Streamline Your Git Workflow with the "Git Sweep" Command

September 7th, 2023



In Git, it's common to have branches that are no longer needed, either because they have been merged or abandoned. These branches can clutter your local repository and make it harder to navigate. But fear not! With the "Git sweep" command, you can easily clean up your repository by removing local branches that no longer exist on the remote repository. In this article, let me walk you through the steps to set up and use the "Git sweep" command.

Step 1: Configuring the Alias:

To begin, we need to set up an alias for the "Git sweep" command. Open your terminal or command prompt and enter the following command to open your Git configuration file:

git config --global --edit

In the configuration file, add the following lines under the [alias] section:

[alias] sweep = !git fetch --all && git remote prune origin && git branch -vv | awk '/: gone]/ {print $1}' | xargs git branch -D

This configuration defines the sweep alias and specifies the sequence of Git commands to execute when running git sweep.

Step 2: Performing the Sweep:

Once the alias is set up, you can use the "Git sweep" command to clean up your local branches. Open your terminal or command prompt and navigate to your Git repository. Then, run the following command:

git sweep

This command performs the following actions:

  • Fetches all branches from the remote repository.
  • Prunes any remote branches that no longer exist.
  • Lists all local branches that have been removed on the remote repository.
  • Deletes the listed local branches.

Step 3: Enjoy a Clean Repository:

After running git sweep, you'll have a clean repository with only the necessary local branches. This makes it easier to navigate through your branches and reduces clutter.


The "Git sweep" command is a powerful tool to streamline your Git workflow by removing unnecessary local branches. By setting up a simple alias and executing a single command, you can keep your repository clean and organized. Give it a try and enjoy a clutter-free Git experience!

We hope you found this article helpful. Happy cleaning!

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