How to rename and change a Git branch name locally & remotely
There’s really no magic when it comes to having to change a Git branch name locally and remotely.
Git Branch Rename Command
The steps to change a git branch name are:
- Rename the Git branch locally with the git branch -m new-branch-name command
- Push the new branch to your GitHub or GitLab repo
- Delete the branch with the old name from your remote repo
Example of a Git branch renaming
On my own local environment, I had a bugfix branch incorrectly named bogfix:
[email protected] /c/git/gitub (bogfix) $ git branch -a * bogfix main
While on the bogfix branch, the command to change the Git branch name, which requires the -m switch, is issued:
[email protected] /c/git/gitub (bogfix) $ git branch -m bugfix
A quick request to show all branches shows that the command to change the Git branch name was successeful, as the bogfix branch was renamed to bugfix.
[email protected] /c/git/gitub (bogfix) $ git branch -a * bugfix main
Delete renamed Git branch from GitHub
However, if this branch originated from a remote server like GitHub, BitBucket or GitLab, then the incorrectly named branch must be deleted. This can be done using one of the vendor’s online tools, or through the command line:
[email protected] /c/git/gitub (bogfix) $ git push origin --delete bogfix To https://github.com/learn-git-fast/git-branch-examples.git - [deleted] bogfix
Then you can push the renamed Git branch remotely, and nobody will be wise to the fact that an incorrectly named branch ever existed:
[email protected] /c/git/gitub (bogfix) $ git push origin -u bugfix * [new branch] bugfix -> bugfix Renamed git branch set up to track remote branch 'bugfix' from 'origin'.
And that’s how easy it is to rename a Git branch locally and remotely.