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Deleting Stale Branches in git

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Too many remote branches in your repo? Tired of scrolling for days to find your branch? Do you like to keep things tidy?


Use the following script, based off various scripts found on It takes one param, the number of months old a branch must be before it’s considered a candidate for deletion.

#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo "Find and delete branches older than $1 months ago"
read -p "If you want delete branches type 'D', otherwise press 'Enter' and branches will be printed out only: " action
[[ $action = "D" ]] && ECHO="" || ECHO="echo"
for b in $(git branch -r --merged origin/develop | sed /\*/d | egrep -v "^\*|master|main|develop"); do
  if [ "$(git log $b --since "$1 months ago" | wc -l)" -eq 0 ]; then
    $ECHO git push origin --delete "${b/origin\/}" --no-verify;

As always, when copying code and scripts from the internet, read through it and verify it won’t do anything harmful on your system. I’ve used this “as is” on our production repositories so I am comfortable with it but YMMV. Use at your own risk.

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