• 2019

  • How to Move Existing, Uncommitted Work to a New Branch in Git

  • So here’s a new one for ya.

    I was working on a branch all day, closed the laptop, went home and fell asleep. Nothing out of the ordinary. The next day, I awoke, and upon returning to work, immediately began working on a new problem.

    The issue arose when I discovered to my horror that I was still on the same branch from yesterday! *Gasp*

    Lest we forget, we have Git at our disposal — so I take a breath and dive in:

    git status

    This will probably return a list of changes not staged like this:

    On branch fix-from-yesterday
    Your branch is up to date with 'origin/fix-from-yesterday-'.

    Changes not staged for commit:
    (use "git add …" to update what will be committed)
    (use "git checkout -- …" to discard changes in working directory)
    modified: project/api-v4.php
    modified: web/assets/js/some-project/package.json

    Now that we have a pulse on things, we can do this:

    git checkout -b new-branch-of-changes-for-today

    This will leave your current branch as is, create and checkout a new branch and keep all your changes. You can then make a commit with:

    git add <the files you want commit>

    and finally, commit to your new branch with ol trusty:

    git commit -m "Make sure your description is short and sweet"

    And there you have it! According to the git-checkout documentation, -b and -B are interchangeable. Here’s the rub:

    Specifying -b causes a new branch to be created as if git-branch[1] were called and then checked out. In this case you can use the --track or --no-track options, which will be passed to git branch. As a convenience, --track without -b implies branch creation; see the description of --trackbelow.

    If -B is given, <new_branch> is created if it doesn’t exist; otherwise, it is reset. This is the transactional equivalent of