Squash commits together in Git

David Y.

The Problem

In a Git repository, how do I squash multiple previous commits together in a single commit?

The Solution

We can do this using git reset and git merge. This process will discard uncommitted changes, so we should either do this in a clean repository or run git stash to save our uncommitted changes.

git stash

Once we’re sure we won’t lose anything that hasn’t been committed, we can revert the last three commits using git reset:

git reset --hard HEAD~3 # replace 3 with the number of commits to squash

After that, we run git merge --squash with the argument HEAD@{1}. This argument refers to the commit we were at just before we ran the last command – i.e. three commits in the future. git merge --squash will thus jump from our current position to HEAD@{1} and stage all the changes between those positions for a new commit.

git merge --squash HEAD@{1}

Next, we must create a new commit.

git commit

This command will open our configured commit message editor (usually Vim or vi) with a large commit message containing details of the squashed commits. It should look something like this:

Squashed commit of the following: commit b3e6d710b32fe14b1cbb640419a64bc1366dc521 Author: John Doe <johndoe@example.com> Date: Sat May 20 19:21:00 2023 +0200 Update README.md commit 0d07bf5979a60ad54f25edc1d65c0a706b52839a Author: David Yates <johndoe@example.com> Date: Sat May 20 18:40:45 2023 +0200 Create README.md commit 070cc94d35c1c45fb40c13344583e16f77e76c0b Author: John Doe <johndoe@example.com> Date: Tue May 16 17:07:48 2023 +0200 Initial commit

We can edit this message. If your terminal uses vim, press i to enter Insert Mode and Esc when the edit is finished. Save and exit by entering :wq.

The commits have now been squashed into a single commit and we can sync our repository with its remotes using git push. If any of the remotes already contain the squashed commits, we will need to use the --force flag when pushing to rewrite its history.

Finally, if any uncommitted changes are saved with git stash, we can return those changes to the working directory with the following command:

git stash pop

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