How to remove a credential file from git (all commit history)

2 min readJun 23, 2023

Certainly! Here’s an example of how you can use the git filter-branch command to remove a sensitive credential file from your Git commit history:

  • First, make sure you have a backup of your repository. Modifying Git history can be a destructive operation, so having a backup is essential.
  • Open a terminal or command prompt and navigate to your repository’s directory.
  • Run the following command to start the filter-branch process, replacing <branch-name> with the name of the branch containing the sensitive information:
git filter-branch - force - index-filter "git rm - cached - ignore-unmatch path/to/credential_file" - prune-empty - tag-name-filter cat - - all

This command removes the specified file containing the connection string from the entire commit history.

  • After running the command, Git will rewrite the commit history, removing any commits that contained sensitive information. This process may take some time depending on the size of your repository.
  • Once the process is complete, you can push the modified branch to your remote repository. Keep in mind that you will need to force-push (git push --force) because the commit history has changed.

It's important to note that the above command assumes the sensitive connection string is stored in a specific file. You need to replace path/to/credetail_file it with the actual path to the file in your repository that contains the connection string. Also, if the sensitive information is present in multiple files or commits, you may need to modify the --index-filter command accordingly.

Remember to inform any collaborators who may have cloned or pulled the repository about the modified history so they can update their local copies.

Lastly, be cautious when using Git's filter-branch command, as it rewrites the commit history and can have unintended consequences if misused. Always make sure you have a backup and thoroughly test the modified repository before proceeding.

This content is generated from ChatGPT and the command is tested!