DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for Git - How to fix a bad commit

Git - How to fix a bad commit

guivern profile image Guillermo Verón Updated on ・2 min read

Oh no, this commit is a mess! 🤦‍♂️

We all have a bad day sometimes. We can forget to include a file, leave some comments, or a merge didn't go as expected. Fortunately, Git has some commands to deal with these common situations and I want to show you some of them.

Modify commit message

Oops... You found a spelling mistake in the commit message. No worries, you can modify it:

git commit --amend -m "new message"
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Add files to last commit

You already have committed the changes but forgot to add some files. No problem, you can still add them to the commit:

git add <file_name>
git commit --amend HEAD~1
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Undo commits

If you want to undo the last commit but keep the changes:

git reset --soft HEAD~1
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If you want to undo both commit and changes: ⚠️ Be sure that you want to lose the changes:

git reset --hard HEAD~1
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Alternatively, if you want to undo all your local changes, you can reset to the origin version of the branch:

git reset --hard origin/<branch_name>
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If you want to undo the commit without altering the existing history. You can use git revert, this command undoes a commit by creating a new commit:

git revert HEAD
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

If you have just resolved some conflicts, finished the merge, and push to origin. But wait, something went wrong...

The safe way to undo a merge commit that has already pushed to the remote branch is using the git revert command:

git revert -m 1 <commit_id>
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

commit_id is the merge commit id that you want to revert.

Notes:

  • You can also undo any number of commits. E.g:

    • git reset HEAD~3 (going back three commits before HEAD).
    • git reset --hard <commit_id> (going back to a specific commit).
  • Use git reset if the commit is not pushed yet and you don't want to introduce a bad commit to the remote branch.

  • Use git revert to revert a merge commit that has already pushed to the remote branch.

  • Use git log to review the commit history.

  • If you prefer, you can also create a new commit with the fix.

I hope you find these commands as useful as I do and can use them. If you already knew these or think one is missing, please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Discussion (22)

Collapse
qwby profile image
Dominik Halfkann • Edited

Those are some great tips! I always loved this site called „Oh Sh*t, git“ because it has a pretty elaborative list of what can go wrong and how to fix it: ohshitgit.com/

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author • Edited

What a great resource! Thanks a lot for sharing it. 🚀

Collapse
markoshiva profile image
Marko Shiva Pavlovic

just learn it like any other language or a tool in toolchain.
Like cmake or makefile syntax... :)
Its not hard especially if you do not mind studying how it is implemented there are nice courses on the topic.

Collapse
kayodeadechinan profile image
Kayode Adechinan

great tips, thanks

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Thank you! 🙌

Collapse
mrzhouzh profile image
jeffy Zhou

Useful tips

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Thank you, @mrzhouzh ! 🙏🏻️

Collapse
bhupesh profile image
Bhupesh Varshney 👾

Wrote this script to undo your last git f**k up (still in WIP for a stable release)
Might help someone :)

GitHub logo Bhupesh-V / ugit

🚨️ ugit helps you undo your last git command with grace. Your damage control git buddy

ugit

ugit logo

Undo your last oopsie 🙈️ in git without much effort

License: MIT Issues Twitter: bhupeshimself ugit demo gid

Why ugit

  • You did an accidental git command you didn't want to.
  • You don't want to waste your time searching on how to undo ...

What's in the box

ugit supports undoing following operations, some are a WIP. If you know of any operation that can be undone and is not in the list, make sure to send a quick PR 💛️

  • Undo git commit
  • Undo git add
  • Undo git push
  • Undo git branch -D (branch delete)
  • Undo git pull
  • Undo git reset
  • Undo git tag -d (tag delete)
  • Undo git stash apply
  • Undo git stash pop/drop/clear
  • Undo accidental file delete (Restore a deleted file after a commit)
  • Undo (Restore) a file to a previous version
  • Undo git merge
  • Undo git tag (rename a tag)
  • Undo git rebase
  • Undo git cherry-pick
  • Undo git worktree remove (recover deleted work-tree)

Installation




Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Wow! Great job! 🤯️

Collapse
alekseiberezkin profile image
Aleksei Berezkin

Thanks for not mentioning force push 😉 Worked at project where lead used it routinely, and that was very frustrating

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Thanks, @alekseiberezkin ! I can't imagine how frustrating it was. 🤦🏻‍♂️️

Collapse
lelepg profile image
Leticia Pegoraro Garcez

Wow, that's super useful. I have to say I LOVE git, but I don't know as much as I'd like on how to use it properly haha

Collapse
guivern profile image
Collapse
khrisl33t profile image
kHRISl33t • Edited

Using reflog can also be helpful to see what you did on your local. :)

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Thanks for mentioning it! It's very useful in figuring out what happened

Collapse
pichaya07 profile image
Pich Chaya

Thank you for useful tips

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Thank you 🙌

Collapse
pavelee profile image
Paweł

thanks, really useful. It's funny that most dev use git, but not many know stuff you mentioned here.

Collapse
guivern profile image
Collapse
a2ramu profile image
ramu

This is very useful

Collapse
guivern profile image
Guillermo Verón Author

Thank you 🙌

Collapse
sohamraje137 profile image
Soham Patil

git rebase -i Head~x

This works to delete the commit history and rebase your branch on any commit

Forem Open with the Forem app