Remove local git tags that are no longer on the remote repository


We use tags in git as part of our deployment process. From time to time, we want to clean up these tags by removing them from our remote repository.

This is pretty straightforward. One user deletes the local tag and the remote tag in one set of commands. We have a little shell script that combines both steps.

The 2nd (3rd, 4th,...) user now has local tags that are no longer reflected on the remote.

I am looking for a command similar to git remote prune origin which cleans up locally tracking branches for which the remote branch has been deleted.

Alternatively, a simple command to list remote tags could be used to compare to the local tags returned via git tag -l.


This is great question, I'd been wondering the same thing.

I didn't want to write a script so sought a different solution. The key is discovering that you can delete a tag locally, then use git fetch to "get it back" from the remote server. If the tag doesn't exist on the remote, then it will remain deleted.

Thus you need to type two lines in order:

git tag -l | xargs git tag -d
git fetch --tags


  1. Delete all tags from the local repo. FWIW, xargs places each tag output by "tag -l" onto the command line for "tag -d". Without this, git won't delete anything because it doesn't read stdin (silly git).

  2. Fetch all active tags from the remote repo.

This even works a treat on Windows.

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