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This version of GitHub Enterprise Server was discontinued on 2024-01-04. No patch releases will be made, even for critical security issues. For better performance, improved security, and new features, upgrade to the latest version of GitHub Enterprise Server. For help with the upgrade, contact GitHub Enterprise support.

About GitHub Desktop

GitHub Desktop helps you work with projects hosted on GitHub.

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About GitHub Desktop

GitHub Desktop is a free, open source application that helps you to work with files hosted on GitHub or other Git hosting services.

Benefits of GitHub Desktop

GitHub Desktop is useful for beginning and advanced users. Benefits include:

  • Get started easily. If you're new to Git and GitHub, you may find it easier to use GitHub Desktop than to use Git on the command line. GitHub Desktop has a graphical user interface that simplifies commands and helps you visualize changes.
  • Find commands. Because GitHub Desktop has a visual interface, you can easily access less-common Git commands, such as choosing which changed lines to include in a commit or adding a co-author to a commit, without needing to memorize or look up syntax.
  • Follow best practices. GitHub Desktop encourages best practices. For example, it helps you to create an accurate and easy-to-follow commit history so other collaborators on a project can easily review your work.
  • Integrate with GitHub. GitHub Desktop is specifically designed for use with GitHub. For example, you can authenticate to or GitHub Enterprise Server quickly, without needing to use a separate credential manager. You can also check out a pull request to run checks without needing to open your browser.

GitHub Desktop workflow

You can use GitHub Desktop alongside any tools you need to contribute to a project. For example, a typical workflow is:

  • Use GitHub Desktop to download a GitHub repository to your computer and create a new branch
  • Use an editor such as Visual Studio Code to make changes to the code
  • Return to GitHub Desktop to commit and push the changes to GitHub

Getting started

GitHub Desktop is available for Windows and macOS. For information about installing and getting started with GitHub Desktop, see "Getting started with GitHub Desktop."

If you're interested in the open source GitHub Desktop project, you can see the roadmap, contribute to the project, or open an issue to provide feedback in the desktop/desktop repository.

Further reading