How do I delete a Git branch both locally and remotely?

14 315

4 661

I want to delete a branch both locally and on my remote project fork on GitHub.

Failed Attempts to Delete Remote Branch

$ git branch -d remotes/origin/bugfix
error: branch 'remotes/origin/bugfix' not found.

$ git branch -d origin/bugfix
error: branch 'origin/bugfix' not found.

$ git branch -rd origin/bugfix
Deleted remote branch origin/bugfix (was 2a14ef7).

$ git push
Everything up-to-date

$ git pull
* [new branch] bugfix -> origin/bugfix
Already up-to-date.

What do I need to do differently to successfully delete the remotes/origin/bugfix branch both locally and on GitHub?

Matthew Rankin

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 262 400

821Moderator note: If you intend to answer this question, do note that there are already 40 answers posted. Will your new answer add any substantial value? – Robert Harvey – 2014-06-11T16:10:42.620


Note: for Git 2.5+ (Q2 2015), the exact message will be "deleted remote-tracking branch": see

– VonC – 2015-05-25T14:57:35.987


17 911

Executive Summary

$ git push --delete <remote_name> <branch_name>
$ git branch -d <branch_name>

Note that in most cases the remote name is origin.

Delete Local Branch

To delete the local branch use one of the following:

$ git branch -d branch_name
$ git branch -D branch_name

Note: The -d option is an alias for --delete, which only deletes the branch if it has already been fully merged in its upstream branch. You could also use -D, which is an alias for --delete --force, which deletes the branch "irrespective of its merged status." [Source: man git-branch]

Delete Remote Branch [Updated on 8-Sep-2017]

As of Git v1.7.0, you can delete a remote branch using

$ git push <remote_name> --delete <branch_name>

which might be easier to remember than

$ git push <remote_name> :<branch_name>

which was added in Git v1.5.0 "to delete a remote branch or a tag."

Starting on Git v2.8.0 you can also use git push with the -d option as an alias for --delete.

Therefore, the version of Git you have installed will dictate whether you need to use the easier or harder syntax.

Delete Remote Branch [Original Answer from 5-Jan-2010]

From Chapter 3 of Pro Git by Scott Chacon:

Deleting Remote Branches

Suppose you’re done with a remote branch — say, you and your collaborators are finished with a feature and have merged it into your remote’s master branch (or whatever branch your stable codeline is in). You can delete a remote branch using the rather obtuse syntax git push [remotename] :[branch]. If you want to delete your serverfix branch from the server, you run the following:

$ git push origin :serverfix
To [email protected]:schacon/simplegit.git
 - [deleted]         serverfix

Boom. No more branch on your server. You may want to dog-ear this page, because you’ll need that command, and you’ll likely forget the syntax. A way to remember this command is by recalling the git push [remotename] [localbranch]:[remotebranch] syntax that we went over a bit earlier. If you leave off the [localbranch] portion, then you’re basically saying, “Take nothing on my side and make it be [remotebranch].”

I issued git push origin :bugfix and it worked beautifully. Scott Chacon was right—I will want to dog ear that page (or virtually dog ear by answering this on Stack Overflow).

Then you should execute this on other machines

git fetch --all --prune

to propagate changes.

Matthew Rankin

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 262 400

544If you know the syntax git push origin local_branch:remote_branch, then the syntax to delete a branch with git push origin :remote_branch is kind of cute. There's a void before the : – Marc-André Lafortune – 2012-05-11T04:05:03.560

244Don't forget to do a git fetch --all --prune on other machines after deleting the remote branch on the server. ||| After deleting the local branch with git branch -d and deleting the remote branch with git push origin --delete other machines may still have "obsolete tracking branches" (to see them do git branch -a). To get rid of these do git fetch --all --prune. – Trevor Boyd Smith – 2015-05-27T16:51:36.017


in addition to @TrevorBoydSmith's git branch -a to view all branches, you can also use git branch -r to view remote branches only. see also git remote show origin - source:

– Sandra – 2015-09-09T09:53:18.790

11I had to run git branch -D Branch_Name to get rid of the local branch – Kolob Canyon – 2016-03-10T01:32:06.780

4@KolobCanyon You only have to use -D if the branch has not been merged into another branch. – BTRUE – 2016-04-05T16:27:15.493

1The question was "What do I need to do differently to successfully delete the remotes/origin/bugfix branch both locally and on GitHub?" After running the commands in your updated answer, the local branch is still present. It would be nice if the accepted answer was a complete answer. Its absolutely amazing at how difficult Git makes simple tasks... – jww – 2016-06-07T02:15:38.220

Really appreciate the executive summary at the beginning. I'll add that I also had to change the second command to -D to confirm I wanted to delete while there were unmerged changes. – Jordan Gray – 2017-01-04T15:33:29.950

I am getting error: Cannot delete the branch '19_jan_improvements_post_v1' which you are currently on. when I am trying to delete a local branch, which I am working on that branch. I am not able to checkout to a different branch also, because I have to merge some files and so it gives this error - error: you need to resolve your current index first. What to do if I just don't care about merging those files and anyway want to get rid of the local branch. – Sandeepan Nath – 2017-01-19T10:00:02.107

2Doesn't work if you in the branch. Need to to do a git checkout master or whatever to get out of the branch prior. – Kelly – 2017-05-16T03:08:29.247

To better understand the git push origin :<branch_name> syntax, go to

– Alex – 2017-08-16T14:27:24.047

Note that the -d as an alias for --delete also works with the push call. So git push origin -d &lt;branch_name&gt; works too – Sheldon – 2017-08-24T12:13:00.797

Why do I need to specify remote when pushing? – Alex78191 – 2017-09-19T00:46:53.910

@Alex78191 Because you may not want to push your branch to all your remotes. However I use this alias when I want to push all my branch to all my remotes.

– Philip Rego – 2017-10-26T20:38:01.017

@Sheldon Which git version are you using? For me (git 2.7.4) -d is not working for push. – luator – 2017-12-01T14:57:56.897

@luator I am using 2.8.1, and my apologies, -d as an alias for --delete was added in 2.8.0, see here:

– Sheldon – 2017-12-01T16:53:03.563

You can use source tree tool as well if you don't want to remember git commands. – user1101733 – 2018-02-22T14:42:37.193

Only $ git push &lt;remote_name&gt; :&lt;branch_name&gt; worked for me. – Christophe Roussy – 2018-05-22T14:44:23.260

The --delete might be easier to remember, but it's too late if you already understand the push remote :deadbr, plus the cute thing about the latter is that it also works for tags. – Alois Mahdal – 2018-07-09T21:52:50.690

In the executive summary you have git push --delete &lt;remote_name&gt; &lt;branch_name&gt; but in the first "Delete Remote Branch Update" section you have git push &lt;remote_name&gt; --delete &lt;branch_name&gt;. i.e. The parameters are in a different order. Can I suggest making these the same to avoid confusion please. – Caltor – 2018-11-29T11:28:48.513

2 937

Matthew's answer is great for removing remote branches and I also appreciate the explanation, but to make a simple distinction between the two commands:

To remove a local branch from your machine:

git branch -d {the_local_branch} (use -D instead to force deleting the branch without checking merged status)

To remove a remote branch from the server:

git push origin --delete {the_remote_branch}


Eric Brotto

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 35 491

231@megido well -D force deletes, -d gives you a warning if it's not already merged in. – TankorSmash – 2014-11-06T19:04:59.993

7If your local branch is not merge with master and ran 'git branch -d your_branch then you will error like error: The branch 'your_branch' is not fully merged. If you are sure you want to delete it, run 'git branch -D your_branch'. – geeks – 2015-10-31T12:59:14.607

9I would suggest using -d instead of -D because it is safer. If -d fails due to unmerged commits then you need to assess that and if it is definitely OK to remove then use -D. – rooby – 2016-02-02T03:47:57.903

4Others with repository clones where remote branches have been removed should run git remote prune &lt;name&gt; (e.g. git remote prune origin) in order to locally remove stale branches that no longer exist in the remote. – code_dredd – 2016-04-18T23:07:39.987

If your branch in your fork (not always origin), use the proper repository. e.g. git push myRepo :mrbranchtodelete – Dhanuka777 – 2016-05-19T00:53:21.437

If you're deleting a branch, both locally and remotely, why does it matter if there are un-merged commits? You're blowing it away anyway... – ganders – 2016-09-20T20:31:51.470

@ganders The point is that you might not realize there were unmerged commits, and might not want to delete the branch anymore after you learned that. -d protects you from accidentally losing work. – Radon Rosborough – 2016-12-12T22:20:55.450

I would like to add that -d gives a warning if it isn't merged in with the current HEAD. If you need clarity I recommend this command git branch -a --merged origin/master It will list any branches, both local and remote; that have been merged into master. Additional information here

– Eric – 2017-02-10T13:10:57.310

1 690

The Short Answers

If you want more detailed explanations of the following commands, then see the long answers in the next section.

Deleting a remote branch:

git push origin --delete <branch>  # Git version 1.7.0 or newer
git push origin :<branch>          # Git versions older than 1.7.0

Deleting a local branch:

git branch --delete <branch>
git branch -d <branch> # Shorter version
git branch -D <branch> # Force delete un-merged branches

Deleting a local remote-tracking branch:

git branch --delete --remotes <remote>/<branch>
git branch -dr <remote>/<branch> # Shorter

git fetch <remote> --prune # Delete multiple obsolete tracking branches
git fetch <remote> -p      # Shorter

The Long Answer: there are 3 different branches to delete!

When you're dealing with deleting branches both locally and remotely, keep in mind that there are 3 different branches involved:

  1. The local branch X.
  2. The remote origin branch X.
  3. The local remote-tracking branch origin/X that tracks the remote branch X.

Visualization of 3 branches

The original poster used

git branch -rd origin/bugfix

which only deleted his local remote-tracking branch origin/bugfix, and not the actual remote branch bugfix on origin.

Diagram 2

To delete that actual remote branch, you need

git push origin --delete bugfix

Diagram 3

Additional Details

The following sections describe additional details to consider when deleting your remote and remote-tracking branches.

Pushing to delete remote branches also deletes remote-tracking branches

Note that deleting the remote branch X from the command line using a git push will also delete the local remote-tracking branch origin/X, so it is not necessary to prune the obsolete remote-tracking branch with git fetch --prune or git fetch -p, though it wouldn't hurt if you did it anyway.

You can verify that the remote-tracking branch origin/X was also deleted by running the following:

# View just remote-tracking branches
git branch --remotes
git branch -r

# View both strictly local as well as remote-tracking branches
git branch --all
git branch -a

Pruning the obsolete local remote-tracking branch origin/X

If you didn't delete your remote branch X from the command line (like above), then your local repo will still contain (a now obsolete) remote-tracking branch origin/X. This can happen if you deleted a remote branch directly through GitHub's web interface, for example.

A typical way to remove these obsolete remote-tracking branches (since Git version 1.6.6) is to simply run git fetch with the --prune or shorter -p. Note that this removes all obsolete local remote-tracking branches for any remote branches that no longer exist on the remote:

git fetch origin --prune
git fetch origin -p # Shorter

Here is the relevant quote from the 1.6.6 release notes (emphasis mine):

"git fetch" learned --all and --multipleoptions, to run fetch from many repositories, and --prune option to remove remote tracking branches that went stale. These make "git remote update" and "git remote prune" less necessary (there is no plan to remove "remote update" nor "remote prune", though).

Alternative to above automatic pruning for obsolete remote-tracking branches

Alternatively, instead of pruning your obsolete local remote-tracking branches through git fetch -p, you can avoid making the extra network operation by just manually removing the branch(es) with the --remote or -r flags:

git branch --delete --remotes origin/X
git branch -dr origin/X # Shorter

See Also


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867


From your illustration, I can see there are local clone repo and remote origin repo. So there are at least two physical branches. Where is the third branch to delete? Is the third branch only a pointer pointing to a commit in the local clone repo? – huggie – 2016-02-18T02:00:40.583

5@huggie that's pretty much correct. Branches in Git are just bookmarks attached to commits. So in my graphs above, there are X and origin/X bookmarks in the local clone (2 branches), and then there is X on the remote (making 3 branches). – None – 2016-02-23T07:33:42.350

6+1 for the remote tracking branch. This branch is what causes issues when you clone someone else's branch. It keeps on tracking your commits and asking you if you want to push to that person's branch. – Kermit_ice_tea – 2017-06-21T19:48:20.443


Steps for deleting a branch:

for deleting the remote branch:

git push origin --delete <your_branch> 

for deleting the local branch, you have three ways:

1: git branch -D <branch_name> 

2: git branch --delete --force <branch_name>  //same as -D

3: git branch --delete  <branch_name>         //error on unmerge

Explain: OK, just explain what's going on here!

Simply do git push origin --delete to delete your remote branch ONLY, add the name of the branch at the end and this will delete and push it to remote at the same time...

Also, git branch -D, which simply delete the local branch ONLY!...

-D stands for --delete --force which will delete the branch even it's not merged(force delete), but you can also use -d which stands for --delete which throw an error respective of the branch merge status...

I also create the image below to show the steps:

delete a remote and local branch in git


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 43 514


You can also use the following to delete the remote branch.

git push --delete origin serverfix

Which does the same thing as

git push origin :serverfix

but it may be easier to remember.


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 12 554

...and safer to use :O – cst1992 – 2017-11-29T07:31:21.977

You forgot the part about deleting the local branch which can be done by: git branch -d &lt;local_branch&gt; or git branch -D &lt;local_branch&gt; for force deleting – Amit Dash – 2018-02-14T04:23:55.173


If you want to delete a branch, first checkout to the branch other than the branch to be deleted.

git checkout other_than_branch_to_be_deleted

Deleting the local branch:

git branch -D branch_to_be_deleted

Deleting the remote branch:

git push origin --delete branch_to_be_deleted

Praveen Hiremath

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 3 588


Tip: When you delete branches using

git branch -d <branchname>    # deletes local branch


git push origin :<branchname> # deletes remote branch

only the references are deleted. Even though the branch is actually removed on the remote the references to it still exists in the local repositories of your team members. This means that for other team members the deleted branches are still visible when they do a git branch -a.

To solve this your team members can prune the deleted branches with

git remote prune <repository>

This is typically git remote prune origin.


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 4 440

14You should clarify that the above git push operation deletes the local branch and the remote branch. – Annika Backstrom – 2013-05-21T13:51:46.870

16Note that git remote prune is a somewhat obsolete way to remove obsolete remote-tracking branches, the newer way to do it is to use git fetch --prune or git fetch -p. – None – 2014-06-11T16:30:04.577

1@RRMadhav, indeed you won't see the deleted branch after deleting it since the reference to the remote branch will be removed for you locally. Anyone else on your team that has checked out that branch will still have that reference and will still see it unless they prune the branch. – pfrenssen – 2014-12-05T14:27:38.990


git branch -D <name-of-branch>
git branch -D -r origin/<name-of-branch>
git push origin :<name-of-branch>


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 10 609

6Note that -D forces the deletion. It's always better to use -d, which will remind if you need to do something dangerous. – Jonathon Reinhart – 2015-01-10T01:08:57.407

11ahahah :) it's up to you: use -d if you want to see git crying or -D if you want to cry. – Felipe – 2015-02-13T11:21:07.510


This is simple: Just run the following command:

To delete a Git branch both locally and remotely, first delete the local branch using command:

git branch -d example

(here example is the branch name)

And after that delete remote branch using command:

git push origin :example

Syeful Islam

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 936


Another approach is

git push --prune origin

WARNING: This will delete all remote branches that do not exist locally. Or more comprehensively,

git push --mirror

will effectively make the remote repository look like the local copy of the repository (local heads, remotes and tags are mirrored on remote).


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 383

114git push --prune origin looks dangerous... – Nate – 2013-06-28T22:37:45.700

git push --prune origin didn't do anything for me on gitlab: git clone git://repo.git; git branch -d -r origin/some-branches; git push --prune origin; yields: Everything up-to-date; git fetch; brings locally deleted branches back; git push --mirror; now they are really gone! – eMBee – 2015-10-08T16:46:25.583


I use the following in my Bash settings:

alias git-shoot="git push origin --delete"

Then you can call:

git-shoot branchname


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 5 034

10I ended up just add the alias "shoot" into my .gitconfig shoot = push origin --delete – hdost – 2014-12-04T18:06:37.597

If your origin is a Atlassian Stash and the branch is set as the default, you will get an error "By default, deleting the current branch is denied...". I had to change the default branch in Stash to point to another branch before I could delete. – neoscribe – 2014-12-12T00:29:35.297

This is perfectly simple as you've done it, but fyi git also lets you make custom commands. Put git push origin --delete $1 in a file on your path called git-shoot and git shoot branchname will work too. – mahemoff – 2015-10-14T07:09:31.337


Since January 2013, GitHub included a Delete branch button next to each branch in your "Branches" page.

Relevant blog post: Create and delete branches

Nacho Coloma

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 4 543

1I only started using Github this year, so I was wondering why this was such a highly rated question, and why none of the top answers were suggesting to just delete it from the Github web interface! Interesting that it's only a recent addition. – Cam Jackson – 2013-09-11T12:18:54.440


I was going to point this one out. Note that the button won't delete your local branch... see this answer for how to do that:

– ArtOfWarfare – 2013-10-29T14:02:45.723


If you want to complete both these steps with a single command, you can make an alias for it by adding the below to your ~/.gitconfig:

    rmbranch = "!f(){ git branch -d ${1} && git push origin --delete ${1}; };f"

Alternatively, you can add this to your global config from the command line using

git config --global alias.rmbranch \
'!f(){ git branch -d ${1} && git push origin --delete ${1}; };f'

NOTE: If using -d (lowercase d), the branch will only be deleted if it has been merged. To force the delete to happen, you will need to use -D (uppercase D).

Ryan Kohn

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 7 627

3This is what I was looking for. My own shell function alias didn't work (Unexpected EOF) and I couldn't figure out why, but this works great! The only change I made was replacing &amp;&amp; with ; so that even if the first command fails the second will still execute (sometimes only local or only remote exists). – user1021726 – 2014-12-16T08:55:29.740


To delete your branch locally and remotely

  • Checkout to master branch - git checkout master

  • Delete your remote branch - git push origin --delete <branch-name>

  • Delete your local branch - git branch --delete <branch-name>


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 1 325


Delete locally:

To delete a local branch, you can use:

git branch -d branch_name 

To delete a branch forcibly, use -D instead of -d.

git branch -D branch_name

Delete remotely:

There are two options:

git push origin :branchname  

git push origin --delete branchname 

I would suggest you use the 2nd way as it is more intuitive.

Rahul Gupta

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 26 465


You can also do this using git remote prune origin:

$ git remote prune origin
Pruning origin
URL: [email protected]/yourrepo.git
 * [pruned] origin/some-branchs

It prunes and deletes remote-tracking branches from a git branch -r listing.


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 885


In addition to the other answers, I often use the git_remote_branch tool. It's an extra install, but it gets you a convenient way to interact with remote branches. In this case, to delete:

grb delete branch

I find that I also use the publish and track commands quite often.


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 401


Deleting Branches

Let's assume our work on branch "contact-form" is done and we've already integrated it into "master". Since we don't need it anymore, we can delete it (locally):

$ git branch -d contact-form

And for deleting the remote branch:

git push origin --delete contact-form

Ulysses Alves

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 1 200


One liner command delete both local, and remote:

D=branch-name; git branch -D $D; git push origin :$D

or add the alias below to your ~/.gitconfig; usage: git kill branch-name

    kill = "!f(){ git branch -D \"$1\";  git push origin --delete \"$1\"; };f"

Vinnie James

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 222


Delete remote branch

git push origin :<branchname>

Delete local branch

git branch -D <branchname>

Delete local branch steps:

  1. checkout to another branch
  2. delete local branch


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 1 427


Simply say:

git branch -d <branch-name>
git push origin :<branch-name>


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 904

This works if its your own branch. But if you are pruning all unneeded branches in the repo (some of which aren't yours) it wouldn't suffice – Kermit_ice_tea – 2016-06-30T22:23:07.820


Now you can do it with the GitHub Desktop app.

After launching the app

  1. Click on the project containing the branch
  2. Switch to the branch you would like to delete switching branch
  3. From the "Branch" menu, select, "Unpublish...", to have the branch deleted from the GitHub servers. unpublish branch
  4. From the "Branch" menu, select, 'Delete "branch_name"...', to have the branch deleted off of your local machine (aka the machine you are currently working on) delete local branch


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 4 571

14I didn't downvote, but my thinking is that it isn't substantively helping. The question is obviously asking for a more commandline type answer without having to use an external program, if people were clicking into here, they likely won't be looking for a github for desktop ways. – Daemedeor – 2015-11-06T11:51:15.793

9@Daemedeor , I dissagree. In 2010 when the OP asked the question, the UI way of doing it didn't exist and the only option was command line. To indicate that you want a command line only option it should be stated in the question or with the tag, [tag:command-line-interface], which in this case is no present. – Eric – 2015-11-06T16:00:39.957

9This is exactly what I was looking for too, the Github Desktop documentation doesn't even mention the feature and this is where I ended up when searching for an answer as to what it does. It may not be "the answer" but it is useful. – Daniel – 2015-12-05T04:00:15.527

1The git command for deleting a remote branch sucks and I tend to forget it (both new and old). Luckily there are GUI tools that have the option. Git Gui, TortoiseGit and GitHub Desktop have it - I wish Git Extensions had this functionality too. Anyway, what I remember is to start Git Gui from within Git Extensions when I need to delete a remote branch. – vezenkov – 2016-03-25T21:59:21.200


To delete Locally - (Normal),

git branch -d my_branch

If your branch in rebasing/merging progress and that was not done properly means, you will get an error Rebase/Merge in progress so in that case, you won't be able to delete your branch.

So either your need to solve rebasing/merging otherwise you can do force Delete by using,

git branch -D my_branch

To delete in Remote:

git push --delete origin my_branch

can do the same using ,

git push origin :my_branch   # easy to remember both will do the same.

Graphical Representation,

enter image description here

Mohideen ibn Mohammed

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 6 869


git push origin --delete branchName

is easier to remember than

git push origin :branchName


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 829


This won't work if you have a tag with the same name as the branch on the remote:

$ git push origin :branch-or-tag-name
error: dst refspec branch-or-tag-name matches more than one.
error: failed to push some refs to '[email protected]:SomeName/some-repo.git'

In that case you need to specify that you want to delete the branch, not the tag:

git push origin :refs/heads/branch-or-tag-name

Similarly, to delete the tag instead of the branch you would use:

git push origin :refs/tags/branch-or-tag-name


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 5 803

This is fine, but people really shouldn't be naming their branches and tags with the same name and same naming scheme in the first place. – None – 2014-07-29T10:00:02.240

2Well, my scenario was that I was converting a branch to a tag and it made sense for the tag to have the same name as the branch. By converting I mean merging branch B to A and tagging the last commit in branch B with tag B so that after deleting branch B it can still be easily restored by simply checking out tag B. – Amiramix – 2014-07-30T11:59:10.383


I got sick of googling for this answer, so I took a similar approach to the answer that crizCraig posted earlier.

Added the following to my Bash profile:

function gitdelete(){
    git push origin --delete $1
    git branch -D $1

Then every time I'm done with a branch (merged into master, for example) I run the following in my terminal:

gitdelete my-branch-name

...which then deletes my-branch-name from origin as as well as locally.


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 4 294


Many of the other answers will lead to errors/warnings. This approach is relatively fool proof although you may still need git branch -D branch_to_delete if it's not fully merged into some_other_branch, for example.

git checkout some_other_branch
git push origin :branch_to_delete
git branch -d branch_to_delete

Remote pruning isn't needed if you deleted the remote branch. It's only used to get the most up to date remotes available on a repo you're tracking. I've observed git fetch will add remotes, not remove them. Here's an example of when git remote prune origin will actually do something:

User A does the steps above. User B would run the following commands to see the most up to date remote branches

git fetch
git remote prune origin
git branch -r

Brandon Cook

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 1 042


Before executing

git branch --delete <branch>

make sure you determine first what the EXACT name of the remote branch is by executing:

git ls-remote

This will tell you what to enter EXACTLY for <branch> value. (branch is case sensitive!)


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 2 073


git push origin :bugfix  # Deletes remote branch
git branch -d bugfix     # Must delete local branch manually

If you are sure you want to delete it, run

git branch -D bugfix

Now to clean up deleted remote branches run

git remote prune origin


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 459


Mashup of all the other answers. Requires Ruby 1.9.3+, tested only on OS X.

Call this file git-remove, make it executable, and put it in your path. Then use, for example, git remove temp.

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
require 'io/console'

if __FILE__ == $0
      branch_name = ARGV[0] if (ARGV[0])
      print "Press Y to force delete local and remote branch #{branch_name}..."
    response = STDIN.getch
    if ['Y', 'y', 'yes'].include?(response)
      puts "\nContinuing."
      `git branch -D #{branch_name}`
      `git branch -D -r origin/#{branch_name}`
      `git push origin --delete #{branch_name}` 
      puts "\nQuitting."

Dan Rosenstark

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 41 585


one-letter get courtesy of this answer:

– Dan Rosenstark – 2013-11-19T21:04:12.693

@chhh then you need to extend this functionality to make this a variable instead of an assumption. – Dan Rosenstark – 2014-12-05T16:44:44.030

2sorry, but install Ruby for that kind of work ? More logical is implementation on bash, which will work out of box. – Reishin – 2015-05-21T19:37:04.567

@Reishin Ruby is installed on the box just like Bash, at least on OSX. Please see:, where this topic has been discarded as opinion-based by SO.

– Dan Rosenstark – 2015-05-21T20:03:07.703

2@Yar this link is out of the context and have a more broader scope. I tell only about git and as topic is not originated only for OSX, that choose is strange for other systems (e.g. *UNIX, Windows) – Reishin – 2015-05-21T20:33:30.490


I added the following aliases to my .gitconfig file. This allows me to delete branches with or without specifying the branch name. Branch name is defaulted to the current branch if no argument is passed in.

    branch-name = rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD     

    rm-remote-branch = !"f() { branch=${1-$(git branch-name)}; git push origin :$branch; }; f"
    rm-local-branch = !"f() { branch=${1-$(git branch-name)}; git checkout master; git branch -d $branch; }; f"
    rm-branch-fully = !"f() { branch=${1-$(git branch-name)}; git rm-local-branch $branch; git rm-remote-branch $branch; }; f"

Jared Knipp

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 4 079


An alternative option to the command line for deleting remote branches is the GitHub branches page.

See for example:

Found in the Code -> Branches page of a GitHub repository.

I generally prefer command line myself but this GitHub page shows you lots more information about the branches, such as last updated date and user, and number of commits ahead and behind. It is useful when dealing with a large number of branches.

Bradley Flood

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 5 463


I also had similar issues, and this seems to work: This deletes local branch. git branch -d the_local_branch

This removes remote branch git push origin :the_remote_branch

Source: Makandra Cards

Srijan Karki

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 1 000


There are good answer, but, in case that you have a ton of branches, deleting them one by one locally and remotly, would be a tedious tasks. You can use this script to automate this tasks.

branch_not_delete=( "master" "develop" "our-branch-1" "our-branch-2")

for branch in `git branch -a | grep remotes | grep -v HEAD | grep -v master`; do

    # delete prefix remotes/origin/ from branch name
    branch_name="$(awk '{gsub("remotes/origin/", "");print}' <<< $branch)"

    if ! [[ " ${branch_not_delete[*]} " == *" $branch_name "* ]]; then
        # delete branch remotly and locally
        git push origin :$branch_name
  • List the branches that you don't want to delete
  • Iterate over remotes branch and if they aren't in our "preserve list", we deleted.

Source: removing-git-branches-at-once


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 13 904


Using GitBash you can execute the following:

git branch --delete <branch>


From the GitHub desktop app, when you have the branch checked out, you can delete the Local branch via the Branch menu strip:

enter image description here

If you ARE NOT using the GitHub desktop app, and are using an IDE like Visual Studio for your local source control, all you have to do is a couple quick steps:

  1. Check out a branch other than the one you wish to delete.
  2. Right-click the branch you wish to delete.
  3. Select the Delete option from the context menu.

Then, once logged in to your GitHub account online, go to the repository and click the All Branches tab. From there, just click the little trash can icon on the right on the name of the brach you wish to delete.

enter image description here

*Keep in mind - if the branch isn't published, there's no need to try to delete it from your online repository.

Uchiha Itachi

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 844


According to latest document using terminal we can delete following way.

delete in local:

git branch -D usermanagement

delete in remote location:

git push --delete origin usermanagement


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 4 717


I created the following convenient function in my .bash_aliases file:

    if [[ -n $1 ]]; then
        git checkout master > /dev/null;
        echo "Deleting local $branch_name branch...";
        git branch -D "$branch_name";
        echo "Deleting remote $branch_name branch...";
        git push origin --delete "$branch_name";
        git remote prune origin;
        echo "Your current branches are:";
        git branch -a;
        echo "Usage: git-delete-branch <branch_name>";

Vagelis Prokopiou

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 626


Its very simple

To delete remote branch

git push -d origin <branch-name>


git push origin :<branch-name>

To delete local branch

git branch -D <branch-name>

Vivek Maru

Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 803


I use the following in my Bash settings:

alias git-shoot="git push origin --delete"

Then you can call:

git-shoot branchname


Posted 2010-01-05T01:12:15.867

Reputation: 132