How to Easily Revert a Specific File`s Commit in Git – Learn with Practical Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Git Commits
  3. Ways to Identify the Specific Commit
  4. Reverting the Commit
  5. Checking the Changes Made
  6. Practical Examples
  7. Conclusion


Are you tired of a never-ending to-do list, feeling like no matter how much you do, there's always more to be done? What if I told you that sometimes, doing less can actually be more effective?
As renowned artist Pablo Picasso once said, “The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.” Sometimes, we get so caught up in the idea that we need to be constantly productive and checking off tasks that we forget to take a step back and think critically about what actually needs to be done.
That's why in this article, we'll explore the concept of doing less and how it can make you more effective. We'll take a closer look at specific situations in which removing tasks or commitments can make a significant impact on your productivity. So buckle up and get ready to challenge everything you thought you knew about being productive.

Understanding Git Commits

So, you're ready to dive into the world of Git commits. But first, let's challenge a common misconception about Git. Many people believe that the purpose of Git is to keep track of all your changes, so that you can always go back and see what you did. While this is true, it misses the point of Git.

As Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux and Git, notes, "Git doesn't actually track changes; it tracks content." In other words, Git doesn't care about the changes you make to a file; it cares about the actual contents of the file at a particular point in time. This may seem like a small distinction, but it's an important one.

When you commit changes in Git, you're not simply saying, "Here's what I did"; you're saying, "Here's the state of the project at this particular point in time." Understanding this distinction is essential to really grasping the power of Git.

So, when you make a commit in Git, you're essentially "freezing" the contents of your project at that moment. This allows you to revisit that particular state, either to continue working from there or to compare it to the current state of your project.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to actually reverting a commit in Git.

Ways to Identify the Specific Commit

So, you've decided to revert a specific file's commit in Git. But how do you know which commit is the one you want to undo? Many people think the best approach is to go through every commit until they find the one that introduced the changes they want to reverse. But is that really the most efficient method?

In the words of Albert Einstein, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Going through every single commit is not only time-consuming but also mentally draining. Instead, you can use Git's built-in tools to identify the specific commit you need in a more efficient manner.

One way to identify the commit is by using Git's git log command. This command shows a list of all the previous commits in the repository, along with their commit messages and SHA-1 checksums (the unique identifier for each commit). You can use the --pretty=format flag to customize the output and make it easier to read. For instance, git log --pretty=format:"%h %s" will show only the first seven digits of the SHA-1 checksum and the commit message.

Another way to pinpoint the specific commit is by using Git's git blame command. This command shows which lines of a file were changed and who made those changes. It also displays the SHA-1 checksum of the commit that introduced those changes. With this information, you can quickly locate the commit you want to undo and use the git revert command to revert its changes.

In conclusion, identifying the specific commit you want to revert in Git doesn't have to be a tedious and time-consuming task. Instead of going through every commit, you can use Git's built-in tools like git log and git blame to efficiently locate the commit you need and quickly undo its changes. As Bruce Lee once said, "It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." By adopting a minimalist approach to identifying commits, you can save time and energy and focus on the essential task of writing code.

Reverting the Commit

: The Easy Way

Contrary to popular belief, productivity is not always about doing more. In fact, sometimes the most effective approach is to undo something you've already done. This is especially true when it comes to Git commits. Reverting a commit can save you time and effort, and it's remarkably easy to do once you get the hang of it.

First, let's talk about what it means to revert a commit. When you revert a commit, you're essentially undoing the changes made in that commit. It's like hitting "undo" on a specific set of changes. This can be useful if you accidentally made a mistake or realized that a particular commit was unnecessary.

To revert a commit in Git, you'll need to use the "git revert" command. This command creates a new commit that undoes the changes from a previous commit. Here's an example:

git revert abc123

In this example, "abc123" is the commit hash of the commit you want to revert. When you run this command, Git will create a new commit that undoes the changes made in the "abc123" commit.

But what if you want to revert multiple commits? In that case, you can use the "git revert" command with multiple commit hashes separated by spaces:

git revert abc123 def456 ghi789

This will create three new commits that undo the changes from the "abc123", "def456", and "ghi789" commits.

Now, you might be thinking, "But won't this just clutter up my Git history with all these new revert commits?" That's a valid concern, but luckily Git has a solution for that too. You can use the "git revert –no-commit" command to revert a commit without creating a new commit. Here's an example:

git revert --no-commit abc123

This will undo the changes from the "abc123" commit, but it won't create a new commit. Instead, the changes will be staged and ready to commit. You can then make any additional changes you need to before committing.

As the famous artist Michelangelo once said, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." In the same way, every Git commit has the potential to be reverted, and it's up to you to discover when it's necessary. By mastering the "git revert" command, you can save yourself time and effort, and sculpt your Git history into the masterpiece it was meant to be.

Checking the Changes Made

Before reverting a commit in Git, it's crucial to understand the changes made to the specific file. This step can help you determine if the revert is necessary and what other changes may be affected by the revert.

To check the changes made to a file, use the "git log" command with the "-p" option. This will show you the commit history with the differences or patch shown for each commit. You can filter the results to show only the commits for the specific file with the "–follow" option and the file path.

git log -p --follow path/to/file

Once you have reviewed the changes and decided to revert a commit, use the "git revert" command with the commit hash of the desired revert. This will create a new commit that undoes the changes made by the specified commit.

git revert commit_hash

It's important to note that reverting a commit may also affect other changes made after the reverted commit. This can create conflicts that need to be resolved manually.

In summary, before reverting a commit can help you make informed decisions and prevent unintended consequences. Take the time to review the commit history and use the appropriate commands to safely and effectively revert a specific file's commit in Git.

Practical Examples

Who says reverting a commit in Git is a daunting task? It's actually much easier than you might think! To show how simple it is, let's go through some .

First, let's say you accidentally committed a file to the wrong branch. No need to panic, just use the following command:

git revert <commit-hash>

Replace <commit-hash> with the hash of the commit you want to revert. This will create a new commit that undoes the changes made in the previous commit.

Another scenario is you want to revert changes made to a specific file, but not the entire commit. No problem, just use:

git checkout <commit-hash> -- path/to/file

Again, replace <commit-hash> with the hash of the commit you want to revert and path/to/file with the specific file you want reverted. This will bring back the file to how it was in the specified commit.

And lastly, let's say you accidentally made some changes to a file and committed them, but you actually wanted to keep the previous version. You can easily revert to the previous version with:

git checkout HEAD^ -- path/to/file

This will revert the changes made in the most recent commit for the specified file.

In conclusion, reverting a commit or file in Git is not as complicated as it seems. With the above , you can easily undo changes and correct mistakes without a sweat. So fear not, fellow developers, and happy coding!


In , reverting a specific file's commit in Git doesn't have to be a complicated process. With just a few commands, you can easily undo unwanted changes or revert back to a previous version of a file. Git's version control system is incredibly powerful and can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.

But beyond the technical aspects of Git, it's important to consider how these tools fit into your overall approach to productivity. Sometimes, doing less can actually be more effective than trying to cram more tasks into an already busy schedule. As the famous philosopher Seneca once said, "It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it."

So, as you think about how to make the most of your time and energy, consider the possibility that simplifying your workload and focusing on the most important tasks might be a more effective strategy than trying to do it all. And when it comes to managing your code with Git, remember that sometimes the best way forward is to simply hit the reset button and start fresh.

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