Reset local repository branch to be just like remote repository HEAD


How do I reset my local branch to be just like the branch on the remote repository?

I did:

git reset --hard HEAD

But when I run a git status,

On branch master
Changes to be committed:
  (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage)
      modified:   java/com/mycompany/
      modified:   java/com/mycompany/

Can you please tell me why I have these 'modified'? I haven't touched these files? If I did, I want to remove those.

2/19/2016 6:18:44 PM

Accepted Answer

Setting your branch to exactly match the remote branch can be done in two steps:

git fetch origin
git reset --hard origin/master

If you want to save your current branch's state before doing this (just in case), you can do:

git commit -a -m "Saving my work, just in case"
git branch my-saved-work

Now your work is saved on the branch "my-saved-work" in case you decide you want it back (or want to look at it later or diff it against your updated branch).

Note that the first example assumes that the remote repo's name is "origin" and that the branch named "master" in the remote repo matches the currently checked-out branch in your local repo.

BTW, this situation that you're in looks an awful lot like a common case where a push has been done into the currently checked out branch of a non-bare repository. Did you recently push into your local repo? If not, then no worries -- something else must have caused these files to unexpectedly end up modified. Otherwise, you should be aware that it's not recommended to push into a non-bare repository (and not into the currently checked-out branch, in particular).

7/24/2020 7:21:46 AM

I needed to do (the solution in the accepted answer):

git fetch origin
git reset --hard origin/master

Followed by:

git clean -f

to remove local files

To see what files will be removed (without actually removing them):

git clean -n -f

First, reset to the previously fetched HEAD of the corresponding upstream branch:

git reset --hard @{u}

The advantage of specifying @{u} or its verbose form @{upstream} is that the name of the remote repo and branch don't have to be explicitly specified. On Windows or with PowerShell, specify "@{u}" (with double quotes).

Next, as needed, remove untracked files, optionally also with -x:

git clean -df

Finally, as needed, get the latest changes:

git pull

git reset --hard HEAD actually only resets to the last committed state. In this case HEAD refers to the HEAD of your branch.

If you have several commits, this won't work..

What you probably want to do, is reset to the head of origin or whatever you remote repository is called. I'd probably just do something like

git reset --hard origin/HEAD

Be careful though. Hard resets cannot easily be undone. It is better to do as Dan suggests, and branch off a copy of your changes before resetting.


All of the above suggests are right, but often to really reset your project, you also need to remove even files that are in your .gitignore.

To get the moral equivalent of erasing your project directory and re-cloning from the remote is:

git fetch
git reset --hard
git clean -x -d -f

Warning: git clean -x -d -f is irreversible and you may lose files and data (e.g. things you have ignored using .gitignore).


Use the commands below. These commands will remove all untracked files from local git too

git fetch origin
git reset --hard origin/master
git clean -d -f

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