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Git - Renaming A Branch: Locally & Remotely

April 30, 2019

To rename the name of a branch, there are four potential steps:

  1. Checkout the existing branch (the one you want to rename): git checkout <old_name>
  2. Rename the local branch by moving it: git branch -m <new_name>
  3. If you’ve already pushed the <old_name> branch to the remote repository delete the <old_name> remote branch: git push origin --delete <old_name>
  4. Finally push the <new_name> local branch and reset the upstream branch: git push origin -u <new_name>

That’s it. At this point you have successfully renamed your local and remote Git branch.

A note about the -m flag:

Similar to the mv command in Bash, the -m flag is for moving. Since you’re on a branch, Git infers the branch that’s being moved, however, you can be explicit and consolidate steps 1 and 2 with git branch -m <oldbranch> <newbranch>.

Additional Reading

Stephen Weiss

Written by Stephen Weiss who lives in Chicago with his wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Follow him on Twitter!