How to view merged and unmerged branches in Git?

When we have multiple branches in a git repository, we would need to bring the changes from all the branches to the main line of work that is the master branch. So, if we are currently in master branch and need to see which branches need to be merged, we can use the following commands.

$git branch --no-merged

We would also need to verify which branches are already merged, so that we can delete the unused branches

$git branch --merged


Let us create an example to understand how to view the branches that are merged and unmerged. The following diagram shows that there are three branches − master, feature, bugfix. All three branches are diverged from the initial commit.

We will merge the feature branch to master and will apply --merged and --no-merged options to identify the branches that are already merged and the branches that are yet to be merged.

Let us understand this with an example.

Step 1 − Create a repository, add initial commit and create three branches master, feature, bugfix.

$ git init
$ echo hello>hello1.txt
$ git add .
$ git commit -m 'initial commit'
$ git branch feature
$ git branch bugfix
$ git branch


The output shows that all three branches are created. *master indicates that it is the current branch.

* master

Step 2 − We will make a commit in each branch, so that all our branches are diverged.

$echo second>>second.txt
$git add .
$git commit -m 'second.txt'
$git switch feature
$echo third>third.txt
$git add .
$git commit -m 'third'
$git switch bugfix
$echo four>four.txt
$git add .
$git commit -m 'four.txt'
$git switch master
$git log --oneline --graph --all


The output shows that there are 4 commits and all three branches have diverged from initial commit.

* f5c8a8f (bugfix) four.txt
| * 97520af (feature) third
| * 075d9c2 (HEAD -> master) second.txt
* dcd8e55 initial commit

Step 3 − Check status of the merged and not merged branches from master using option --merged and --no-merged. The command and output are shown below. From the output it is clear that the branches bugfix and feature are to be merged to the master branch.

$ git branch --merged
* master //output

$ git branch --no-merged
bugfix //output

Step 4 − Merge the feature branch to the master branch and check the merged and unmerged status of the branches.

$git merge feature
Merge made by the 'recursive' strategy. //output
third.txt | 1 +
1 file changed, 1 insertion(+)
create mode 100644 third.txt

$ git branch --merged
feature //output
* master

$$ git branch --no-merged
bugfix //output

The output shows that bugfix is the only branch to be merged and that the feature branch is already merged.

Updated on: 30-Apr-2021

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