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Creating a pull request from a fork

You can create a pull request to propose changes you've made to a fork of an upstream repository.

Who can use this feature

Anyone with write access to a repository can create a pull request from a user-owned fork.

If your pull request compares your topic branch with a branch in the upstream repository as the base branch, then your topic branch is also called the "compare branch" of the pull request.

For example:

  • Your topic branch (also known as “feature branch”) is the branch where you’re making your changes in your forked repository (e.g. my-topic-branch).
  • The base branch is the branch in the upstream (central) repository that you want to merge your changes into (e.g. main).
  • The pull request compares the changes proposed by the topic branch (my-topic-branch) with the base branch (main), so my-topic-branch is known as the “compare branch”.

For more information about pull request branches, including examples, see "Creating a pull request."

  1. Navigate to the original repository where you created your fork.

  2. Above the list of files, in the yellow banner, click Compare & pull request to create a pull request for the associated branch.

    Screenshot of the banner above the list of files.

  3. On the page to create a new pull request, click compare across forks.

    Screenshot of the page to open a pull request. The "compare across forks" link is outlined in dark orange.

  4. In the "base branch" dropdown menu, select the branch of the upstream repository you'd like to merge changes into.

    Screenshot of the page to open a new pull request. The dropdown menus for choosing the base repository and branch are outlined in dark orange.

  5. In the "head fork" dropdown menu, select your fork, then use the "compare branch" drop-down menu to select the branch you made your changes in.

    Screenshot of the page to open a new pull request. The dropdown menus for choosing the head repository and compare branch are outlined in dark orange.

  6. Type a title and description for your pull request.

  7. On user-owned forks, if you want to allow anyone with push access to the upstream repository to make changes to your pull request, select Allow edits from maintainers.

    Warning: If your fork contains GitHub Actions workflows, the option is Allow edits and access to secrets by maintainers. Allowing edits on a fork's branch that contains GitHub Actions workflows also allows a maintainer to edit the forked repository's workflows, which can potentially reveal values of secrets and grant access to other branches.

  8. To create a pull request that is ready for review, click Create Pull Request. To create a draft pull request, use the drop-down and select Create Draft Pull Request, then click Draft Pull Request. For more information about draft pull requests, see "About pull requests."

Tip: After you create a pull request, you can ask a specific person to review your proposed changes. For more information, see "Requesting a pull request review."

Further reading