How to Rename a Git Branch

January 02, 2019

Recently at work, after I had started making changes to a Git repository on a branch, I needed to rename that branch to share it with others. When I’m working by myself on something I tend to name branches mhn/topic - my initials followed by some relevant topic. Not wanting to share a branch with multiple other developers that has my initials in it, I needed to rename it.

Step 1. Switch to the local branch you want to rename

git checkout <old_name>

Step 2. Rename the local branch like so

git branch -m <new_name>

Step 3. If the branch has already been pushed to the remote repository, then delete the old_name remote branch

git push origin --delete <old_name>

Step 4. Push the new branch name and reset the upstream branch

git push origin -u <new_name>

You have now successfully renamed your Git branch.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.