How to undo the last local commit in Git? [Answered]

Query explained:

I accidentally committed the wrong files to Git, but didn’t push the commit to the server yet.

How can I undo those commits from the local repository?

The only way seems to be to copy the edits in some kind of GUI text editor, then wipe the whole local clone, then re-clone the repository, then re-applying the edits. However,

  • This can cause data loss.
  • It’s very hard to do this when only an accidental git commit was run.

Is there a better way?

How to undo the last local commit in Git? Answer #1:

Undo a commit & redo

$ git commit -m "Something terribly misguided" # (0: Your Accident)
$ git reset HEAD~                              # (1)
[ edit files as necessary ]                    # (2)
$ git add .                                    # (3)
$ git commit -c ORIG_HEAD                      # (4)
  1. This command is responsible for the undo. It will undo your last commit while leaving your working tree (the state of your files on disk) untouched. You’ll need to add them again before you can commit them again).
  2. Make corrections to working tree files.
  3. git add anything that you want to include in your new commit.
  4. Commit the changes, reusing the old commit message. reset copied the old head to .git/ORIG_HEADcommit with -c ORIG_HEAD will open an editor, which initially contains the log message from the old commit and allows you to edit it. If you do not need to edit the message, you could use the -C option.

Alternatively, to edit the previous commit (or just its commit message)commit --amend will add changes within the current index to the previous commit.

To remove (not revert) a commit that has been pushed to the server, rewriting history with git push origin master --force is necessary.

Answer #2:

Undoing a commit is a little scary if you don’t know how it works. But it’s actually amazingly easy if you do understand. I’ll show you the 4 different ways you can undo a commit.

option 1: git reset --hard

Say you have this, where C is your HEAD and (F) is the state of your files.

   (F)
A-B-C
    ↑
  master

You want to nuke commit C and never see it again and lose all the changes in locally modified files. You do this:

git reset --hard HEAD~1

The result is:

 (F)
A-B
  ↑
master

Now B is the HEAD. Because you used --hard, your files are reset to their state at commit B.

option 2: git reset

Ah, but suppose commit C wasn’t a disaster, but just a bit off. You want to undo the commit but keep your changes for a bit of editing before you do a better commit. Starting again from here, with C as your HEAD:

   (F)
A-B-C
    ↑
  master

You can do this, leaving off the --hard:

git reset HEAD~1

In this case the result is:

   (F)
A-B-C
  ↑
master

In both cases, HEAD is just a pointer to the latest commit. When you do a git reset HEAD~1, you tell Git to move the HEAD pointer back one commit. But (unless you use --hard) you leave your files as they were. So now git status shows the changes you had checked into C. You haven’t lost a thing!

option 3: git reset --soft

For the lightest touch, you can even undo your commit but leave your files and your index:

git reset --soft HEAD~1

This not only leaves your files alone, it even leaves your index alone. When you do git status, you’ll see that the same files are in the index as before. In fact, right after this command, you could do git commit and you’d be redoing the same commit you just had.

option 4: you did git reset --hard and need to get that code back

One more thing: Suppose you destroy a commit as in the first example, but then discover you needed it after all? Tough luck, right?

Nope, there’s still a way to get it back. Type git reflog and you’ll see a list of (partial) commit shas (that is, hashes) that you’ve moved around in. Find the commit you destroyed, and do this:

git checkout -b someNewBranchName shaYouDestroyed

You’ve now resurrected that commit. Commits don’t actually get destroyed in Git for some 90 days, so you can usually go back and rescue one you didn’t mean to get rid of.

Answer #3:

There are two ways to “undo” your last commit, depending on whether or not you have already made your commit public (pushed to your remote repository):

How to undo a local commit

Let’s say I committed locally, but now I want to remove that commit.

git log
    commit 101: bad commit    # Latest commit. This would be called 'HEAD'.
    commit 100: good commit   # Second to last commit. This is the one we want.

To restore everything back to the way it was prior to the last commit, we need to reset to the commit before HEAD:

git reset --soft HEAD^     # Use --soft if you want to keep your changes
git reset --hard HEAD^     # Use --hard if you don't care about keeping the changes you made

Now git log will show that our last commit has been removed.

How to undo a public commit

If you have already made your commits public, you will want to create a new commit which will “revert” the changes you made in your previous commit (current HEAD).

git revert HEAD

Your changes will now be reverted and ready for you to commit:

git commit -m 'restoring the file I removed by accident'
git log
    commit 102: restoring the file I removed by accident
    commit 101: removing a file we don't need
    commit 100: adding a file that we need

Answer #4:

Add/remove files to get things the way you want:

git rm classdir
git add sourcedir

Then amend the commit:

git commit --amend

The previous, erroneous commit will be edited to reflect the new index state – in other words, it’ll be like you never made the mistake in the first place.

Note that you should only do this if you haven’t pushed yet. If you have pushed, then you’ll just have to commit a fix normally.

Answer #5:

git rm yourfiles/*.class
git commit -a -m "deleted all class files in folder 'yourfiles'"

or

git reset --hard HEAD~1

Warning: The above command will permanently remove the modifications to the .java files (and any other files) that you wanted to commit.

The hard reset to HEAD-1 will set your working copy to the state of the commit before your wrong commit.

Answer #6:

To change the last commit

Replace the files in the index:

git rm --cached *.class
git add *.java

Then, if it’s a private branch, amend the commit:

git commit --amend

Or, if it’s a shared branch, make a new commit:

git commit -m 'Replace .class files with .java files'

(To change a previous commit, use the awesome interactive rebase.)


ProTip™: Add *.class to a gitignore to stop this happening again.


To revert a commit

Amending a commit is the ideal solution if you need to change the last commit, but a more general solution is reset.

You can reset Git to any commit with:

git reset @~N

Where N is the number of commits before HEAD, and @~ resets to the previous commit.

Instead of amending the commit, you could use:

git reset @~
git add *.java
git commit -m "Add .java files"

Check out git help reset, specifically the sections on --soft --mixed and --hard, for a better understanding of what this does.

Reflog

If you mess up, you can always use the reflog to find dropped commits:

$ git reset @~
$ git reflog
c4f708b [email protected]{0}: reset: moving to @~
2c52489 [email protected]{1}: commit: added some .class files
$ git reset 2c52489
... and you're back where you started

How do I undo the most recent local commits in Git? Answer #7:

In case you are planning to undo a local commit entirely, whatever you change you did on the commit, and if you don’t worry anything about that, just do the following command.

git reset --hard HEAD^1

(This command will ignore your entire commit and your changes will be lost completely from your local working tree). If you want to undo your commit, but you want your changes in the staging area (before commit just like after git add) then do the following command.

git reset --soft HEAD^1

Now your committed files come into the staging area. Suppose if you want to upstage the files, because you need to edit some wrong content, then do the following command

git reset HEAD

Now committed files to come from the staged area into the unstaged area. Now files are ready to edit, so whatever you change, you want to go edit and add it and make a fresh/new commit.

I prefer to use git rebase -i for this job, because a nice list pops up where I can choose the commits to get rid of. It might not be as direct as some other answers here, but it just feels right.

Choose how many commits you want to list, then invoke like this (to enlist last three)

git rebase -i HEAD~3

Sample list

pick aa28ba7 Sanity check for RtmpSrv port
pick c26c541 RtmpSrv version option
pick 58d6909 Better URL decoding support

If you want to permanently undo it and you have cloned some repository.

The commit id can be seen by:

git log 

Then you can do like:

git reset --hard <commit_id>

git push origin <branch_name> -f

I wanted to undo the latest five commits in our shared repository. I looked up the revision id that I wanted to rollback to. Then I typed in the following.

prompt> git reset --hard 5a7404742c85
HEAD is now at 5a74047 Added one more page to catalogue
prompt> git push origin master --force
Total 0 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: bb/acl: neoneye is allowed. accepted payload.
To [email protected]:thecompany/prometheus.git
 + 09a6480...5a74047 master -> master (forced update)
prompt>

Hope you learned something from this post.

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About ᴾᴿᴼᵍʳᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ

Linux and Python enthusiast, in love with open source since 2014, Writer at programming-articles.com, India.

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