[git, github, versioning, gitignore, remove, sensitive]

Let Git/GitHub know which files to exclude from versioning

By default, Git/GitHub track any files that you have created, for example:

  • large data files (that you wont be able to upload to GitHub),
  • files that are generated by code (and hence need not to be versioned), and
  • even sensitive passwords that you may have stored in your code accidentally.

Luckily, Git offers a convenient way to exclude files and directories from versioning.

  1. Create a new file in your project’s root directory, and call it .gitignore (remember to use the .!)

  2. Edit the .gitignore file, and define which files or directories to exclude. For example, **/DIRNAME excludes any directory called DIRNAME, and *pdf excludes any PDF files.

  3. Save the .gitignore file, and run git status in your repository - the excluded files and directories won’t show up anymore!


Check out a few example .gitignore files for inspiration, or copy-paste the following to your own .gitignore: