To make Git stop tracking a file and add it to the
.gitignore file, you need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove the file from Git’s tracking
To remove a file from Git’s tracking, you can use the
git rm command. This will remove the file from both the working directory and the Git repository. However, it is important to note that
git rm will delete the file, so make sure to create a backup if needed.
Here is the command to remove the file from Git’s tracking:
git rm --cached <file_name>
<file_name> with the name of the file you want to stop tracking.
Step 2: Add the file to the .gitignore file
After removing the file from Git’s tracking, you can add it to the
.gitignore file. The
.gitignore file is used to specify files and directories that should be ignored by Git.
.gitignore file in a text editor and add the name of the file you want to ignore on a new line. If the file is in a directory, you can specify the directory as well. For example:
Step 3: Commit the changes
To commit the changes you made, you need to use the
git commit command. This will create a new commit that reflects the removal of the file from Git’s tracking and the addition of the file to the
Here is the command to commit the changes:
git commit -m "Stop tracking <file_name> and add it to .gitignore"
<file_name> with the name of the file you stopped tracking.
Alternative approach: Keeping the file in the repository but ignoring changes
If you want to keep the file in the Git repository but ignore any future changes to it, you can use the
git update-index command. This approach is useful when you want to share the file with other collaborators but don’t want to track changes made to it.
Here are the steps to ignore changes to a file:
1. Open a terminal or command prompt.
2. Navigate to the root directory of your Git repository.
3. Run the following command to ignore changes to the file:
git update-index --skip-worktree <file_name>
<file_name> with the name of the file you want to ignore changes for.
– When adding a file to
.gitignore, it’s a good practice to include a comment explaining why the file is being ignored. This helps other developers understand the reasoning behind ignoring the file.
– Make sure to review your
.gitignore file regularly to ensure it is up to date with any changes in your project’s file structure.
– Avoid adding sensitive information, such as API keys or passwords, to your Git repository. Instead, use environment variables or configuration files that are not tracked by Git.
These steps should help you make Git stop tracking a file and add it to the
.gitignore file. By using
.gitignore, you can easily manage which files should be excluded from version control, ensuring that only relevant files are tracked by Git.