How to Recover lost Commits in GIT

11 / Apr / 2011 by Hitesh Bhatia 1 comments

Recently while working on Git I had accidentally lost my commits. But since Git has a fantastic revision control system, it remembers what I committed. In other words, it records where its HEAD is every time user commits. Here’s is the example of how I got my lost commits back.

Below are my 5 recent Commits

git log  -5 --pretty=oneline
ea007ac3b7d1746d47ed7271a7cfcf262c2df907 Refactored Person Class
25e48aefec136a0c3ec4d3c09ee0f6f74244db0e modified User controller
03aa5f44ee9293a2d197edd060720682d6daddb5 modified readMe File
d3d424dcaeddfb8078cc0d36886aa86a8b6da943 added ipr file to gitignore
667227783e283c517f4bc879c129f50889f8709c another changes

I wanted to undo my changes to User controller and I did a hard reset to my commits.

git reset --hard 03aa5f44ee9293a2d197edd060720682d6daddb5
HEAD is now at 03aa5f4 modified readMe File

And Head is now set to commit “modified readMe File”. But later it came to my mind that I had also lost refactoring I did to Person class. If Now I check my logs it would be like this.

git log  -5 --pretty=oneline
03aa5f44ee9293a2d197edd060720682d6daddb5 modified readMe File
d3d424dcaeddfb8078cc0d36886aa86a8b6da943 added ipr file to gitignore
667227783e283c517f4bc879c129f50889f8709c another changes
80eb4396fb70c8f59f624fc3e5a2601cd6b986a3 more changes to Demo File
16b6202e925093b08e10a68037e7c64b450f0173 dummy commit

But since Git is fantastic it always comes to rescue, as I told earlier Git always records where HEAD was every time I commit, which can be seen with Git reflog command.

git reflog
03aa5f4 HEAD@{0}: 03aa5f44ee9293a2d197edd060720682d6daddb5: updating HEAD
ea007ac HEAD@{1}: commit: Refactored Person Class
25e48ae HEAD@{2}: commit: modified User controller
03aa5f4 HEAD@{3}: commit: modified readMe File
d3d424d HEAD@{4}: commit: added ipr file to gitignore
6672277 HEAD@{5}: commit: another changes
80eb439 HEAD@{6}: commit: more changes to Demo File
16b6202 HEAD@{7}: commit: dummy commit

To get my lost changes all I did was to create a new branch with the lost commit that I wanted back. So here I am creating a branch named “lostCommit” with hash “ea007ac”.

git branch lostCommit ea007ac

And Now when I checkout my lostCommit branch and check log. Here is what it shows.

git log  -5 --pretty=oneline
ea007ac3b7d1746d47ed7271a7cfcf262c2df907 Refactored Person Class
25e48aefec136a0c3ec4d3c09ee0f6f74244db0e modified User controller
03aa5f44ee9293a2d197edd060720682d6daddb5 modified readMe File
d3d424dcaeddfb8078cc0d36886aa86a8b6da943 added ipr file to gitignore
667227783e283c517f4bc879c129f50889f8709c another changes 

I got my lost commits. And all other changes that I thought were lost.

To explore more visit. git grep manual page or the git community book which is maintained by Scott Chacon.

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comments (1 “How to Recover lost Commits in GIT”)

  1. Dan

    Thank you Hitesh, I thought I’m a relative novice with Git and thought I’d lost a lot of work, but your notes helped me out a great deal.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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