In this day and age, nearly everyone uses git. From designers to engineers we all depend on it. Despite git being a really good version control system, enevitably we do sometimes mess up and have to fix our configuration and/or working tree, or just plain forget how to do that one thing we rarely do.

Change Authentication Timeout

Git can remember your https credentials if you aren’t using a ssh key, integrates nicely with the native keychain. The default timeout is rather short however, this can be changed via

git config --global credential.helper "cache --timeout=<SECONDS>"

For a full work day, this could be set to 28800.

Change Message of the Previous Commit

To fix a typo, or other error in the previous commit before pushing to remote, we can simply add --amend to the commit command and we will get the editor again.

git commit --amend

Add a File to the Previous Commit

To add a file that we forgot to add in the previous commit, we can simply add it via git add <filename>, then call git commit -amend to add the changeset to the latest commit.

git add <filename>
git commit --amend

Undo Changes to a File before a Commit

git reset <filename>

Undo the Previous Commit

To undo the most recent commit we can run git reset HEAD~1. If we pass --soft option the working tree will be kept intact letting us use git add and friends to do the commit again.

git reset --soft HEAD~1

To remove the commit completely, resetting the changed files back to their original state we can pass the --hard option.

git reset --hard HEAD~1

Clean the Working Tree

To remove files that are not being tracked, we can use git clean.

git clean --force

Change Author of the Previous Commit

To fix the author after, for example forgetting to set and We can run git commit with the --reset-author option after having updated the configuration fields.

git config "Your name"
git config

git commit --amend --reset-author

Change Anything Else

To fix anything else like squashing, removing, rewording and re-ordering commits, git rebase with the --interactive option provides an interactive cli to do so.

git rebase --interactive

Change Author Details of All Their Own Commits

To fix an author’s name and/or email in all their commits, we can run the following little shell snippet.


git filter-branch --env-filter '
CORRECT_NAME="Your Correct Name"

' --tag-name-filter cat -- --branches --tags