Mastering the Art: How to Rename a Branch in GitHub

how to rename a branch in github

As a GitHub user, you know the importance of keeping your project organized and well-managed. One way to achieve this is by renaming your branches to better reflect their purpose or to follow a specific naming convention. Fortunately, renaming a branch in GitHub is simple if you know the right steps to take.

In this section, I will guide you through the process of renaming a branch in GitHub, providing you with all the necessary information to get you started.

Key Takeaways:

  • Renaming branches in GitHub can improve organization and clarity in your projects.
  • It’s easy to rename a branch in GitHub by following a few simple steps.
  • Renaming a branch manually will ensure your code remains intact.
  • Descriptive and concise branch names will enhance collaboration and maintain an efficient workflow on GitHub.
  • Following a standardized naming convention for your branches can improve project management.

Renaming Branches in GitHub: A Step-by-Step Tutorial.

Renaming branches in GitHub is a straightforward process that can be done in just a few clicks. In this tutorial, I’ll guide you through each step of changing the name of a branch in GitHub, whether you’re using the command-line interface or the GitHub web interface.

Step 1: Navigate to the Branch You Want to Rename

First, navigate to the branch you want to rename. You can do this by clicking on the branch dropdown menu at the top of your repository’s page and selecting the branch from the list.

Step 2: Click on the Pencil Icon to Edit the Branch Name

Once you’re on the branch’s page, click on the pencil icon next to the branch’s name. This will enable you to edit the branch name.

Step 3: Rename the Branch

Now that you’re in the edit mode, type the new branch name you’d like to use. Make sure the new name is descriptive and follows your project’s naming conventions. Avoid using spaces or special characters in branch names, as this can cause issues with some git operations. When you’re ready, click on the “Rename” button to save the changes.

Step 4: Update Your Local Repository

If you’re using the command-line interface, you’ll need to update your local repository to reflect the new branch name. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:

git fetch origin
git branch -m old-branch-name new-branch-name
git push origin -u new-branch-name

If you’re using the GitHub web interface, your local repository will be updated automatically.

Step 5: Verify the Changes

Finally, verify that the branch name has been updated. You can do this by checking the branch dropdown menu or by navigating to the branch’s page and verifying that the name has been changed.

And that’s it! Renaming a branch in GitHub is that simple. By following these steps, you can quickly modify your branch names and keep your projects organized.


In conclusion, renaming branches in GitHub is a simple process that can improve project organization and collaboration. By updating branch names to match naming conventions or project requirements, you can ensure code clarity and efficient workflow. Remember to keep branch names descriptive and concise, and avoid using special characters or spaces.

If you’re unsure about naming conventions, consult your team’s guidelines or industry best practices. Additionally, if you’ve accidentally created a branch with an incorrect name, don’t worry! You can easily modify the name manually following the step-by-step tutorial above.

Overall, mastering the art of renaming branches in GitHub is an essential skill for any developer or project manager. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can confidently update branch names and optimize your GitHub project management.

Thank you for reading, and happy renaming!


Q: Can I rename a branch in GitHub?

A: Yes, you can rename a branch in GitHub. Renaming branches can help improve project organization and make branch names more descriptive.

Q: How do I rename a branch in GitHub?

A: To rename a branch in GitHub, follow these steps:
1. Go to the repository where the branch is located.
2. Click on the “Branches” tab.
3. Locate the branch you want to rename and click on the pencil icon next to its name.
4. Type in the new name for the branch.
5. Click “Rename” to save the changes.
6. Make sure to update any references to the old branch name in your code or other files.

Q: Is it possible to modify the branch name manually?

A: Yes, you can manually update the branch name in GitHub. Simply follow the steps outlined in the previous question to rename the branch, and make sure to update any references to the old branch name in your code or other files.

Q: Are there any naming conventions I should follow when renaming branches in GitHub?

A: While there are no strict naming conventions for branch names in GitHub, it is generally recommended to choose names that are descriptive and meaningful. This can help improve collaboration and make it easier for others to understand the purpose of the branch.

Q: What happens to the code in the branch when I rename it?

A: When you rename a branch in GitHub, the code in the branch remains unchanged. Renaming the branch only updates the branch name, but does not modify the code or any files within the branch.

Q: Can I rename the default branch in GitHub?

A: Yes, you can rename the default branch in GitHub. However, please note that renaming the default branch may have implications for your project’s settings and configurations. It is recommended to carefully review any documentation or guidelines provided by GitHub before renaming the default branch.

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