Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Last active January 12, 2024 09:57
Show Gist options
  • Save tnguyen14/0827ae6eefdff39e452b to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
Save tnguyen14/0827ae6eefdff39e452b to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
The difference between git reset --mixed, --soft and --hard. From

When you modify a file in your repository, the change is initially unstaged. In order to commit it, you must stage it—that is, add it to the index—using git add. When you make a commit, the changes that are committed are those that have been added to the index.

git reset changes, at minimum, where your current branch is pointing. The difference between --mixed and --soft is whether or not your index is also modified. So, if we're on branch master with this series of commits:

- A - B - C (master)

HEADpoints to C and the index matches C.


When we run git reset --soft B, master (and thus HEAD) now points to B, but the index still has the changes from C; git status will show them as staged. So if we run git commit at this point, we'll get a new commit with the same changes as C.


Okay, so starting from here again:

- A - B - C (master)

Now let's do git reset --mixed B. Once again, master and HEAD point to B, but this time the index is also modified to match B. If we run git commit at this point, nothing will happen since the index matches HEAD. We still have the changes in the working directory, but since they're not in the index, git status shows them as unstaged. To commit them, you would git add and then commit as usual.


And finally, --hard is the same as --mixed (it changes your HEAD and index), except that --hard also modifies your working directory. If we're at C and run git reset --hard B, then the changes added in C, as well as any uncommitted changes you have, will be removed, and the files in your working copy will match commit B. Since you can permanently lose changes this way, you should always run git status before doing a hard reset to make sure your working directory is clean or that you're okay with losing your uncommitted changes.

Copy link

thanks~,this is very good

Copy link

ysinjab commented Feb 22, 2017

That's awesome ! thank you !

Copy link

ghost commented Nov 1, 2017

Best write-up I've seen of the differences and consequences. It's concise and easy to follow.

Copy link

I am adding this link because it tells you how to do it using the UI easily.

Copy link

MJjainam commented Feb 28, 2018

Hey, nice writeup. I have a doubt though:
Does the working directory change when we do git reset --soft B ?

Copy link

@itzrahulsoni - Thanks for adding the reference to the link here.

Copy link

This is great explanation, Thanks!

Copy link

vbasavar commented Nov 7, 2018

Great explaination

Copy link

beautifully explained... i can stop looking for a better reset explanation now..


Copy link

geeklp commented Sep 6, 2019


Copy link

what will the following command do?
git reset --soft HEAD~

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment