How do I delete a Git branch locally and remotely?


Failed Attempts to Delete a 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 From

  • [new branch] bugfix -> origin/bugfix Already up-to-date.

How do I properly delete the remotes/origin/bugfix branch both locally and remotely?


Executive Summary

git push -d <remote_name> <branchname>
git branch -d <branchname>

Note: In most cases, <remote_name> will be origin.

Delete Local Branch

To delete the local branch, use one of the following:

git branch -d <branch_name>
git branch -D <branch_name>
  • The -d option is an alias for --delete, which only deletes the branch if it has already been fully merged in its upstream branch.
  • The -D option is an alias for --delete --force, which deletes the branch "irrespective of its merged status." [Source: man git-branch]
  • As of Git v2.3, git branch -d (delete) learned to honor the -f (force) flag.
  • You will receive an error if you try to delete the currently selected branch.

Delete Remote Branch

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 with 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 main branch (or whatever branch your stable code-line 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 branches 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 ran 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).

Finally, execute the following on other machines to propagate changes:

# Fetch changes from all remotes and locally delete 
# remote deleted branches/tags etc
# --prune will do the job :-;
git fetch --all --prune

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