How can I delete a file from git repo?

I have added a file named "file1.txt" to git repo. After that I committed it, added a couple directories called dir1 and dir2, and committed them to git repo.

Now the current repo has "file1.txt", dir1 and dir2.
How can I delete "file1.txt" without affecting others like dir1 and dir2?

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  • 14 Solutions collect form web for “How can I delete a file from git repo?”

    Use git rm:

    git rm file1.txt
    git commit -m "remove file1.txt"

    But if you want to remove the file only from the Git repository and not remove it from the filesystem, use:

    git rm --cached file1.txt

    And to push changes to remote repo

    git push origin branch_name  

    git rm file.txt removes the file from the repo but also deletes it from the local file system.

    To remove the file from the repo and not delete it from the local file system use:
    git rm --cached file.txt

    The below exact situation is where I use git to maintain version control for my business’s website, but the “mickey” directory was a tmp folder to share private content with a CAD developer. When he needed HUGE files, I made a private, unlinked directory and ftpd the files there for him to fetch via browser. Forgetting I did this, I later performed a git add -A from the website’s base directory. Subsequently, git status showed the new files needing committing. Now I needed to delete them from git’s tracking and version control…

    Sample output below is from what just happened to me, where I unintentionally deleted the .003 file. Thankfully, I don’t care what happened to the local copy to .003, but some of the other currently changed files were updates I just made to the website and would be epic to have been deleted on the local file system! “Local file system” = the live website (not a great practice, but is reality).

    [~/www]$ git rm shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.003
    error: 'shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.003' has local modifications
    (use --cached to keep the file, or -f to force removal)
    [~/www]$ git rm -f shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.003
    rm 'shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.003'
    [~/www]$ git status
    # On branch master
    # Changes to be committed:
    #   (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage)
    #   deleted:    shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.003
    # Changed but not updated:
    #   (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed)
    #   (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)
    #   modified:   shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.001
    #   modified:   shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.002
    [~/www]$ ls shop/mickey/mtt_flange_S*
    shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.001  shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.002
    [~/www]$ git rm --cached shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.002
    rm 'shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.002'
    [~/www]$ ls shop/mickey/mtt_flange_S*
    shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.001  shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.002
    [~/www]$ git status
    # On branch master
    # Changes to be committed:
    #   (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage)
    #   deleted:    shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.002
    #   deleted:    shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.003
    # Changed but not updated:
    #   modified:   shop/mickey/mtt_flange_SCN.7z.001

    Update: This answer is getting some traffic, so I thought I’d mention my other Git answer shares a couple of great resources: This page has a graphic that help demystify Git for me. The “Pro Git” book is online and helps me a lot.

    If your file is already on GitHub, you now (July 2013) can directly delete it from the web GUI!

    Simply view any file in your repository, click the trash can icon at the top, and commit the removal just like any other web-based edit.

    delete button

    (the commit will reflect the deletion of that file):

    commit a deletion

    And just like that, it’s gone.

    For help with these features, be sure to read our help articles on creating, moving, renaming, and deleting files.

    Note: Since it’s a version control system, Git always has your back if you need to recover the file later.

    The last sentence means that the deleted file is still part of the history, and you can restore it easily enough (but not yet through the GitHub web interface):

    See “Restore a deleted file in a Git repo”.

    This is the only option that worked for me.

    git filter-branch -f --index-filter 'git rm --cached --ignore-unmatch *.sql'

    Note: Replace *.sql with your file name or file type. Be very careful because this will go through every commit and rip this file type out.

    More generally, git help will help with at least simple questions like this:

    zhasper@berens:/media/Kindle/documents$ git help
    usage: git [--version] [--exec-path[=GIT_EXEC_PATH]] [--html-path] [-p|--paginate|--no-pager] [--bare] [--git-dir=GIT_DIR] [--work-tree=GIT_WORK_TREE] [--help] COMMAND [ARGS]
    The most commonly used git commands are:
       add        Add file contents to the index
       rm         Remove files from the working tree and from the index

    Additionally, if it’s a folder to be removed and it’s subsequent child folders or files, use:

    git rm -r foldername

    If you want to delete the file from the repo, but leave it in the the file system (will be untracked):

    bykov@gitserver:~/temp> git rm --cached file1.txt
    bykov@gitserver:~/temp> git commit -m "remove file1.txt from the repo"

    If you want to delete the file from the repo and from the file system then there are two options:

    1. If the file has no changes staged in the index:

      bykov@gitserver:~/temp> git rm file1.txt
      bykov@gitserver:~/temp> git commit -m "remove file1.txt"
    2. If the file has changes staged in the index:

      bykov@gitserver:~/temp> git rm -f file1.txt
      bykov@gitserver:~/temp> git commit -m "remove file1.txt"

    git rm will only remove the file on this branch from now on, but it remains in history and git will remember it.

    The right way to do it is with git filter-branch, as others have mentioned here. It will rewrite every commit in the history of the branch to delete that file.

    But, even after doing that, git can remember it because there can be references to it in reflog, remotes, tags and such.

    If you want to completely obliterate it in one step, I recommend you to use git forget-blob

    It is easy, just do git forget-blob file1.txt.

    This will remove every reference, do git filter-branch, and finally run the git garbage collector git gc to completely get rid of this file in your repo.

    Another way if you want to delete the file from your local folder using rm command and then push the changes to the remote server.

    rm file1.txt
    git commit -a -m "Deleting files"
    git push origin master

    If you have the GitHub for Windows application, you can delete a file in 5 easy steps:

    • Click Sync.
    • Click on the directory where the file is located and select your latest version of the file.
    • Click on tools and select “Open a shell here.”
    • In the shell, type: “rm {filename}” and hit enter.
    • Commit the change and resync.

    In my case I tried to remove file on github after few commits but save on computer

    git filter-branch -f --index-filter 'git rm --cached --ignore-unmatch file_name_with_path' HEAD
    git push --force -u origin master

    and later this file was ignored

    To delete a specific file

    git rm filename

    To clean all the untracked files from a directory recursively in single shot

    git clean -fdx

    1. First,Remove files from local repository.

      git rm -r File-Name

      or, remove files only from local repository but from filesystem

      git rm –cached File-Name

    2. Secondly, Commit changes into local repository.

      git commit -m "unwanted files or some inline comments"   
    3. Finally, update/push local changes into remote repository.

      git push 

    Incase if you don’t file in your local repo but in git repo, then simply open file in git repo through web interface and find Delete button at right corner in interface.
    Click Here, To view interface Delete Option

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.