How to remove local (untracked) files from the current Git working tree?

6 013

1 531

How do you delete untracked local files from your current working tree?

Readonly

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 127 509

70

This interactive git cheat sheet http://www.ndpsoftware.com/git-cheatsheet.html shows the git workspace (google gives you better results with "workspace" than "working copy").

– qneill – 2013-02-01T15:43:02.460

22

Note: if you only want to remove some untracked files, but not all of them, git clean has now an interactive mode! See my answer to this other question: git 1.8.4+

– VonC – 2013-07-23T06:00:10.703

12Note that you're not removing files from git branch, as branch is a reference to a commit and therefore doesn't contain untracked files. Those are only present in the working directory and have nothing to do with branches. That's probably just terminology clarification. – Pavel Šimerda – 2014-09-14T22:28:05.900

Before you post a new answer, consider there are already 25+ answers for this question. Make sure that your answer contributes what is not among existing answers – Sazzad Hissain Khan – 2017-06-15T15:30:40.020

2To clarify for the understanding of the uninitiated and those new to Git - run git status and if it shows a file as untracked, and you don't want that file in the repo, you can just go to your filesystem and delete or move it. This will not do anything bad to your local repo or to Git. You can also use git clean or some variation in the answers below, including the interactive version to delete just selective files, but interactive mode can be tedious. Whatever you do, make sure you understand what git clean will delete or use --dry-run to have it tell you without deleting anything. – LightCC – 2017-09-02T06:15:43.243

1If the files are not yet being tracked, couldn't you just remove them without git? rm files-to-be-deleted – mhatch – 2018-03-14T20:48:23.357

Just saying: personally I'd be WAY too worried I overlooked something. So I'd simply create a fresh clone in a separate directory, then eventually delete the original after I triple-checked I have everything I need. – User1291 – 2018-05-02T07:54:25.370

I would Stash it in case you need to use them again and to clean use git clean: more deatils: https://git-scm.com/docs/git-clean

– Cafebabe – 2018-06-20T20:44:33.423

@User1291 you will loose all your local branches and stashes if you fresh clone in another directory. – Abdul Rauf – 2018-07-13T05:20:43.003

http://idownvotedbecau.se/noattempt/ – Robert Columbia – 2018-08-21T22:19:08.520

Answers

7 865

As per the Git Documentation git clean

Remove untracked files from the working tree


Step 1 is to show what will be deleted by using the -n option:

git clean -n

Clean Step - beware: this will delete files:

git clean -f
  • To remove directories, run git clean -f -d or git clean -fd
  • To remove ignored files, run git clean -f -X or git clean -fX
  • To remove ignored and non-ignored files, run git clean -f -x or git clean -fx

Note the case difference on the X for the two latter commands.

If clean.requireForce is set to "true" (the default) in your configuration, one needs to specify -f otherwise nothing will actually happen.

Again see the git-clean docs for more information.

Options

-f

--force

If the Git configuration variable clean.requireForce is not set to false, git clean will refuse to run unless given -f, -n or -i.

-x

Don’t use the standard ignore rules read 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.

-X

Remove only files ignored by Git. This may be useful to rebuild everything from scratch, but keep manually created files.

-n

--dry-run

Don’t actually remove anything, just show what would be done.

-d

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.

Andreas Ericsson

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation:

227git clean -f works only in the directory where it's called (and subdirectories). If you want to clean the whole working copy, you should call it in its root directory. – Eduardo Bezerra – 2013-03-08T10:51:18.167

How do I make it include ignored directories/files? – Jürgen Paul – 2013-05-14T12:39:45.857

12It is also removing all files inside .gitignore. I need to delete only files/folders which are new and not in .gitignore – Kostanos – 2013-08-05T23:02:34.990

18@Kostanos If you don't want to remove files that are in .gitignore, then do not provide the -x flag. – Lo-Tan – 2013-08-23T18:44:35.707

1Note that -x or -X flags remove the files ignored by .gitignore, but not those ignored by update-index --assume-unchanged. – Ville – 2013-11-05T22:52:37.273

I am sorry if I am missing anything, but is git clean -f different from simply deleting the file ? – maan81 – 2014-09-30T09:49:49.193

40git clean -f :/ works as if you had run it in the root repo dir. See also later answers also accounting for submodules with git clean -ffxd :/ – here – 2014-10-16T20:38:11.653

The number of votes says how important it is to have a command that is more intuitive. Something like git remove untracked or git remove_untracked – Ich – 2015-05-07T20:26:44.357

13@Michelle git clean -xfd WILL also REMOVE ALL FILES CURRENTLY IGNORED IN YOUR .gitignore and they are not recoverable – thedanotto – 2015-11-20T05:36:00.093

@Michelle : Nice to write, what actually it does, it deletes all files which has been in gitignore list and I came to know about this thing after bad experience. – Akash KC – 2016-06-05T12:52:31.913

is there anyway that I can just not delete, but undo changes? – Honey – 2017-04-24T20:37:23.800

2@maan81, you're right. git clean -f is no different from simply deleting a file. But that doesn't make it useless as I, maybe incorrectly, feel you implied. When you have a lot of build artifacts, that is hundreds of files in tens of directories, "simply deleting" them may turn out to be not that "simple". You will have to script it. That's what git clean -f does for you as it knows exactly which files do and which don't belong to the repo. – Alexander Amelkin – 2017-07-03T10:24:15.067

1Use -f option twice if you really want to remove such a directory. that's what I was after! thanks! – Kevin Friedheim – 2017-07-17T18:14:09.557

2After struggling and cursing for 45 solid minutes, I found @EduardoBezerra's comment... I think the OP should edit his answer to emphasize git clean's behavior - of only deleting stuff in the directory you are - and subdirectories thereof. It's not clear from git help or from the answer itself. – Motti Shneor – 2018-09-20T15:43:29.007

851

Use git clean -f -d to make sure that directories are also removed.

You can then check if your files are really gone with git status.

robert.berger

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 9 016

92As previously stated, good to dry-run it with git clean -n -d – Ms01 – 2013-12-09T10:54:56.603

6Same thing is to do git clean -nd and git clean -fd. – Micer – 2017-07-10T09:13:53.760

420

I am surprised nobody mentioned this before:

git clean -i

That stands for interactive and you will get a quick overview of what is going to be deleted offering you the possibility to include/exclude the affected files. Overall, still faster than running the mandatory --dry-run before the real cleaning.

You will have to toss in a -d if you also want to take care of empty folders. At the end, it makes for a nice alias:

git iclean

That being said, the extra hand holding of interactive commands can be tiring for experienced users. These days I just use the already mentioned git clean -fd

SystematicFrank

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 10 243

13got: error: unknown switch `i' – pal4life – 2014-06-18T21:58:27.140

13

@pal4life It was added in 1.8.4, you might be running an older version of git? https://github.com/git/git/blob/master/Documentation/RelNotes/1.8.4.txt

– Mattias Backman – 2014-09-30T12:37:52.457

8@SystematicFrank, Don't use alias, they don't really scale beyond 1 person.... – Pacerier – 2015-10-20T11:01:56.923

388

Fire Lancer

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 15 385

211

If untracked directory is a git repository of its own (e.g. submodule), you need to use -f twice:

git clean -d -f -f

Michał Szajbe

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 7 227

2

BTW, this is written in documentation : Git will refuse to delete directories with .git sub directory or file unless a second -f is given. But thanks anyway!

– Maxim Suslov – 2015-07-24T09:03:05.547

omg, I was looking for this for two hours! Thanks for posting this solution – justadev – 2018-11-19T10:13:30.217

151

Simple Way to remove untracked files

To remove all untracked files, The simple way is to add all of them first and reset the repo as below

git add --all
git reset --hard HEAD

Thanga

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 4 771

120

I like git stash push -u because you can undo them all with git stash pop.

EDIT: Also I found a way to show untracked file in a stash (e.g. git show [email protected]{0}^3) https://stackoverflow.com/a/12681856/338986

EDIT2: git stash save is deprecated in favor of push. Thanks @script-wolf.

hiroshi

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 4 402

1Can you explain the -u on the stash? I do not follow how that works differently from git stash save. I tried this and it worked. Looked on git docs and could not find it there either. – Winnemucca – 2016-10-17T20:52:27.987

6-u is equivalent to --include-untracked. You can find a help with git help stash. – hiroshi – 2016-10-18T08:55:14.100

1@hiroshi Thanks! after trying every darn solution from a dozen different people this is the one that finally worked...whew ! Even a git stash did nada. The save - u took care of untracked. reset hard /clean force/etc none of these did anything for me. – killjoy – 2017-02-15T16:26:12.020

1

The save option was deprecated in favor of push, which does the same but more. You can read more here, https://stackoverflow.com/questions/44680028/whats-the-difference-between-git-stash-save-and-git-stash-push/44681952

– Script Wolf – 2018-10-24T15:51:07.267

95

This is what I always use:

git clean -fdx

For a very large project you might want to run it a couple of times.

Oscar Fraxedas

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 2 582

7Could you explain the remark about large projects? – Martin G – 2016-02-28T05:16:56.907

@Martin One of the projects I'm working on is +8 years old with +80 developers actively coding. Git sometimes fails to clean it on the first pass. – Oscar Fraxedas – 2016-02-29T13:10:37.843

Perfectly deleted many files that i needed ... now crying :( – GOXR3PLUS – 2018-11-29T13:20:14.547

83

git-clean is what you are looking for. It is used to remove untracked files from the working tree.

Espo

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 33 949

same comment as previous : http://linux.die.net/man/1/git-clean

– dlewin – 2011-11-03T14:04:16.533

73

If needed to remove untracked files from particular subdirectory,

git clean -f {dir_path}

And combined way to delete untracked dir/files and ignored files.

git clean -fxd {dir_path}

after this you will have modified files only in git status.

Vijay C

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 3 904

48

git clean -fd removes directory

git clean -fX removes ignored files

git clean -fx removes ignored and un-ignored files

can be used all above options in combination as

git clean -fdXx

check git manual for more help

Pooja

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 894

6The command git clean -fdXx produces the error message "fatal: -x and -X cannot be used together" (using git-2.8). For your last sentence within your answer, please provide a link to git manual. Cheers – olibre – 2016-07-04T16:23:19.877

34

Remove all extra folders and files in this repo + submodules

This gets you in same state as fresh clone.

git clean -ffdx

Remove all extra folders and files in this repo but not its submodules

git clean -fdx

Remove only extra folders but not files (ex. build folder)

git clean -fd

Remove extra folders + ignored files (but not any newly added files)

If file wasn't ignored and not yet checked-in then it stays. Note the capital X.

git clean -fdX

New interactive mode

git clean

ShitalShah

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 22 835

34

OK, deleting unwanted untracked files and folders are easy using git in command line, just do it like this:

git clean -fd

Double check before doing it as it will delete the files and folders without making any history...

Also in this case, -f stands for force and -d stands for directory...

So, if you want to delete files only, you can use -f only:

git clean -f

If you want to delete(directories) and files, you can delete only untracked directories and files like this:

git clean -fd

Also, you can use -x flag for including the files which are ignored by git. This would be helpful if you want to delete everything.

And adding -i flag, makes git asking you for permission for deleting files one by one on the go.

If you not sure and want to check things first, add -n flag.

Use -q if you don't want to see any report after successful deletion.

I also create the image below to make it more memorisable, specially I have seen many people confuse -f for cleaning folder sometimes or mix it up somehow!


deleting unwanted untracked files and folder

Alireza

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 43 514

32

A better way is to use: git clean

git clean -d -x -f

This removes untracked files, including directories (-d) and files ignored by git (-x).

Also, replace the -f argument with -n to perform a dry-run or -i for interactive mode and it will tell you what will be removed.

Chhabilal

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 831

20

User interactive approach:

git clean -i -fd

Remove .classpath [y/N]? N
Remove .gitignore [y/N]? N
Remove .project [y/N]? N
Remove .settings/ [y/N]? N
Remove src/com/arsdumpgenerator/inspector/ [y/N]? y
Remove src/com/arsdumpgenerator/manifest/ [y/N]? y
Remove src/com/arsdumpgenerator/s3/ [y/N]? y
Remove tst/com/arsdumpgenerator/manifest/ [y/N]? y
Remove tst/com/arsdumpgenerator/s3/ [y/N]? y

-i for interactive
-f for force
-d for directory
-x for ignored files(add if required)

Note: Add -n or --dry-run to just check what it will do.

bit_cracker007

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 680

15

git clean -f -d -x $(git rev-parse --show-cdup) applies clean to the root directory, no matter where you call it within a repository directory tree. I use it all the time as it does not force you to leave the folder where you working now and allows to clean & commit right from the place where you are.

Be sure that flags -f, -d, -x match your needs:

-d
       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.

-f, --force
       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 with .git
       sub directory or file unless a second -f is given. This affects
       also git submodules where the storage area of the removed submodule
       under .git/modules/ is not removed until -f is given twice.

-x
       Don't use the standard ignore rules read 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.

There are other flags as well available, just check git clean --help.

Nikita Leonov

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 5 141

15

For me only following worked:

git clean -ffdx

In all other cases, I was getting message "Skipping Directory" for some subdirectories.

rahul286

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 580

13

A lifehack for such situation I just invented and tried (that works perfectly):

git add .
git reset --hard HEAD

Beware! Be sure to commit any needed changes (even in non-untracked files) before performing this.

thybzi

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 818

13

If you just want to delete the files listed as untracked by 'git status'

git stash save -u
git stash drop "[email protected]{0}"

I prefer this to 'git clean' because 'git clean' will delete files ignored by git, so your next build will have to rebuild everything and you may lose your IDE settings too.

jazzdev

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 464

10

To know what will be deleted before actually deleting:

git clean -d -n

It will output something like:

Would remove sample.txt

To delete everything listed in the output of the previous command:

git clean -d -f

It will output something like:

Removing sample.txt

Omar Mowafi

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 749

8

To remove the untracked files you should first use command to view the files that will be affected by cleaning

git clean -fdn

This will show you the list of files that will be deleted. Now to actually delete those files use this command:

git clean -fd

Gaurav

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 454

6

Be careful while running `git clean` command.

Always use -n before running the actual command as it will show you what files would get removed.

git clean -n -d 
git clean -f -d

By default, git clean will only remove untracked files that are not ignored. Any file that matches a pattern in your .gitignore or other ignore files will not be removed. If you want to remove those files too, you can add a -x to the clean command.

git clean -f -d -x

There is also interactive mode available -i with the clean command

git clean -x -i

Alternatively

If you are not 100% sure that deleting your uncommitted work is safe, you could use stashing instead

git stash --all

It will also clear your directory but give you flexibility to retrieve the files at any point in time using stash with apply or pop. Then at later point you could clear your stash using:

git stash drop // or clean

DevWL

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 6 015

5

Normal git clean command doesn't remove untracked files with my git version 2.9.0.windows.1.

$ git clean -fdx     # doesn't remove untracked files
$ git clean -fdx *   # Append star then it works!

kujiy

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 1 925

5

git clean -f to remove untracked files from working directory.

I have covered some basics here in my blog, git-intro-basic-commands

ysk

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 508

5

uggested Command for Removing Untracked Files from git docs is git clean

git clean - Remove untracked files from the working tree

Suggested Method: Interative Mode by using git clean -i so we can have control over it. let see remaining available options.

Available Options:

git clean 
    -d -f -i -n -q -e -x -X (can use either)

Explanation:

1. -d

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.

2. -f, --force

If the Git configuration variable clean.requireForce is not set to false, git clean will refuse to run unless given -f, -n or -i.

3. -i, --interactive

Show what would be done and clean files interactively. See “Interactive mode” for details.

4. -n, --dry-run

Don’t actually remove anything, just show what would be done.

5. -q, --quiet

Be quiet, only report errors, but not the files that are successfully removed.

6. -e , --exclude=

In addition to those found in .gitignore (per directory) and $GIT_DIR/info/exclude, also consider these patterns to be in the set of the ignore rules in effect.

7. -x

Don’t use the standard ignore rules read 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.

8. -X

Remove only files ignored by Git. This may be useful to rebuild everything from scratch, but keep manually created files.

Mohideen ibn Mohammed

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 6 869

5

We can easily removed local untracked files from the current git working tree by using below git comments.

git reset [--soft | --mixed [-N] | --hard | --merge | --keep] [-q] [<commit>]

Example:

git reset --hard HEAD

Links :

  1. https://git-scm.com/docs/git-reset
  2. How do I use 'git reset --hard HEAD' to revert to a previous commit?
  3. Reset local repository branch to be just like remote repository HEAD
  4. https://jwiegley.github.io/git-from-the-bottom-up/3-Reset/4-doing-a-hard-reset.html

Elangovan

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 1 859

3

Clean out git repository and all submodules recursively

The following command will clean out the current git repository and all its submodules recursively:

(git clean -d -x -f && git submodule foreach --recursive git clean -d -x -f)

Sergey

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 1 069

3

oh-my-zsh with zsh provides those great aliases via the git plugin. They can be used in bash as well.

gclean='git clean -fd'
gpristine='git reset --hard && git clean -dfx'

  • gclean removes untracked directories in addition to untracked files.
  • gpristine hard reset the local changes, remove untracked directories, untracked files and don't use the standard ignore rules read 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.

ZenLulz

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 3 694

1

git clean -f

will remove the untracked files from the current git

git clean -fd

when you want to remove directories and files, this will delete only untracked directories and files

sudhir Vishwakarma

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 347

1

I haved failed using most popular answers here - git doesn't delete untracked files from the repository anyway. No idea why. This is my super simplified answer without SPECIAL GIT COMMANDS!

Mission: delete untracked files from git repository:

  1. Move files and folders elsewhere from your local project folder for a while
  2. Delete all lines in .gitignore about these files and folders for the commit
  3. Git add .
  4. Git commit -m “Cleaning repository from untracked files”
  5. Git push

All files and folders has been deleted from the repository.

Lets restore them on localhost if you need them:

  1. Move back all files and folders you have moved temporary to the local project folder again
  2. Move back all lines about these files and folders to .gitignore
  3. Git add .
  4. Git commit -m “Checking or files not appearing again in git repository”
  5. Git push

You are done!

Gediminas

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 2 751

1

I like to use git stash command, later you can get stashed files and changes. git clean is also a good option but totally depends on your requirement. here is the explanation of git stash and git clean,7.3 Git Tools - Stashing and Cleaning

Zia

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 21

0

Note: First navigate to the directory and checkout the branch you want to clean.

-i interactive mode and it will tell you what will be removed and you can choose an action from the list.

  1. To clean files only [Folders will not be listed and will not be cleaned]: $ git clean -i

  2. To clean files and folders: $ git clean -d -i

-d including directories.


If you choose c from the list. The files/folders will be deleted that are not tracked and will also remove files/folders that you mess-up.*

For instance: If you restructure the folder in your remote and pull the changes to your local computer. files/folders that are created by others initially will be in past folder and in the new one that you restructure.

Gnanasekar S

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 687

0

use git reset HEAD <file> to unstage a file

Vivek

Posted 2008-09-14T09:06:10.647

Reputation: 150