How to Delete Git Tags from Version History


Git tags allow you to mark specific commits as milestones or releases in your repository’s history. However, as your project evolves, you may need to remove old tags that are no longer relevant. Here’s how to delete Git tags from your local and remote repositories.

Why Would You Want to Delete Git Tags?

There are a few reasons why you may need to delete Git tags:

  • You tagged the wrong commit: Mistakes happen, and you may have accidentally tagged the wrong commit. Deleting the tag lets you remove this incorrect milestone marker.
  • The tag is outdated: If you created a “Version 1.0” tag but your project has since moved way beyond that, retaining the old tag can be confusing. Removing outdated tags cleans up your version history.
  • You want to reset the tags: If your tags don’t follow a logical sequence, you may opt to delete all of them and start fresh with a new tagging convention.

Delete a Local Git Tag

Deleting a tag from your local Git repository is straightforward:

git tag -d <tagname>

For example:

git tag -d v1.0

This removes the local reference to the tag only. The commit itself will still exist in your history.

To verify that the tag no longer exists locally, you can list all tags:

git tag

Delete Multiple Local Git Tags

You can delete multiple Git tags in one command like so:

git tag -d <tag1> <tag2> <tag3>

For example:

git tag -d v1.0 v1.1 v1.2

This will remove all three tags in one shot.

Delete a Remote Git Tag

To delete a Git tag from a remote repository, you need to push a delete reference:

git push origin :refs/tags/<tagname>

Here’s an example:

git push origin :refs/tags/v1.0

This removes the tag from the remote repository.

Delete Multiple Remote Git Tags

You can script deleting multiple remote Git tags by fetching all remote tags, deleting the ones you want locally, and pushing the deletes.

Here is one method:

git fetch --tags
git tag -l | xargs git tag -d
git push origin --delete $(git tag -l)

Breaking this down:

  1. Fetch all remote tags
  2. List all tags and delete them locally
  3. Delete the remote tags

While effective, this will delete ALL tags, so use with caution!

Reset All Git Tags

To completely reset all Git tags, both locally and remotely:

git tag | xargs git tag -d && git fetch -t && git push origin --delete $(git tag -l)

This will:

  1. Delete all local tags
  2. Fetch all remote tags
  3. Delete all remote tags

After running this, your repository will have no Git tags at all.

Important Notes on Deleting Git Tags

When deleting Git tags, keep these important points in mind:

  • Communicate with your team: Coordinate tag deletions to avoid confusing other developers.
  • Use with caution: Think carefully before deleting tags, especially from shared remote repositories.
  • Tags don’t undo commits: Deleting a tag does NOT delete the commit it referenced. That commit still exists in your repo’s history.
  • Deleted tags may come back: If other developers still have the deleted tags locally, they may push them back to the remote repo in the future.


Here are some key takeaways on removing Git tags:

  • Use git tag -d to delete local tags.
  • Push delete references to remove remote tags.
  • Be very careful when deleting shared tags on remote repositories.
  • Communicate with your team before deleting public tags.
  • Tags only provide labels for specific commits rather than altering history.

With great care, deleting Git tags can help keep your repositories organized and improve your development workflow.