly in conjunction with git reset) to create a pristine working directory to test a clean build.

Also, git checkout . needs to be done in the root of the repo.

This works even in directories that are; outside of normal git permissions.

sudo chmod -R 664 ./* && git checkout -- . && git clean -dfx

Happened to me recently

Tried all the solutions above but still couldn't get rid of new, unstaged files.

Use git clean -f to remove those new files - with caution though! Note the force option.

When you want to transfer a stash to someone else:

# add files
git add .  
# diff all the changes to a file
git diff --staged > ~/mijn-fix.diff
# remove local changes 
git reset && git checkout .
# (later you can re-apply the diff:)
git apply ~/mijn-fix.diff

[edit] as commented, it ís possible to name stashes. Well, use this if you want to share your stash ;)

You can use git stash - if something goes wrong, you can still revert from the stash. Similar to some other answer here, but this one also removes all unstaged files and also all unstaged deletes:

git add .
git stash

if you check that everything is OK, throw the stash away:

git stash drop

The answer from Bilal Maqsood with git clean also worked for me, but with the stash I have more control - if I do sth accidentally, I can still get my changes back


I think there is 1 more change (don't know why this worked for me before):

git add . -A instead of git add .

without the -A the removed files will not be staged

simply say

git stash

It will remove all your local changes. You also can use later by saying

git stash apply 

or git stash pop

cd path_to_project_folder  # take you to your project folder/working directory 
git checkout .             # removes all unstaged changes in working directory