How to undo a git add with Git Reset

Undo git add

To undo git add before a commit:

Run git reset <file> or git reset to unstage all changes.

In older versions of git, the commands were git reset HEAD <file> and git reset HEAD respectively. This was changed in Git 1.8.2

More information on How Git Reset Works

The git reset command allows you to RESET your current head to a specified state. You can reset the state of specific files as well as an entire branch.

Reset a file or set of files

The following command lets you selectively choose chunks of content and revert or unstage it.

git reset (--patch | -p) [tree-ish] [--] [paths]

Unstage a file

If you moved a file into the staging area with git add , but no longer want it to be part of a commit, you can use git reset to unstage that file:


The changes you made will still be in the file, this command just removes that file from your staging area.

Reset a branch to a prior commit

The following command resets your current branch’s HEAD to the given COMMIT and updates the index. It basically rewinds the state of your branch, then all commits you make going forward write over anything that came after the reset point. If you omit the MODE , it defaults to --mixed :

git reset MODE COMMIT

The options for MODE are:

  • --soft : does not reset the index file or working tree, but resets HEAD to commit . Changes all files to “Changes to be commited”
  • --mixed : resets the index but not the working tree and reports what has not been updated
  • --hard : resets the index and working tree. Any changes to tracked files in the working tree since commit are discarded
  • --merge : resets the index and updates the files in the working tree that are different between commit and HEAD, but keeps those which are different between the index and working tree
  • --keep : resets index entries and updates files in the working tree that are different between commit and HEAD. If a file that is different between commit and HEAD has local changes, the reset is aborted

Points to Note

Be very careful when using the --hard option with git reset since it resets your commit, staging area and your working directory. If this option is not used properly then one can end up losing the code that is written.