When your clone is several commits behind the master

Once in a while, I clone a project just to check out the code, have it compiled or even to request a pull for an update.

That’s ok.

But what if my clone gets stale? What if it is several commits behind the original repository? You see a message like this:


How do you fix it? Is there a hidden button somewhere in the GitHub portal?

No there is not.

But there are two solutions…

The first is a quick and dirty one. Just delete your own repository and everything in it. Then clone is again 🙂 This is ok for the code but you will also lose all issues, discussions, releases, etc. on your own repository.

The second solution is a better and still simple solution.  Just use the command line, you need to be able to execute the GIT command on your command line.

In this example, I forked the https://github.com/Azure/iotedge to my own repository.

Here is how I pulled all new and changed and deleted files from the original repository:

cd c:\git

— No iotedge folder is available yet

git clone https://github.com/sandervandevelde/iotedge.git

cd iotedge

git remote add upstream https://github.com/Azure/iotedge.git

git fetch upstream

git pull upstream master

git push

That’s all.

Note: c:\git is my main folder with all possible projects

And this is what the portal shows after a refresh.


You can delete the c:\git\iotedge folder afterwards if needed.


This little trick fixes your stale fork. Now you can enjoy all new goodies from the master.