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Git Error: Failed to push some refs to: Quick Fix

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  • 3 min read

When working with Git, facing errors isn’t really uncommon. We run into random bugs and glitches just because we missed a slash here or a comma there. 

In this article, we’re taking a look at the “failed to push some refs to remote git” error, its causes and how you can fix the problem.

Also read: How to fix Gitignore not working issue?

Why does this error happen?

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the error “failed to push some refs to remote git” as it’s caused by several reasons, the most popular ones being:

  • Incorrect change ID in the commit.
  • Lack of text files.
  • Incorrect branch name format.
  • Out of sync local repository.
  • Git pre-push hook issues.
  • Not committing initial changes before pushing them.

How to solve this?

Here are a few solutions you can try to solve the error failed to push some refs to remote git.

Check the repository pair

First up, you should check if you’ve got an incorrect repository pair. This means that the name of your local repository should match that of the Git remote repository. 

If your Git repository is incorrectly named, follow this guide to delete the local repository and make a new one with the correct name.

Pull first

Before you can push new changes to a remote repository, you need to run a pull operation first. Run the following commands one at a time and try pushing to the repository again.

git pull -rebase origin [branch name]
git push origin [branch name]

Check branch names

Using incorrect branch names can also cause this error a lot of times. It’s not uncommon to make typos, so ensure you’ve got the branch’s name right, whether it’s a local or remote branch. 

This can also be extended to whether or not a branch exists before you start pushing. Check to make sure you’ve got the name right, the directory isn’t empty and that the branch actually exists.

Check the working directory

Some platforms like GitHub and BitBucket don’t allow users to commit to an empty directory. If you’re using these platforms, make sure to add a file or two before you start pushing your code. This should resolve the error failed to push some refs to remote git.

Also read: GitHub vs Git vs GitLab vs Bitbucket

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: