I have a tracked file in a git repository. How do I untrack this file without deleting it using magit?

3 Answers 3


Hitting i will gitignore the file and untrack it from the git repository.

Behind the scenes, it does git rm --cached - More info about this git command from a StackOverflow question

  • Note that you don't need to add it to the gitignore file. Just discard(I believe by default "k") changes on gitignore after i.
    – deadghost
    Feb 17, 2015 at 14:51
  • Discarding (using k) just reverts the file contents to its last committed state; it does not untrack it. To test it, modify the file you just discarded, hit g in the magit buffer to refresh the contents and you will see that file appear once again in the Unstaged section. Feb 17, 2015 at 14:56
  • I mean discarding the changes on .gitignore.
    – deadghost
    Feb 17, 2015 at 14:58
  • Alright, I now get what you are saying. First hit i on the file you want to untrack and then hit k on .gitignore. For my use case, if there's a file I want to untrack, I usually want to gitignore it too. That way my magit buffer stays clean and empty :) Feb 17, 2015 at 15:01
  • 3
    If you don't need to add the file to gitignore, use K (that's uppercase k). May 5, 2016 at 16:26

In the Magit buffer, hit K (uppercase k) on the file. It works with magit 2.3; I don't know for earlier versions.


Use M-x magit-file-untrack from a buffer visiting a tracked file or from a Magit buffer. When the buffer visits a file then that file is offered as default choice.

When point is on a file in a Magit buffer, then that is also offered as default. You might also want to add the new magit-insert-tracked-files to magit-status-sections-hook, then a tree of all tracked files is inserted into the status buffer (but doing so might not be good for performance in big repositories).

  • In spacemacs this is bound to X.
    – mcp
    Mar 15, 2022 at 21:51

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