Changing the default branch

If you have more than one branch in your repository, you can configure any branch as the default branch.

People with admin permissions to a repository can change the default branch for the repository.

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About changing the default branch

You can choose the default branch for a repository. The default branch is the base branch for pull requests and code commits. For more information about the default branch, see "About branches."

Note: If you use the Git-Subversion bridge, changing the default branch will affect your trunk branch contents and the HEAD you see when you list references for the remote repository. For more information, see "Support for Subversion clients" and git-ls-remote in the Git documentation.

You can set the name of the default branch for new repositories. For more information, see "Managing the default branch for your repositories," "Managing the default branch name for repositories in your organization," or "Enforcing a policy on the default branch name."

Prerequisites

To change the default branch, your repository must have more than one branch. For more information, see "Creating and deleting branches within your repository."

Changing the default branch

  1. On GitHub, navigate to the main page of the repository.
  2. Under your repository name, click Settings.
    Repository settings button
  3. In the left menu, click Branches.
    Repository options sub-menu
  4. Under "Default branch", to the right of the default branch name, click .
    Switch icon with two arrows to the right of current default branch name
  5. Use the drop-down, then click a branch name.
    Drop-down to choose new default branch
  6. Click Update.
    "Update" button after choosing a new default branch
  7. Read the warning, then click I understand, update the default branch.
    "Update" button after choosing a new default branch

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