Restore deleted Git branch

April 15, 2015 • ☕️ 1 min read

It can happen to anyone: remove branches that has not been merged.

Quick fix:

  1. git reflog
  2. Look for last commit in deleted branch, copy it SHA (first column).
  3. git checkout [sha]
  4. git checkout -b restored-branch
  5. You are amazing!


A branch in Git is simply a lightweight movable pointer to commit.

simple brunch

HEAD is pointer to commit you currently have in working copy. When you delete branch (with git branch -D feature-branch) git just delete this pointer

simple brunch

Fortunately we can create new branch on this commit. First you need to find SHA of this commit with git reflog

7a94c18 HEAD@{0}: commit: last commit
3fe702c HEAD@{1}: checkout: moving from feature-branch to master
8879406 HEAD@{2}: commit: feature commit
3fe702c HEAD@{3}: checkout: moving from master to feature-branch
3fe702c HEAD@{4}: commit: second comit
e57b217 HEAD@{5}: commit (initial): Initital commit

Now, move HEAD pointer to feature commit. git checkout 8879406

simple brunch

And finally create new branch git checkout -b restored-branch

simple brunch

ps. always check git response to command: it notifies when you try to do something stupid.

If you have any questions or want to discuss this text, please reach me in twitter.