Frequently asked questions around Git and Version Control.
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How to Undo git add

Git does not automatically include changes in a commit: they have to be explicitly added to the next commit, with the git add command.

But sometimes you might change your mind and decide that a certain file should not be part of the next commit. In this short article, we'll answer the question of how to undo adding a change to the staging area, after having used git add before.

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Using git restore to Undo git add

Luckily, there's a simple way of undoing a git add: you can simply use the git restore --staged command on the affected file:

$ git restore --staged index.html

This will remove the file from Git's staging area, making sure it is NOT part of the next commit.

If, at the same time, you also want to discard any local changes in this file, you can simply omit the --staged flag:

$ git restore index.html

This will undo any modifications in this file since you last committed it. Please be careful with this command: undoing uncommitted local changes cannot be undone!


Undoing "git add" in Tower

In case you are using the Tower Git client, undoing a "git add" is as simple as unchecking the "Status" checkbox for the affected file:

Using git reset to Undo git add

The restore command is a quite recent addition to Git (in version 2.23). If you're using an older Git version, you have to resort to the git reset command to achieve the same results:

$ git reset index.html

Just like git restore, this will remove the file from Git's staging area and thereby NOT include it in the next commit. The local changes themselves are not affected by this command.

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