How To Remove Files From Git Commit

Added files to your Git commit by accident? Don't worry! Learn how to quickly get rid of them from both the most recent commit and older ones.

In Git, a commit is a snapshot of how a project was at a certain point in time. This lets you keep track of different versions of the project and work together on it. Sometimes you need to leave some file out of a commit or change them before committing the changes. In this article we talk about how To Remove Files From Git Commit.

Git has a number of commands that can be used to meet these needs. One of these commands is “git reset,” which lets you delete files from the staging area before committing them. This gives you the chance to look at them again and choose the right ones. You can also use the “git rm” command to get rid of files from both the working directory and the staging area so they won’t be included in the next commit.

“git restore” also lets you undo changes that have been made to files and return them to the way they were before the last commit. With these flexible Git commands, developers can change commits to fit their needs, making project versions better and keeping the development history consistent and well-organized. Visit the Git official website if you are interested in learning more about the steps that are included in this article.

What is Git Commit

  • Staged Changes: In this mode, you make changes to the project files in the directory where you want to work. At first, these changes won’t be saved in Git history and won’t be tracked.
  • Adding to the staging area: To tell Git what changes you want to keep track of and save, use git add. With these changes, the stage area is now where they belong.
  • Committing Changes: Now you use git commit to save the changes you made in stages in the Git repository for good. Like a checkpoint, this adds a new commit to the project’s history.
  • Commit Message: Each commit needs a short and clear message that describe the changes you made. This helps everyone keep track of the project’s progress at all times.

How To Remove Files From Git Commit

  1. Use the git reset command to remove a committed file:
    • Command: git reset –soft HEAD
    • The committed files will be brought back to the staging area by this.
  2. Quickly get rid of a file from the staging area:
    • Command: git reset <FILENAME>
    • If you delete a file from the staging area, it will not be added to the branch.
  3. Set the HEAD to a specific file:
    • Command: git reset HEAD <FILENAME>
    • After that, make the necessary changes, stage your files with git add, and then use git commit to push your changes to the repository.
  4. Remove a file from the staging area using git rm:
    • Command: git rm –cached <FILENAME>
    • After using this command, you can make further changes, stage your files with git add, and then proceed to git commit to update the repository.

Understanding the Need to Remove Files from Git Commits

How To Remove Files From Git Commit

Inclusions Made by Accident

  • Don’t share private information, API keys, passwords, or other sensitive data without meaning to.
  • Delete files that aren’t needed or are temporary, like build artefacts, machine-generated files, and personal notes.

Throwing Away Changes You Don’t Want

  • Undo changes or additions that were made by accident to files.
  • Get rid of files that were used for testing or experimenting but aren’t part of the final project.

Following the rules

  • In order to follow privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA, get rid of files that contain personally identifiable information (PII).
  • To avoid legal problems, don’t include files that contain intellectual property or material that is protected by copyright.

Keeping private data safe

  • Keep your security credentials, trade secrets, and other private information from getting out.
  • Lower the risks that come with possible data leaks or breaches.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Modifying Git Commits

Making big changes that don’t go together

  • Problem: This makes it hard to keep track of changes, understand the history of commits, and undo specific changes when needed.
  • Solution: Make commits often, and make sure each commit only fixes bugs or adds a single feature. You can stage changes in a file with git add -p.

Ignoring Commit Messages That Describe

  • Problem: Messages like “fixed bug” or “update” don’t give enough information to help people work together or use in the future.
  • Solution: Write commit messages that are clear, to the point, and explain the change’s purpose and any other information that is relevant. Use the same format every time, like “Subject (max 50 chars): Brief description” and then, if necessary, give a more in-depth explanation.

Force pushing to branches that are shared

  • Problem: Changing published history can mess up the work of other developers and lead to confusion.
  • Solution: Don’t push to shared branches by force (git push -f). You can undo public commits with git revert, or you could use interactive rebasing to clean up your private history.

Not getting rid of dead branches

  • Problem: A messy branch history can make the repository hard to find your way around and manage.
  • Solution: Use git branch -d or git branch -D to regularly delete merged or abandoned branches.


How do I remove unwanted files from git?

The git filter-repo tool or the BFG Repo-Cleaner open source tool can be used to get rid of all unwanted files from the history of a repository. When you use the git filter-repo tool or the BFG Repo-Cleaner, they rewrite the history of your repository. This changes the SHAs of any existing commits that you change and any commits that depend on those changes.

How do I exclude a file from a git commit?

In the directory ~/. config/git, there is a file called ignore. Add the file or directory you want to ignore to it. When you don’t list files and directories in the global configuration file ~/. config/git/ignore, Git will ignore them by default.

What is git reset used for?

Git reset undoes changes in your working directory and resets to a specific commit, discarding all subsequent commits. Suppose you committed ten times. Git reset on the first commit removes all nine commits and returns to the first commit.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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