How to delete a remote tag?

Created 29.03.2011 23:41
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How do you delete a Git tag that has already been pushed?

Answers 24

You can push an 'empty' reference to the remote tag name:

git push origin :tagname

Or, more expressively, use the --delete option (or -d if your git version is older than 1.8.0):

git push --delete origin tagname

Note that git has tag namespace and branch namespace so you may use the same name for a branch and for a tag. If you want to make sure that you cannot accidentally remove the branch instead of the tag, you can specify full ref which will never delete a branch:

git push origin :refs/tags/tagname

If you also need to delete the local tag, use:

git tag --delete tagname


Pushing a branch, tag, or other ref to a remote repository involves specifying "which repo, what source, what destination?"

git push remote-repo source-ref:destination-ref

A real world example where you push your master branch to the origin's master branch is:

git push origin refs/heads/master:refs/heads/master

Which because of default paths, can be shortened to:

git push origin master:master

Tags work the same way:

git push origin refs/tags/release-1.0:refs/tags/release-1.0

Which can also be shortened to:

git push origin release-1.0:release-1.0

By omitting the source ref (the part before the colon), you push 'nothing' to the destination, deleting the ref on the remote end.

29.03.2011 23:45
+1 for both answering the question and explaining the general case, and detailing the unabridged syntax's meaning by Peter Host, 14.09.2012 19:03
And just in case someone wonders how to delete multiple tags at a time you simple list them using white space, e.g. git push --delete origin tag1 tag2. Same is valid for local tags deletion git tag -d tag1 tag2 by dVaffection, 28.05.2014 00:54
If tag name collides with a branch name you may end up with deleting your branch. Ha-ha. See the second answer - it's more ecological by zuba, 26.12.2016 09:56
This might be a rather silly question, is tag a universal label or can be pinned to a certain branch? Is it possible that we can delete a tag on a specific branch. If yes, how should we specify the branch along with the tag? by Emma He, 05.07.2017 06:58
@EmmaHe A tag is attached to a single commit only. Because of that the branch name is irrelevant. by cb2, 21.09.2017 06:19
The background helped me a lot to understand when i got an error: error: dst refspec "my-tag" matches more than one. error: failed to push some refs that I could execute git push origin :refs/tags/my-tag to specifically delete only the tag, and not the branch. by JamesWilson, 04.05.2018 13:36
It is also interesting to know that git tag -d `git tag` will delete all local tags. Same applies for git push --delete origin `git tag` assuming you pulled the remote tags locally. That was handy in a test environment. by DarkFranX, 31.07.2018 15:15
Apparently (at least in GitLab) changing (and thus deleting) tags is a capability disjoint from that of creating a tag: remote: GitLab: You are not allowed to change existing tags on this project. (in response to trying to remove a tag that I erroneously created). by jhfrontz, 28.09.2018 14:34
Show remaining 3 comments

A more straightforward way is

git push --delete origin YOUR_TAG_NAME

IMO prefixing colon syntax is a little bit odd in this situation

09.10.2012 00:47
I think this is the proper way... other syntax look more like hacks to me. by Luigi R. Viggiano, 24.12.2012 17:45
Yep, this is simple and works. Though I'd clarify the answer by specifying what's the variable part: git push --delete origin "TAGNAME", where TAGNAME is the name of the original tag. by Teemu Leisti, 14.01.2013 16:57
This works. One addition: If you have a branch and a tag with the same name, you can put the word tag before your tag name to make sure you get the tag, not the branch. by andypaxo, 27.03.2013 20:08
@andypaxo What the command takes is refspecs, the correct way would be prefixing the tags with refs/tags/, like this: refs/tags/v2.3.1. by p3lim, 13.03.2015 05:04
I had 'bad' tag name created on remote server somehow, which had special characters, so I can't sync with that, so simply removed that with your suggestion: git push --delete origin "service--<default>--151" , can't remove it not with intellij, not with stash, not with sourceTree. Thanks ! by Dmitri Algazin, 12.04.2019 14:54
For those reading this long after the answer was posted, at the time, the (now accepted) answer did not have this content in it; later on this answer's content was (very narrowly) suggested edit'd in to the accepted one. This is one of those weird edge cases where Stack Overflow's "the best answer rises to the top system" kinda fails, on one hand I'm happy the accepted answer has the right information because most readers won't look past the top answer, but I'm not thrilled as to how we got here... I hope future readers will not think this answer is just a copy/paste. by jrh, 05.03.2020 16:17
Show remaining 1 comments

If you have a remote tag v0.1.0 to delete, and your remote is origin, then simply:

git push origin :refs/tags/v0.1.0

If you also need to delete the tag locally:

git tag -d v0.1.0

See Adam Franco's answer for an explanation of Git's unusual : syntax for deletion.

21.07.2012 16:14
this also works with jgit. the :tag shorthand does not work with jgit by rynop, 27.09.2012 19:50
I got fatal: remote part of refspec is not a valid name in :/refs/tags/0.0.1 ...? by Chaim Eliyah, 13.09.2016 23:17
@ChaimEliyah you have a leading slash, maybe that's your problem by Joffrey, 31.10.2016 22:21
Better answer, as this also works if you have a branch and a tag that's called the same. by Erik A. Brandstadmoen, 05.02.2018 08:25
Just :tagname should work for the remote deletion. by Acumenus, 05.02.2019 21:32

Delete all local tags and get the list of remote tags:

git tag -l | xargs git tag -d
git fetch

Remove all remote tags

git tag -l | xargs -n 1 git push --delete origin

Clean up local tags

git tag -l | xargs git tag -d
02.04.2013 02:26
How to remove all tags from the local and remote repos. This is what I was looking for, thanks! by Jorge Orpinel, 25.08.2014 17:12
git fetch, delete remote and then clean up locals, worked beautifully! by DiegoRBaquero, 28.01.2017 16:02
slow, but the most straightforward by Lucent Fox, 25.09.2017 22:50

To remove the tag from the remote repository:

git push --delete origin TAGNAME

You may also want to delete the tag locally:

git tag -d TAGNAME
04.09.2014 10:30
so one line to do both: git push --delete origin TAGNAME && git tag -d TAGNAME by sakurashinken, 14.08.2019 17:49
git tag -d your_tag_name
git push origin :refs/tags/your_tag_name

The first line deletes your_tag_name from local repo and second line deletes your_tag_name from remote repo.

For those who use GitHub, one more step is needed: discarding draft.enter image description here

13.05.2019 17:56
While this command may answer the question, providing additional context regarding why and/or how this code answers the question improves its long-term value. How to Answer by Popo, 13.05.2019 18:40
Please note that the OP did not explicitly include the github tag in their question, so the last step might not be applicable to the OP. by Edric, 22.07.2020 11:33
Good point @Edric. I've updated the answer. by Ayub, 06.12.2020 11:18

From your terminal, do this:

git fetch
git tags
git tag -d {tag-name}
git push origin :refs/tags/{tag-name}

Now go to and refresh, they disappear.

27.06.2016 13:23
git tag not tags by Force444, 27.07.2018 11:43

Delete local tag '12345'

git tag -d 12345

Delete remote tag '12345' (eg; GitHub version too)

git push origin :refs/tags/12345

alternative approach

git push --delete origin tagName
git tag -d tagName

enter image description here

23.03.2018 09:50

Just notice that, if you have a remote branch named as a remote tag, these commands are ambiguous:

git push origin :tagname
git push --delete origin tagname

So you must use this command to delete the tag:

git push origin :refs/tags/<tag>

and this one to delete the branch:

git push origin :refs/heads/<branch>

If not, you would get an error like this:

error: dst refspec <tagname> matches more than one.
error: failed to push some refs to '<repo>'
05.05.2016 17:28
Short and concise. This post along with MeganZhou's popped out as being the answer to why we were having issues, the branchname and tagname were identical. I deleted the local tag and pushed to :refs/tags and all was good. by rwheadon, 29.08.2017 22:56

Up to 100x faster method for thousands of remote tags

After reading through these answers while needing to delete over 11,000 tags, I learned these methods relying or xargs take far too long, unless you have hours to burn.

Struggling, I found two much faster ways. For both, start with git tag or git ls-remote --tags to make a list of tags you want to delete on the remote. In the examples below you can omit or replace sorting_proccessing_etc with any greping, sorting, tailing or heading you want (e.g. grep -P "my_regex" | sort | head -n -200 etc) :

This first method is by far the fastest, maybe 20 to 100 times faster than using xargs, and works with a least several thousand tags at a time.

git push origin $(< git tag | sorting_processing_etc \
| sed -e 's/^/:/' | paste -sd " ") #note exclude "<" for zsh

How does this work? The normal, line-separated list of tags is converted to a single line of space-separated tags, each prepended with : so . . .

tag1   becomes
tag2   ======>  :tag1 :tag2 :tag3

Using git push with this format tag pushes nothing into each remote ref, erasing it (the normal format for pushing this way is local_ref_path:remote_ref_path).

Method two is broken out as a separate answer elsewhere on this same page

After both of these methods, you'll probably want to delete your local tags too. This is much faster so we can go back to using xargs and git tag -d, which is sufficient.

git tag | sorting_processing_etc | xargs -L 1 git tag -d

OR similar to the remote delete:

git tag -d $(< git tag | sorting_processing_etc | paste -sd " ")
15.04.2017 02:30
You should split this into a few different answers. The answer with multiple tags on one line is, without a doubt, the right answer for bulk tag deletion. It's actually a little difficult to find this info nearly anywhere else. Even knowing what I'm looking for I have a hard time finding it in the git help page :) So kudos to you and highlight that as the right answer, and move the GitHub API one to a different place. And finally, the deleting tags locally, in bulk, works with space delimited tags (get rid of the colons) by CubanX, 18.07.2017 13:16
Thanks for the praise and suggestions. I will split this up. I don't understand your comment about local tag deletion. I don't think my final command snippet uses any colons, but I'm on mobile so maybe missing something. by TonyH, 18.07.2017 13:33
Sorry, I just meant that what you're doing to delete remote tags, works with deleting local tags, providing the entire list at once. :) Just instead of git push origin :tag1 :tag2 etc. you'd do git tag --delete tag1 tag2 tag3 that way you can have a total cleanup. Again, thanks a ton! by CubanX, 03.08.2017 14:00

If you use SourceTree - a great Git GUI - then you can easily do this without the command line by doing the following:

  1. Open your repository in SourceTree
  2. Select and expand the "Tags" tab on the left
  3. Right-Click on the tag you want deleted
  4. Select "Delete YOUR_TAG_NAME"
  5. In the verification window, select "Remove Tag From Remotes"

YOUR_TAG_NAME will now be removed from your local repository and all remotes - be it GitHub, BitBucket, or wherever else you listed as a remote for that repository.

Also, if you deleted a tag locally but not on the remote origins, and you want to delete it everywhere, then just create a new tag that has the same name and is attached at the same commit as the origins. Then, repeat the steps above to delete everywhere.

27.10.2018 13:23
Works like a charm. Thanks! by Native_Mobile_Arch_Dev, 19.12.2018 21:00

If you have created a tag called release01 in a Git repository you would remove it from your repository by doing the following:

git tag -d release01 
git push origin :refs/tags/release01 

To remove one from a Mercurial repository:

hg tag --remove featurefoo

Please reference

11.11.2014 05:54

The other answers point out how to accomplish this, but you should keep in mind the consequences since this is a remote repository.

The git tag man page, in the On Retagging section, has a good explanation of how to courteously inform the remote repo's other users of the change. They even give a handy announcement template for communicating how others should get your changes.

04.03.2013 17:04

I wanted to remove all tags except for those that match a pattern so that I could delete all but the last couple of months of production tags, here's what I used to great success:

Delete All Remote Tags & Exclude Expression From Delete

git tag -l | grep -P '^(?!Production-2017-0[89])' | xargs -n 1 git push --delete origin

Delete All Local Tags & Exclude Expression From Delete

git tag -l | grep -P '^(?!Production-2017-0[89])' | xargs git tag -d
25.09.2017 23:11

If you're using PowerShell, and you want to delete a bunch of them:

# Local tags:
git tag -l | foreach { git tag -d $_ }

# Remote tags:
git tag -l | foreach { git push --delete origin $_ }

Of course, you can also filter them before deleting:

git tag -l | Where-Object { $_ -like "build-*" } | foreach { git tag -d $_ }
23.08.2017 11:44

As @CubanX suggested, I've split this answer from my original:

Here is a method which is several times faster than xargs and may scale much more with tweaking. It uses the Github API, a personal access token, and leverages the utility parallel.

git tag | sorting_processing_etc | parallel --jobs 2 curl -i -X DELETE \{} -H 
\"authorization: token GIT_OAUTH_OR_PERSONAL_KEY_HERE\"  \
-H \"cache-control: no-cache\"`

parallel has many operating modes, but generally parallelizes any command you give it while allowing you to set limits on the number of processes. You can alter the --jobs 2 parameter to allow faster operation, but I had problems with Github's rate limits, which are currently 5000/hr, but also seems to have an undocumented short-term limit as well.

After this, you'll probably want to delete your local tags too. This is much faster so we can go back to using xargs and git tag -d, which is sufficient.

git tag | sorting_processing_etc | xargs -L 1 git tag -d
07.09.2017 21:00
This seems much more complicated than the accepted answe. What is the benefit? by theUtherSide, 25.09.2017 22:43
If you need to delete several thousand tags, then the speed is 10-100 times faster by TonyH, 25.09.2017 23:48
Thank you for clarifying. The OP asked about deleting a single tag. I couldnt imagine why someone would use this approach for a single tag. Perhaps this answer is better for another question involving deleting many tags by theUtherSide, 26.09.2017 00:28
I don't think it exists. I could create it to answer myself. Do you want to think that's appropriate? by TonyH, 26.09.2017 00:34
I do! I think it's a fairly common practice here, actually. by theUtherSide, 26.09.2017 00:41

Simple script to remove given tag from both local and origin locations. With a check if tag really exists.

if [ $(git tag -l "$1") ]; then
    git tag --delete  $1
    git push --delete origin $1

    echo done.
    echo tag named "$1" was not found

How to use:

  • Create shell script file (e.g. and paste content.
  • chmod your script file to make it executable.
  • Make the script globally available
  • cd to your git project
  • Call script (e.g.
    $> tag_name
25.04.2017 12:07

If you have a tag created starting with the # character, e.g. #ST002, you might find that u are unable to delete using normal patterns. i.e.

git tag -d #STOO2

Will not delete the tag, but wrapping it in a String Literal like so

git tag -d "#ST002" or git tag -d '#ST002'

That will get it deleted. Hoping it will help someone who made the mistake of using # to write tag names.

12.04.2018 16:23

Seems like a lot of work for something xargs already does. Looking back through this thread, I'm guessing the slowness with xargs that you experienced is because the original answer used xargs -n 1 when it didn't really need to.

This is equivalent to your method one except that xargs automatically deals with the maximum command line length:

git tag | sorting_processing_etc | xargs git push --delete origin

xargs can run processes in parallel too. Method 2 with xargs:

git tag | sorting_processing_etc | xargs -P 5 -n 100 git push --delete origin

The above uses a maximum of 5 processes to handle a maximum of 100 arguments in each process. You can experiment with the arguments to find what works best for your needs.

05.06.2017 15:21
Interesting. You learn something new about a Unix command everyday. I'll need to test my use case with this alternative. by TonyH, 25.09.2017 23:51

Here is a local testcase to test it locally without messing with a remote:

~/p $ mkdir gittest    
~/p/git $ cd gittest/
~/p/gittest $ git init
Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/local_user/p/gittest/.git/
 ~/p/gittest $ touch testfile.txt
 ~/p/gittest $ git add testfile.txt
 ~/p/gittest $ git commit -m "initial commit"
[master (root-commit) 912ce0e] initial commit
 1 file changed, 0 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
 create mode 100644 testfile.txt
 ~/p/gittest $ git tag
 ~/p/gittest $ git tag -a testtag
 ~/p/gittest $ git tag
 ~/p/gittest $ git show-ref
912ce0e40635c90241fdab756dce7ea34938de57 refs/heads/master
b0a6c15cabb990e6d6c46f762891b63608d962f3 refs/tags/testtag
 ~/p/gittest $ cd ..
 ~/p $ mkdir gitbare
 ~/p $ cd gitbare
 ~/p/gitbare $ git init --bare
Initialized empty Git repository in /Users/local_user/p/gitbare/
 ~/p/gitbare $ cd ..
 ~/p $ cd gittest/
 ~/p/gittest $ git remote add origin /Users/local_user/p/gitbare
 ~/p/gittest $ git push -u origin master
Counting objects: 3, done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 215 bytes | 215.00 KiB/s, done.
Total 3 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
To /Users/local_user/p/gitbare
 * [new branch]      master -> master
Branch 'master' set up to track remote branch 'master' from 'origin'.
 ~/p/gittest $ git push origin testtag
Counting objects: 1, done.
Writing objects: 100% (1/1), 163 bytes | 163.00 KiB/s, done.
Total 1 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
To /Users/local_user/p/gitbare
 * [new tag]         testtag -> testtag
 ~/p/gittest $ git show-ref
912ce0e40635c90241fdab756dce7ea34938de57 refs/heads/master
912ce0e40635c90241fdab756dce7ea34938de57 refs/remotes/origin/master
b0a6c15cabb990e6d6c46f762891b63608d962f3 refs/tags/testtag
 ~/p/gittest $ git push -d origin testtag
To /Users/local_user/p/gitbare
 - [deleted]         testtag
 ~/p/gittest    git tag -d testtag
Deleted tag 'testtag' (was b0a6c15)
 ~/p/gittest $ git show-ref
912ce0e40635c90241fdab756dce7ea34938de57 refs/heads/master
912ce0e40635c90241fdab756dce7ea34938de57 refs/remotes/origin/master
03.05.2018 18:36

Just wanted to share an alias I created which does the same thing:

Add the following to your ~/.gitconfig

    delete-tag = "!f() { \
            echo 'deleting tag' $1 'from remote/origin ausing command: git push --delete origin tagName;'; \
            git push --delete origin $1; \
            echo 'deleting tag' $1 'from local using command: git tag -d tagName;'; \
            git tag -d $1; \
        }; f"

The usage looks like:

-->git delete-tag v1.0-DeleteMe
deleting tag v1.0-DeleteMe from remote/origin ausing command: git push --delete origin tagName;
 - [deleted]             v1.0-DeleteMe
deleting tag v1.0-DeleteMe from local using command: git tag -d tagName;
Deleted tag 'v1.0-DeleteMe' (was 300d3ef22)
10.04.2019 18:34

For tortoise git users, at a scale of hundreds tags, you can delete multiple tags at once using UI, but the UI is well hidden under context menu.

From explorer windows right click -> Browse references -> Right click on ref/refmotes/name -> choose 'Delete remote tags'

enter image description here


06.02.2021 17:55

To delete a tag on your remote repository, you can use

git push <remote> :refs/tags/<tagname>

The way to interpret the above is to read it as the null value, the value before the colon is being pushed to remote tag name.

06.12.2020 09:11

git push --delete origin $TAGNAME is the correct approach (in addition of a local delete).

But: make sure to use Git 2.31.

"git push $there --delete"(man) should have been diagnosed as an error, but instead turned into a matching push, which has been corrected with Git 2.31 (Q1 2021).

See commit 20e4164 (23 Feb 2021) by Junio C Hamano (gitster).
(Merged by Junio C Hamano -- gitster -- in commit 1400458, 25 Feb 2021)

push: do not turn --delete '' into a matching push

Noticed-by: Tilman Vogel

When we added a syntax sugar "git push remote --delete"(man) <ref> to "git push"(man) as a synonym to the canonical git push remote(man) : syntax at f517f1f ("builtin-push: add(man) --delete as syntactic sugar for :foo", 2009-12-30, Git v1.7.0-rc0 -- merge), we weren't careful enough to make sure that <ref> is not empty.

Blindly rewriting "--delete " to ":" means that an empty string <ref> results in refspec ":", which is the syntax to ask for "matching" push that does not delete anything.

Worse yet, if there were matching refs that can be fast-forwarded, they would have been published prematurely, even if the user feels that they are not ready yet to be pushed out, which would be a real disaster.

28.02.2021 01:58