As of Git v1.7.0, you can delete a remote branch using
git push origin --delete <branchName>
Then you have to execute on machines other
git fetch --all --prune
If you want more detailed explanations of the following commands, then see the long answers in the next section.
Deleting a remote branch:
git push origin --delete <branch> # Git version 1.7.0 or newer git push origin :<branch> # Git versions older than 1.7.0
Deleting a local branch:
git branch --delete <branch> git branch -d <branch> # Shorter version git branch -D <branch> # Force delete un-merged branches
Deleting a local remote-tracking branch:
git branch --delete --remotes <remote>/<branch> git branch -dr <remote>/<branch> # Shorter git fetch <remote> --prune # Delete multiple obsolete tracking branches git fetch <remote> -p # Shorter
When you're dealing with deleting branches both locally and remotely, keep in mind that there are 3 different branches involved:
The original poster used
git branch -rd origin/bugfix
which only deleted his local remote-tracking branch origin/bugfix, and not the actual remote branch bugfix on origin.
To delete that actual remote branch, you need
git push origin --delete bugfix
The following sections describe additional details to consider when deleting your remote and remote-tracking branches.
Note that deleting the remote branch X from the command line using a git push will also delete the local remote-tracking branch origin/X, so it is not necessary to prune the obsolete remote-tracking branch with git fetch --prune or git fetch -p, though it wouldn't hurt if you did it anyway.
You can verify that the remote-tracking branch origin/X was also deleted by running the following:
# View just remote-tracking branches git branch --remotes git branch -r # View both strictly local as well as remote-tracking branches git branch --all git branch -a
If you didn't delete your remote branch X from the command line (like above), then your local repo will still contain (a now obsolete) remote-tracking branch origin/X. This can happen if you deleted a remote branch directly through GitHub's web interface, for example.
A typical way to remove these obsolete remote-tracking branches (since Git version 1.6.6) is to simply run git fetch with the --prune or shorter -p. Note that this removes all obsolete local remote-tracking branches for any remote branches that no longer exist on the remote:
git fetch origin --prune git fetch origin -p # Shorter
Here is the relevant quote from the 1.6.6 release notes (emphasis mine):
"git fetch" learned --all and --multipleoptions, to run fetch from many repositories, and --prune option to remove remote tracking branches that went stale. These make "git remote update" and "git remote prune" less necessary (there is no plan to remove "remote update" nor "remote prune", though).
Alternatively, instead of pruning your obsolete local remote-tracking branches through git fetch -p,you can avoid making the extra network operation by just manually removing the branch(es) with the --remote or -r flags:
git branch --delete --remotes origin/X git branch -dr origin/X # Shorter