Everything You Need to Know About Git Revert: A Chronological Un-Do-er with an Edge

If you’ve found yourself staring bewilderedly at your terminal, pondering how to undo the sins of an ill-fated git commit, then buckle up, friend! You’re about to board the magic carpet ride that is Git Revert.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through every nook and cranny of Git Revert – covering everything from the basic git revert command to how to git revert a merge, git revert multiple commits, git revert head, git revert file, and even the eternal debate of git revert vs reset. So wave goodbye to your past git-astrophes, and say hello to a future of smooth version control.

Before we launch into the magical land of reverting, let’s make sure everyone’s on the same page. Git is a free and open source distributed version control system, used by dino-sized and ant-sized projects alike. It’s designed to handle everything with speed and efficiency, but if you’re reading this, you probably already knew that. You’re here to get out of a git pickle. So let’s dive in, shall we?

“Pretty Please, How Do I Git Revert Last Commit?”

Ever wished you could turn back time and undo that last commit that’s now glaring at you with the ire of a thousand suns? Well, you can! All it takes is a nifty little command:

git revert HEAD

That, my friends, is the magical incantation to git revert the last commit. HEAD is a reference to your current commit, and running git revert on it creates a new commit that undoes the changes of the last one. It’s like a time machine, except without all the annoying paradoxes and butterfly effects (though the occasional disappearing dinosaur might still occur).

Turning Back the Clock on Multiple Commits with Git Revert

“Wait a minute”, I hear you cry, “what if my tragic mistake wasn’t in the last commit, but three… No, four commits ago?!” Fear not, fellow git user, the solution is boundlessly simple! Git revert has your back even for multiple commits. Here’s how you do it:

git revert HEAD~3..HEAD

With that, you can undo the ill effects of the last three commits in a jiff. That tilde (~) is a handy symbol that git uses to refer to previous commits in reference to HEAD. You’re essentally telling git: “Hey git, turn back time for me, will ya?” Guess what? Git will!

The Merge Revert Dance: Git Revert Merge

“I accidentally merged a branch, and now there are bugs everywhere. Help me revert a merge, pretty please?” Okay, no need to panic, help is here. First, relax and take a deep breath. Get your disco shoes on. It’s time to do the ‘git revert merge’ dance.

The might of the Git Revert once again comes to our rescue:

git revert -m 1 <commit-hash>

Here, -m 1 indicates the parent number, and <commit-hash> is the commit SHA of the merge. This command will create a new commit that undoes the merge. Your code base will spring back to its state before the merge, and you’ll be free to dance again.

Reverting a Single File: Git Revert File

What if you don’t want to undo the entire commit, but only changes to one specific file? You’re thinking, “I’d like a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.” Alright, cool! We’ll have to go for a two-step process – checkout and commit. Here’s what you do:

git checkout <commit-hash> -- <filename>
git commit -m "Reverted changes on <filename>"

First, choose the specific commit and file to revert changes with git checkout. Next, make a new commit with git commit to capture this specific file revert.

The Eternal Debate: Git Revert vs Reset

Now, let’s tackle that lingering question burning a hole in your brain: “What’s the difference between git revert and git reset?” Great question!

Git Revert

As we’ve seen, git revert allows you to create a new commit that undoes the changes from a previous commit (or multiple commits). It’s safe, it’s non-destructive, and it respects the continuity of your project history.

Git Reset

On the other hand, git reset moves your HEAD and possibly discards commits. It says: “We’re gonna pretend those commits didn’t happen”. Can be powerful, but danger-prone if misused.

Here’s your heuristic: If you want to discard local commits safely and truthfully, use git revert. If you’re carefully rewriting history, you may want git reset. Use with caution though!

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Git Revert

Ahoy, fellow coders! Are you ready to walk the plank of version control? Git, the treasure map of developers, allows you to save your code changes, navigate through different branches, and even revert your commits. Yes, you heard it right! Git offers the magical ability to reverse the effects of your previous commits with the power of git revert.

In this swashbuckling article, we’ll be answering the top 10 frequently asked questions about git revert. So, grab your pirate hats and let’s delve into the mysterious waters of reverting commits!

1. What is Git Revert

Ah, matey! Git revert is a powerful command that allows you to undo your previous commits without causing heavy damage to your codebase. It creates a new commit that undoes the changes made in a previous commit, allowing you to sail back to calmer coding seas.

2. How to Revert the Last Commit

Arr, mate! Reverting the last commit is as easy as stealing a treasure! Simply fire up your terminal, navigate to your git repository, and run the following command:

git revert HEAD

This command will create a new commit that undoes the changes made in the previous commit. It’s like using a time machine to go back and erase your last step!

3. Can You Revert a Merge Commit

Aye, Captain! You can indeed revert a merge commit using git revert. When you revert a merge commit, it’s like erasing the entire cannonball fight from history. To revert a merge commit, run:

git revert -m 1 <merge_commit_hash>

The -m 1 flag tells Git to revert to the state before the merge. It will create a new commit that undoes all the changes introduced by the merge commit. Arr me hearties, ain’t that an easy way to escape the storm of a bad merge?

4. Is It Possible to Revert Multiple Commits at Once

Shiver me timbers, it sure is! If you find yourself surrounded by a flock of bad commits, you can use git revert to revert multiple commits at once. Just follow this simple recipe:

git revert <commit1>..<commit2>

Replace <commit1> and <commit2> with the commit hashes you want to revert. This command will create a new commit for each reverted commit, allowing you to send those unwanted changes walking down the plank.

5. What’s the Difference Between Git Revert and Git Reset

Ahoy, landlubber! The difference between git revert and git reset is as clear as the difference between a treasure map and a rubber duck. While git revert creates a new commit that undoes changes, git reset resets the branch to a previous commit, disregarding all changes made after.

In plain pirate talk, git revert is a safe way to undo commits without causing damage, while git reset is more of a cannonball that destroys everything in its path.

6. Can I Revert Changes to a Specific File

Aye, ye can! If you only want to revert changes made to a specific file, you can do that with a swift command. Just run:

git revert <commit_hash> -- <path/to/file>

Replace <commit_hash> with the commit hash you want to revert and <path/to/file> with the path to the specific file you want to revert. This command will revert the changes made to that file and create a new commit, providing a targeted solution to your code woes.

7. What Happens After a Git Revert

Yo ho ho! After running a git revert, Git creates a new commit that undoes the changes made in the previous commit. This new commit doesn’t delete or modify any existing commits; instead, it creates a new commit that represents the inverse of the changes brought by the reverted commit.

In other words, it’s like replacing a dark and stormy day with a clear blue sky. The original commit remains in history, but its changes are effectively removed from the codebase.

8. Can I Recover Reverted Commits

Avast, ye scallywag! Once you’ve reverted a commit, it’s not lost forever. Git keeps a hidden treasure chest called the reflog, which logs all the movements of your branches and commits. You can use the reflog to locate your buried treasure and restore any reverted commits.

Use the command git reflog to see the hidden history of your repository. Once you find the commit you want to recover, copy its hash and run:

git cherry-pick <commit_hash>

This will apply the changes from the reverted commit, giving you a second chance at redemption!

9. Can I Revert a Revert

Arrr, ye can! If you find yourself needing to revert a revert, Git’s got your back. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Run git reflog and find the hash of the revert commit you want to revert.
  2. Copy the hash of the revert commit.
  3. Run git revert <revert_commit_hash>.
  4. Celebrate your sneaky maneuver as Git creates a new commit that undoes the changes brought by the revert.

Remember, mates, with great power comes great responsibility.

10. Are There Any Risks Involved with Git Revert

Avast, ye landlubber! While git revert is a powerful tool, there are still some dangers lurking in the depths. Reverting a commit that affects other commits or branches can lead to conflicts and unexpected outcomes. So, it’s always good to tread carefully and test your code after reverting commits.

Furthermore, remember that git revert undoes changes by creating new commits, which can clutter up your commit history. Keep an eye out for your commit graph to ensure it doesn’t become a tangled mess of ropes.


Ye have made it to the end of this thrilling voyage through the world of git revert. Now, ye should be feeling more confident in your ability to navigate the dangerous waters of undoing commits. With git revert by your side, ye can dance the sailor’s jig of version control and sail towards a brighter, cleaner codebase.

So ye scallywags, next time ye make a messy commit, fear not! Just reach for the trusty git revert and set sail on a course towards pristine code once again. Enjoy yer treasure hunts, and may the code be with ye!

git revert
You May Also Like