15. Cancel Staged changes (before committing)


  • To learn how to undo changes that have been staged

01 Edit file and stage changes

Make changes to the hello.html file in the form of an unwanted comment

File: hello.html

    <!-- This is an unwanted but staged comment -->
    <h1>Hello, World!</h1>

Stage the modified file.


git add hello.html

02 Check the status

Check the status of unwanted changes .


git status


$ git status
# On branch master
# Changes to be committed:
#   (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage)
#	modified:   hello.html

Status shows that the change has been staged and is ready to commit.

03 Reset the buffer zone

Fortunately, the displayed status shows us exactly what we should do to cancel staged changes.


git reset HEAD hello.html


$ git reset HEAD hello.html
Unstaged changes after reset:
M	hello.html

The reset command resets the buffer zone to HEAD. This clears the buffer zone from the changes that we have just staged.

The reset command (default) does not change the working directory. Therefore, the working directory still contains unwanted comments. We can use the checkout command from the previous tutorial to remove unwanted changes from working directory.

04 Switch to commit version


git checkout hello.html
git status


$ git status
# On branch master
nothing to commit (working directory clean)

Our working directory is clean again.

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