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Deleting untracked files from git

george profile image George Nance Originally published at georgenance.com ・1 min read

The problem:

Have you ever tried to pull down some new changes and come across this error?

error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by merge:
Please move or remove them before you can merge.

Untracked files huh? Okay, that doesn't sound too difficult. You should be able to run

git reset --hard

But wait

They are still there! What gives !?

wait what

The reason is because git reset --hard only removes files that are already a part of the repo


From the git docs, we will find this command:

git clean -n

-n this flag will show you what files will be removed.

You should use this flag first to determine what is going to be removed.

git clean -f

-f this flag means it will delete the files permanently.

Other useful commands

git clean -fd will also delete folders

git clean -fX removes ignored files

git clean -fx removes both ignored and non-ignored files

There you go, you should have a clean repository that has the changes committed before.

Posted on Jun 6 by:

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George Nance


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