How do you remove an invalid remote branch reference from Git?


In my current repo I have the following output:

$ git branch -a
* master

I want to delete remotes/public/master from the branch list:

$ git branch -d remotes/public/master
error: branch 'remotes/public/master' not found.

Also, the output of git remote is strange, since it does not list public:

$ git remote show 

How can I delete 'remotes/public/master' from the branch list?

Update, tried the git push command:

$ git push public :master
fatal: 'public' does not appear to be a git repository
fatal: The remote end hung up unexpectedly


You might be needing a cleanup:

git gc --prune=now

or you might be needing a prune:

git remote prune public


Deletes all stale tracking branches under <name>. These stale branches have already been removed from the remote repository referenced by <name>, but are still locally available in "remotes/<name>".

With --dry-run option, report what branches will be pruned, but do no actually prune them.

However, it appears these should have been cleaned up earlier with

git remote rm public 


Remove the remote named <name>. All remote tracking branches and configuration settings for the remote are removed.

So it might be you hand-edited your config file and this did not occur, or you have privilege problems.

Maybe run that again and see what happens.

Advice Context

If you take a look in the revision logs, you'll note I suggested more "correct" techniques, which for whatever reason didn't want to work on their repository.

I suspected the OP had done something that left their tree in an inconsistent state that caused it to behave a bit strangely, and git gc was required to fix up the left behind cruft.

Usually git branch -rd origin/badbranch is sufficient for nuking a local tracking branch , or git push origin :badbranch for nuking a remote branch, and usually you will never need to call git gc

How do I remove version tracking from a project cloned from git?

Git - working on wrong branch - how to copy changes to existing topic branch