How do I undo 'git add' before commit?

Want to improve this post? Provide detailed answers to this question, including citations and an explanation of why your answer is correct. Answers without enough detail may be edited or deleted. I mistakenly added files to Git using the command: git add myfile.txt I have not yet run git commit. Is there a way to undo this, so these files won't be included in the commit?


You can undo git add before commit with git reset <file> which will remove it from the current index (the "about to be committed" list) without changing anything else. You can use git reset without any file name to unstage all due changes. This can come in handy when there are too many files to be listed one by one in a reasonable amount of time. In old versions of Git, the above commands are equivalent to git reset HEAD <file> and git reset HEAD respectively, and will fail if HEAD is undefined (because you haven't yet made any commits in your repository) or ambiguous (because you created a branch called HEAD, which is a stupid thing that you shouldn't do). This was changed in Git 1.8.2, though, so in modern versions of Git you can use the commands above even prior to making your first commit: "git reset" (without options or parameters) used to error out when you do not have any commits in your history, but it now gives you an empty index (to match non-existent commit you are not even on). Documentation: git reset

You want: git rm --cached <added_file_to_undo> Reasoning: When I was new to this, I first tried git reset . (to undo my entire initial add), only to get this (not so) helpful message: fatal: Failed to resolve 'HEAD' as a valid ref. It turns out that this is because the HEAD ref (branch?) doesn't exist until after the first commit. That is, you'll run into the same beginner's problem as me if your workflow, like mine, was something like: cd to my great new project directory to try out Git, the new hotness git init git add . git status ... lots of crap scrolls by ... => Damn, I didn't want to add all of that. google "undo git add" => find Stack Overflow - yay git reset . => fatal: Failed to resolve 'HEAD' as a valid ref. It further turns out that there's a bug logged against the unhelpfulness of this in the mailing list. And that the correct solution was right there in the Git status output (which, yes, I glossed over as 'crap) ... # Changes to be committed: # (use "git rm --cached <file>..." to unstage) ... And the solution indeed is to use git rm --cached FILE. Note the warnings elsewhere here - git rm deletes your local working copy of the file, but not if you use --cached. Here's the result of git help rm: --cached Use this option to unstage and remove paths only from the index. Working tree files, whether modified or not, will be left. I proceed to use git rm --cached . to remove everything and start again. Didn't work though, because while add . is recursive, turns out rm needs -r to recurse. Sigh. git rm -r --cached . Okay, now I'm back to where I started. Next time I'm going to use -n to do a dry run and see what will be added: git add -n . I zipped up everything to a safe place before trusting git help rm about the --cached not destroying anything (and what if I misspelled it).

If you type: git status Git will tell you what is staged, etc., including instructions on how to unstage: use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage I find Git does a pretty good job of nudging me to do the right thing in situations like this. Note: Recent Git versions (1.8.4.x) have changed this message: (use "git rm --cached <file>..." to unstage)

To clarify: git add moves changes from the current working directory to the staging area (index). This process is called staging. So the most natural command to stage the changes (changed files) is the obvious one: git stage git add is just an easier-to-type alias for git stage Pity there is no git unstage nor git unadd commands. The relevant one is harder to guess or remember, but it is pretty obvious: git reset HEAD -- We can easily create an alias for this: git config --global alias.unadd 'reset HEAD --' git config --global alias.unstage 'reset HEAD --' And finally, we have new commands: git add file1 git stage file2 git unadd file2 git unstage file1 Personally I use even shorter aliases: git a # For staging git u # For unstaging

An addition to the accepted answer, if your mistakenly-added file was huge, you'll probably notice that, even after removing it from the index with 'git reset', it still seems to occupy space in the .git directory. This is nothing to be worried about; the file is indeed still in the repository, but only as a "loose object". It will not be copied to other repositories (via clone, push), and the space will be eventually reclaimed - though perhaps not very soon. If you are anxious, you can run: git gc --prune=now Update (what follows is my attempt to clear some confusion that can arise from the most upvoted answers): So, which is the real undo of git add? git reset HEAD <file> ? or git rm --cached <file>? Strictly speaking, and if I'm not mistaken: none. git add cannot be undone - safely, in general. Let's recall first what git add <file> actually does: If <file> was not previously tracked, git add adds it to the cache, with its current content. If <file> was already tracked, git add saves the current content (snapshot, version) to the cache. In Git, this action is still called add, (not mere update it), because two different versions (snapshots) of a file are regarded as two different items: hence, we are indeed adding a new item to the cache, to be eventually committed later. In light of this, the question is slightly ambiguous: I mistakenly added files using the command... The OP's scenario seems to be the first one (untracked file), we want the "undo" to remove the file (not just the current contents) from the tracked items. If this is the case, then it's ok to run git rm --cached <file>. And we could also run git reset HEAD <file>. This is in general preferable, because it works in both scenarios: it also does the undo when we wrongly added a version of an already tracked item. But there are two caveats. First: There is (as pointed out in the answer) only one scenario in which git reset HEAD doesn't work, but git rm --cached does: a new repository (no commits). But, really, this a practically irrelevant case. Second: Be aware that git reset HEAD can't magically recover the previously cached file contents, it just resynchronises it from the HEAD. If our misguided git add overwrote a previous staged uncommitted version, we can't recover it. That's why, strictly speaking, we cannot undo [*]. Example: $ git init $ echo "version 1" > file.txt $ git add file.txt # First add of file.txt $ git commit -m 'first commit' $ echo "version 2" > file.txt $ git add file.txt # Stage (don't commit) "version 2" of file.txt $ git diff --cached file.txt -version 1 +version 2 $ echo "version 3" > file.txt $ git diff file.txt -version 2 +version 3 $ git add file.txt # Oops we didn't mean this $ git reset HEAD file.txt # Undo? $ git diff --cached file.txt # No dif, of course. stage == HEAD $ git diff file.txt # We have irrevocably lost "version 2" -version 1 +version 3 Of course, this is not very critical if we just follow the usual lazy workflow of doing 'git add' only for adding new files (case 1), and we update new contents via the commit, git commit -a command. * (Edit: the above is practically correct, but still there can be some slightly hackish/convoluted ways for recovering changes that were staged, but not committed and then overwritten - see the comments by Johannes Matokic and iolsmit)

Undo a file which has already been added is quite easy using Git. For resetting myfile.txt, which have already been added, use: git reset HEAD myfile.txt Explanation: After you staged unwanted file(s), to undo, you can do git reset. Head is head of your file in the local and the last parameter is the name of your file. I have created the steps in the image below in more details for you, including all steps which may happen in these cases:

git rm --cached . -r will "un-add" everything you've added from your current directory recursively

Git has commands for every action imaginable, but it needs extensive knowledge to get things right and because of that it is counter-intuitive at best... What you did before: Changed a file and used git add ., or git add <file>. What you want: Remove the file from the index, but keep it versioned and left with uncommitted changes in working copy: git reset HEAD <file> Reset the file to the last state from HEAD, undoing changes and removing them from the index: # Think `svn revert <file>` IIRC. git reset HEAD <file> git checkout <file> # If you have a `<branch>` named like `<file>`, use: git checkout -- <file> This is needed since git reset --hard HEAD won't work with single files. Remove <file> from index and versioning, keeping the un-versioned file with changes in working copy: git rm --cached <file> Remove <file> from working copy and versioning completely: git rm <file>

Run git gui and remove all the files manually or by selecting all of them and clicking on the unstage from commit button.

The question is not clearly posed. The reason is that git add has two meanings: adding a new file to the staging area, then undo with git rm --cached file. adding a modified file to the staging area, then undo with git reset HEAD file. If in doubt, use git reset HEAD file Because it does the expected thing in both cases. Warning: if you do git rm --cached file on a file that was modified (a file that existed before in the repository), then the file will be removed on git commit! It will still exist in your file system, but if anybody else pulls your commit, the file will be deleted from their work tree. git status will tell you if the file was a new file or modified: On branch master Changes to be committed: (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage) new file: my_new_file.txt modified: my_modified_file.txt

As per many of the other answers, you can use git reset BUT: I found this great little post that actually adds the Git command (well, an alias) for git unadd: see git unadd for details or.. Simply, git config --global alias.unadd "reset HEAD" Now you can git unadd foo.txt bar.txt Alternatively / directly: git reset HEAD foo.txt bar.txt

If you're on your initial commit and you can't use git reset, just declare "Git bankruptcy" and delete the .git folder and start over

Use git add -i to remove just-added files from your upcoming commit. Example: Adding the file you didn't want: $ git add foo $ git status # On branch master # Changes to be committed: # (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage) # # new file: foo # # Untracked files: # (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed) # [...]# Going into interactive add to undo your add (the commands typed at git here are "r" (revert), "1" (first entry in the list revert shows), 'return' to drop out of revert mode, and "q" (quit): $ git add -i staged unstaged path 1: +1/-0 nothing foo *** Commands *** 1: [s]tatus 2: [u]pdate 3: [r]evert 4: [a]dd untracked 5: [p]atch 6: [d]iff 7: [q]uit 8: [h]elp What now> r staged unstaged path 1: +1/-0 nothing [f]oo Revert>> 1 staged unstaged path * 1: +1/-0 nothing [f]oo Revert>> note: foo is untracked now. reverted one path *** Commands *** 1: [s]tatus 2: [u]pdate 3: [r]evert 4: [a]dd untracked 5: [p]atch 6: [d]iff 7: [q]uit 8: [h]elp What now> q Bye. $ That's it! Here's your proof, showing that "foo" is back on the untracked list: $ git status # On branch master # Untracked files: # (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed) # [...] # foo nothing added to commit but untracked files present (use "git add" to track) $

Here's a way to avoid this vexing problem when you start a new project: Create the main directory for your new project. Run git init. Now create a .gitignore file (even if it's empty). Commit your .gitignore file. Git makes it really hard to do git reset if you don't have any commits. If you create a tiny initial commit just for the sake of having one, after that you can git add -A and git reset as many times as you want in order to get everything right. Another advantage of this method is that if you run into line-ending troubles later and need to refresh all your files, it's easy: Check out that initial commit. This will remove all your files. Then check out your most recent commit again. This will retrieve fresh copies of your files, using your current line-ending settings.

git reset filename.txt will remove a file named filename.txt from the current index (also called the “staging area”, which is where changes “about to be committed” are saved), without changing anything else (the working directory is not overwritten).

Note that if you fail to specify a revision then you have to include a separator. Example from my console: git reset <path_to_file> fatal: ambiguous argument '<path_to_file>': unknown revision or path not in the working tree. Use '--' to separate paths from revisions git reset -- <path_to_file> Unstaged changes after reset: M <path_to_file> (Git version 1.7.5.4)

Maybe Git has evolved since you posted your question. $> git --version git version 1.6.2.1 Now, you can try: git reset HEAD . This should be what you are looking for.

2019 update As pointed out by others in related questions (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), you can now unstage a single file with: git restore --staged <file> and unstage all files (from the root of the repo) with: git restore --staged . Notes git restore was introduced in July 2019 and released in version 2.23. With the --staged flag, it restores the content of the index (what is asked here). When running git status with staged uncommitted file(s), this is now what Git suggests to use to unstage file(s) (instead of git reset HEAD <file> as it used to prior to v2.23).

To remove new files from the staging area (and only in case of a new file), as suggested above: git rm --cached FILE Use rm --cached only for new files accidentally added.

To reset every file in a particular folder (and its subfolders), you can use the following command: git reset *

Use the * command to handle multiple files at a time: git reset HEAD *.prj git reset HEAD *.bmp git reset HEAD *gdb* etc.

Just type git reset it will revert back and it is like you never typed git add . since your last commit. Make sure you have committed before.

Suppose I create a new file, newFile.txt: Suppose I add the file accidentally, git add newFile.txt: Now I want to undo this add, before commit, git reset newFile.txt:

For a specific file: git reset my_file.txt git checkout my_file.txt For all added files: git reset . git checkout . Note: checkout changes the code in the files and moves to the last updated (committed) state. reset doesn't change the codes; it just resets the header.

To undo git add, use: git reset filename

There is also interactive mode: git add -i Choose option 3 to un add files. In my case I often want to add more than one file, and with interactive mode you can use numbers like this to add files. This will take all but 4: 1, 2, 3, and 5 To choose a sequence, just type 1-5 to take all from 1 to 5. Git staging files

This command will unstash your changes: git reset HEAD filename.txt You can also use git add -p to add parts of files.

git reset filename.txt Will remove a file named filename.txt from the current index, the "about to be committed" area, without changing anything else.

git add myfile.txt # This will add your file into the to-be-committed list Quite opposite to this command is, git reset HEAD myfile.txt # This will undo it. so, you will be in the previous state. Specified will be again in untracked list (previous state). It will reset your head with that specified file. so, if your head doesn't have it means, it will simply reset it.

In Sourcetree you can do this easily via the GUI. You can check which command Sourcetree uses to unstage a file. I created a new file and added it to Git. Then I unstaged it using the Sourcetree GUI. This is the result: Unstaging files [08/12/15 10:43] git -c diff.mnemonicprefix=false -c core.quotepath=false -c credential.helper=sourcetree reset -q -- path/to/file/filename.java Sourcetree uses reset to unstage new files.