Skip to main content

Set code scanning merge protection

You can use rulesets to set code scanning merge protection for pull requests.

Who can use this feature?

Code scanning is available for all public repositories on Code scanning is also available for private repositories owned by organizations that use GitHub Enterprise Cloud and have a license for GitHub Advanced Security. For more information, see "About GitHub Advanced Security."

About using rulesets for code scanning merge protection


  • This feature is currently in beta and subject to change.
  • Merge protection with rulesets is not related to status checks. For more information about status checks, see "About status checks."
  • Merge protection with rulesets will not apply to merge queue groups or Dependabot pull requests analyzed by default setup.

You can use rulesets to prevent pull requests from being merged when one of the following conditions is met:

  • A required tool found a code scanning alert of a severity that is defined in a ruleset.

  • A required code scanning tool's analysis is still in progress.

  • A required code scanning tool is not configured for the repository.

For more information about code scanning alerts, see "About code scanning alerts."

You can set merge protection with rulesets at the repository level, and for repositories configured with either default setup or advanced setup. You can also use the REST API to set merge protection with rulesets.

For more information about rulesets, see "About rulesets."

Creating a merge protection ruleset for a repository

  1. On, navigate to the main page of the repository.

  2. Under your repository name, click Settings. If you cannot see the "Settings" tab, select the dropdown menu, then click Settings.

    Screenshot of a repository header showing the tabs. The "Settings" tab is highlighted by a dark orange outline.

  3. In the left sidebar, under "Code and automation," click Rules, then click Rulesets.

    Screenshot of the sidebar of the "Settings" page for a repository. The "Rules" sub-menu is expanded, and the "Rulesets" option is outlined in orange.

  4. Click New ruleset.

  5. To create a ruleset targeting branches, click New branch ruleset.

  6. Under "Ruleset name," type a name for the ruleset.

  7. Optionally, to change the default enforcement status, click Disabled and select an enforcement status. For more information about enforcement statuses, see "About rulesets."

  8. Under "Branch protections", select Require code scanning results.

  9. Under "Required tools and alert thresholds", click Add tool and select a code scanning tool with the dropdown. For example, "CodeQL".

  10. Next to the name of a code scanning tool:

    • Click Alerts and select one of: None, Errors, Errors and Warnings or All.
    • Click Security alerts and select one of: None, Critical, High or higher, Medium or higher, or All.

    Screenshot of the "Required tools and alert thresholds" section of "Rulesets" settings.

For more information about alert severity and security severity levels, see "About code scanning alerts."

For more information about managing rulesets in a repository, see "Managing rulesets for a repository."

Creating a merge protection ruleset with the REST API

You can use the REST API to create a ruleset with the code_scanning rule, which allows you to define specific tools and set alert thresholds. For more information, see "REST API endpoints for rules."