Rename a branch in git

How to rename a branch in git


Sometimes we choose the wrong name for our branch or we add some misspelled word and we need to rename the branch.

After looking for help on man git branch we are able to find the option -m.

-m, --move
    Move/rename a branch and the corresponding reflog.
git branch [<options>] (-m | -M) [<old-branch>] <new-branch>

So, let’s run this option.

git branch -m new-branch

(If the current branch is not the one you want to rename, you need to specify which branch is the <old-branch>)

In our case it would be: git branch -m old_branch new-branch

→ git status
On branch new-branch
Your branch is up-to-date with 'origin/old_branch'.
nothing to commit, working tree clean

It did rename the local branch, but not the remote one. If we need to do a push it would fail. How can we rename the remote branch?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible. We need to remove the old branch and create a new one.

git push origin :old_branch

→ git status
On branch new-branch
Your branch is based on 'origin/old_branch', but the upstream is gone.
  (use "git branch --unset-upstream" to fixup)

git branch --unset-upstream new-branch

→ git status
On branch new-branch
nothing to commit, working tree clean

git push --set-upstream origin new-branch

→ git status
On branch new-branch
Your branch is up-to-date with 'origin/new-branch'.
nothing to commit, working tree clean

And we are done!


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