How do I delete a Git branch both locally and remotely?

I want to delete a branch both locally and on my remote project fork on GitHub.

Failed Attempts to Delete Remote Branch

$ git branch -d remotes/origin/bugfix
error: branch 'remotes/origin/bugfix' not found.

$ git branch -d origin/bugfix
error: branch 'origin/bugfix' not found.

$ git branch -rd origin/bugfix
Deleted remote branch origin/bugfix (was 2a14ef7).

$ git push
Everything up-to-date

$ git pull
From github.com:gituser/gitproject
* [new branch] bugfix -> origin/bugfix
Already up-to-date.

What do I need to do differently to successfully delete the
remotes/origin/bugfix branch both locally and on GitHub?

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  • 30 Solutions collect form web for “How do I delete a Git branch both locally and remotely?”

    Executive Summary

    $ git push -d origin <branch_name>
    $ git branch -d <branch_name>
    

    Delete Local Branch

    To delete the local branch use:

    $ git branch -d branch_name
    

    or use:

    $ git branch -D branch_name
    

    Note: The -d option is an alias for --delete, which only deletes the branch if it has already been fully merged in its upstream branch. You could also use -D, which is an alias for --delete --force, which deletes the branch “irrespective of its merged status.” [Source: man git-branch]

    Delete Remote Branch [Updated on 1-Feb-2012]

    As of Git v1.7.0, you can delete a remote branch using

    $ git push origin --delete <branch_name>
    

    which might be easier to remember than

    $ git push origin :<branch_name>
    

    which was added in Git v1.5.0 “to delete a remote branch or a tag.”

    Therefore, the version of Git you have installed will dictate whether you need to use the easier or harder syntax.

    Delete Remote Branch [Original Answer from 5-Jan-2010]

    From Chapter 3 of Pro Git by Scott Chacon:

    Deleting Remote Branches

    Suppose you’re done with a remote branch — say, you and your collaborators are finished with a feature and have merged it into your remote’s master branch (or whatever branch your stable codeline is in). You can delete a remote branch using the rather obtuse syntax git push [remotename] :[branch]. If you want to delete your serverfix branch from the server, you run the following:

    $ git push origin :serverfix
    To git@github.com:schacon/simplegit.git
     - [deleted]         serverfix
    

    Boom. No more branch on your server. You may want to dog-ear this page, because you’ll need that command, and you’ll likely forget the syntax. A way to remember this command is by recalling the git push [remotename] [localbranch]:[remotebranch] syntax that we went over a bit earlier. If you leave off the [localbranch] portion, then you’re basically saying, “Take nothing on my side and make it be [remotebranch].”

    I issued git push origin :bugfix and it worked beautifully. Scott Chacon was right—I will want to dog ear that page (or virtually dog ear by answering this on Stack Overflow).

    Then you should execute this on other machines

    git fetch --all --prune
    

    to propagate changes.

    Matthew’s answer is great for removing remote branches and I also appreciate the explanation, but to make a simple distinction between the two commands:

    To remove a local branch from your machine:

    git branch -d {the_local_branch} (use -D instead to force deletion without checking merged status)

    To remove a remote branch from the server:

    git push origin --delete {the_remote_branch}

    Reference: https://makandracards.com/makandra/621-git-delete-a-branch-local-or-remote

    The Short Answers

    If you want more detailed explanations of the following commands, then see the long answers in the next section.

    Deleting a remote branch:

    git push origin --delete <branch>  # Git version 1.7.0 or newer
    git push origin :<branch>          # Git versions older than 1.7.0
    

    Deleting a local branch:

    git branch --delete <branch>
    git branch -d <branch> # Shorter version
    git branch -D <branch> # Force delete un-merged branches
    

    Deleting a local remote-tracking branch:

    git branch --delete --remotes <remote>/<branch>
    git branch -dr <remote>/<branch> # Shorter
    
    git fetch <remote> --prune # Delete multiple obsolete tracking branches
    git fetch <remote> -p      # Shorter
    

    The Long Answer: there are 3 different branches to delete!

    When you’re dealing with deleting branches both locally and remotely, keep in mind that there are 3 different branches involved:

    1. The local branch X.
    2. The remote origin branch X.
    3. The local remote-tracking branch origin/X that tracks the remote branch X.

    Visualization of 3 branches

    The original poster used

    git branch -rd origin/bugfix
    

    which only deleted his local remote-tracking branch origin/bugfix, and not the actual remote branch bugfix on origin.

    Diagram 2

    To delete that actual remote branch, you need

    git push origin --delete bugfix
    

    Diagram 3

    Additional Details

    The following sections describe additional details to consider when deleting your remote and remote-tracking branches.

    Pushing to delete remote branches also deletes remote-tracking branches

    Note that deleting the remote branch X from the command line using a git push will also delete the local remote-tracking branch origin/X, so it is not necessary to prune the obsolete remote-tracking branch with git fetch --prune or git fetch -p, though it wouldn’t hurt if you did it anyway.

    You can verify that the remote-tracking branch origin/X was also deleted by running the following:

    # View just remote-tracking branches
    git branch --remotes
    git branch -r
    
    # View both strictly local as well as remote-tracking branches
    git branch --all
    git branch -a
    

    Pruning the obsolete local remote-tracking branch origin/X

    If you didn’t delete your remote branch X from the command line (like above), then your local repo will still contain (a now obsolete) remote-tracking branch origin/X. This can happen if you deleted a remote branch directly through GitHub’s web interface, for example.

    A typical way to remove these obsolete remote-tracking branches (since Git version 1.6.6) is to simply run git fetch with the --prune or shorter -p. Note that this removes all obsolete local remote-tracking branches for any remote branches that no longer exist on the remote:

    git fetch origin --prune
    git fetch origin -p # Shorter
    

    Here is the relevant quote from the 1.6.6 release notes (emphasis mine):

    “git fetch” learned --all and --multipleoptions, to run fetch from
    many repositories, and --prune option to remove remote tracking
    branches that went stale.
    These make “git remote update” and “git
    remote prune” less necessary (there is no plan to remove “remote
    update” nor “remote prune”, though).

    Alternative to above automatic pruning for obsolete remote-tracking branches

    Alternatively, instead of pruning your obsolete local remote-tracking branches through git fetch -p, you can avoid making the extra network operation by just manually removing the branch(es) with the --remote or -r flags:

    git branch --delete --remotes origin/X
    git branch -dr origin/X # Shorter
    

    See Also

    • git-branch(1) Manual Page.
    • git-fetch(1) Manual Page.
    • Pro Git § 3.5 Git Branching – Remote Branches.

    You can also use the following to delete the remote branch.

    git push --delete origin serverfix
    

    Which does the same thing as

    git push origin :serverfix
    

    but it may be easier to remember.

    If you want to delete a branch, first checkout to the branch other than the branch to be deleted.

    git checkout other_than_branch_to_be_deleted
    

    Deleting the local branch:

    git branch -D branch_to_be_deleted
    

    Deleting the remote branch:

    git push origin --delete branch_to_be_deleted
    

    Tip: When you delete branches using

    git branch -d <branchname>    # deletes local branch
    

    or

    git push origin :<branchname> # deletes remote branch
    

    only the references are deleted. Even though the branch is actually removed on the remote the references to it still exists in the local repositories of your team members. This means that for other team members the deleted branches are still visible when they do a git branch -a.

    To solve this your team members can prune the deleted branches with

    git remote prune <repository>
    

    This is typically git remote prune origin.

    git branch -D <name-of-branch>
    git branch -D -r origin/<name-of-branch>
    git push origin :<name-of-branch>
    

    Steps for deleting a branch:

    for deleting the origin branch:

    git push origin --delete <your_branch> 
    

    for deleting the local:

    git branch -D <branch_name> 
    

    Explain: OK, just explain what’s going on!

    Simply do git push origin --delete to delete your remote branch, add the name of the branch at the end… and this will delete and push it to remote at the same time…

    Also, git branch -D, which simply delete the local branch Only!…

    -D stands for --delete --force which will delete the branch even it’s not merged(force delete), but you also can use -d which stands for --delete which throw an error respective of the branch merge status…

    I also create the image below to show the steps:

    delete a branch in git

    This is simple: Just run the following command:

    To delete a Git branch both locally and remotely, first delete the local branch using command:

    git branch -d example
    

    (here example is the branch name)

    And after that delete remote branch using command:

    git push origin :example
    

    Another approach is

    git push --prune origin
    

    WARNING: This will delete all remote branches that do not exist locally. Or more comprehensively,

    git push --mirror
    

    will effectively make the remote repository look like the local copy of the repository (local heads, remotes and tags are mirrored on remote).

    I use the following in my Bash settings:

    alias git-shoot="git push origin --delete"
    

    Then you can call:

    git-shoot branchname
    

    Since January 2013, GitHub included a Delete branch button next to each branch in your “Branches” page.

    Relevant blog post: Create and delete branches

    If you want to complete both these steps with a single command, you can make an alias for it by adding the below to your ~/.gitconfig:

    [alias]
        rmbranch = "!f(){ git branch -d ${1} && git push origin --delete ${1}; };f"
    

    Alternatively, you can add this to your global config from the command line using

    git config --global alias.rmbranch \
    '!f(){ git branch -d ${1} && git push origin --delete ${1}; };f'
    

    NOTE: If using -d (lowercase d), the branch will only be deleted if it has been merged. To force the delete to happen, you will need to use -D (uppercase D).

    Delete locally:

    To delete a local branch, you can use:

    git branch -d branch_name 
    

    To delete a branch forcibly, use -D instead of -d.

    git branch -D branch_name
    

    Delete remotely:

    There are two options:

    git push origin :branchname  
    
    git push origin --delete branchname 
    

    I would suggest you use the 2nd way as it is more intuitive.

    You can also do this using git remote prune origin:

    $ git remote prune origin
    Pruning origin
    URL: git@example.com/yourrepo.git
     * [pruned] origin/some-branchs
    

    It prunes and deletes remote-tracking branches from a git branch -r listing.

    To delete your branch locally and remotely

    • Checkout to master branch

      git checkout master

    • Delete your remote branch

    git push origin --delete <branch-name>

    • Delete your local branch

    git branch --delete <branch-name>

    In addition to the other answers, I often use the git_remote_branch tool. It’s an extra install, but it gets you a convenient way to interact with remote branches. In this case, to delete:

    grb delete branch
    

    I find that I also use the publish and track commands quite often.

    Deleting Branches

    Let’s assume our work on branch “contact-form” is done and we’ve already integrated it into “master”. Since we don’t need it anymore, we can delete it (locally):

    $ git branch -d contact-form
    

    And for deleting the remote branch:

    git push origin --delete contact-form
    

    Delete remote branch

    git push origin :<branchname>

    Delete local branch

    git branch -D <branchname>

    Delete local branch steps:

    1. checkout to another branch
    2. delete local branch

    One liner command delete both local, and remote:

    D=branch-name; git branch -D $D; git push origin :$D

    or add the alias below to your ~/.gitconfig; usage: git kill branch-name

    [alias]
        kill = "!f(){ git branch -D \"$1\";  git push origin --delete \"$1\"; };f"
    

    Simply say:

    git branch -d <branch-name>
    git push origin :<branch-name>
    

    Now you can do it with the GitHub Desktop app.

    After launching the app

    1. Click on the project containing the branch
    2. Switch to the branch you would like to delete switching branch
    3. From the “Branch” menu, select, “Unpublish…”, to have the branch deleted from the GitHub servers. unpublish branch
    4. From the “Branch” menu, select, ‘Delete “branch_name“…’, to have the branch deleted off of your local machine (aka the machine you are currently working on) delete local branch
    git push origin --delete branchName
    

    is easier to remember than

    git push origin :branchName
    

    This won’t work if you have a tag with the same name as the branch on the remote:

    $ git push origin :branch-or-tag-name
    error: dst refspec branch-or-tag-name matches more than one.
    error: failed to push some refs to 'git@github.com:SomeName/some-repo.git'
    

    In that case you need to specify that you want to delete the branch, not the tag:

    git push origin :refs/heads/branch-or-tag-name
    

    Similarly, to delete the tag instead of the branch you would use:

    git push origin :refs/tags/branch-or-tag-name
    

    Many of the other answers will lead to errors/warnings. This approach is relatively fool proof although you may still need git branch -D branch_to_delete if it’s not fully merged into some_other_branch, for example.

    git checkout some_other_branch
    git push origin :branch_to_delete
    git branch -d branch_to_delete
    

    Remote pruning isn’t needed if you deleted the remote branch. It’s only used to get the most up to date remotes available on a repo you’re tracking. I’ve observed git fetch will add remotes, not remove them. Here’s an example of when git remote prune origin will actually do something:

    User A does the steps above. User B would run the following commands to see the most up to date remote branches

    git fetch
    git remote prune origin
    git branch -r
    

    I got sick of googling for this answer, so I took a similar approach
    to the answer that crizCraig posted earlier.

    Added the following to my Bash profile:

    function gitdelete(){
        git push origin --delete $1
        git branch -D $1
    }
    

    Then every time I’m done with a branch (merged into master, for example) I run the following in my terminal:

    gitdelete my-branch-name
    

    …which then deletes my-branch-name from origin as as well as locally.

    Mashup of all the other answers. Requires Ruby 1.9.3+, tested only on OS X.

    Call this file git-remove, make it executable, and put it in your path. Then use, for example, git remove temp.

    #!/usr/bin/env ruby
    require 'io/console'
    
    if __FILE__ == $0
          branch_name = ARGV[0] if (ARGV[0])
          print "Press Y to force delete local and remote branch #{branch_name}..."
        response = STDIN.getch
        if ['Y', 'y', 'yes'].include?(response)
          puts "\nContinuing."
          `git branch -D #{branch_name}`
          `git branch -D -r origin/#{branch_name}`
          `git push origin --delete #{branch_name}` 
        else
          puts "\nQuitting."
        end
    end
    
    git push origin :bugfix  # Deletes remote branch
    git branch -d bugfix     # Must delete local branch manually
    

    If you are sure you want to delete it, run

    git branch -D bugfix
    

    Now to clean up deleted remote branches run

    git remote prune origin
    

    Before executing

    git branch --delete <branch>
    

    make sure you determine first what the EXACT name of the remote branch is by executing:

    git ls-remote
    

    This will tell you what to enter EXACTLY for <branch> value. (branch is case sensitive!)

    I added the following aliases to my .gitconfig file. This allows me to delete branches with or without specifying the branch name. Branch name is defaulted to the current branch if no argument is passed in.

    [alias]
        branch-name = rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD     
    
        rm-remote-branch = !"f() { branch=${1-$(git branch-name)}; git push origin :$branch; }; f"
        rm-local-branch = !"f() { branch=${1-$(git branch-name)}; git checkout master; git branch -d $branch; }; f"
        rm-branch-fully = !"f() { branch=${1-$(git branch-name)}; git rm-local-branch $branch; git rm-remote-branch $branch; }; f"
    
    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.