Fix git error – Updates were rejected because the tip of your current branch is behind

Fix git error – Updates were rejected because the tip of your current branch is behind

Introductory Paragraph
In the vast universe of software development, Git stands out as a quintessential tool for maintaining code versions and ensuring seamless collaboration. Yet, for many developers on platforms like codedamn, Git can sometimes present daunting errors that can disrupt workflows. One such common roadblock is the “Updates were rejected because the tip of your current branch is behind” error. This article aims to demystify this error, ensuring a smooth sail in your coding journey.


Version control systems play a pivotal role in modern software development, and Git is at the forefront of this movement. Providing a robust and flexible framework, Git allows multiple developers to work concurrently on projects, merge changes, and keep track of every alteration. Yet, as with every tool, Git is not without its quirks. Developers often face a variety of errors, but today, we’ll delve deep into the error that states, “Updates were rejected because the tip of your current branch is behind”.

Understanding the Error

Before diving into solutions, let’s first get a clear understanding of what this error implies and when you might come across it.

What does the error mean?

In its essence, this error is Git’s way of saying that your local branch is lagging behind its remote counterpart. That means there have been changes in the remote branch which you haven’t incorporated into your local branch yet.

When does this error occur?

This error typically surfaces when you’re pushing changes to a remote repository. Especially in collaborative projects, where multiple individuals are pushing changes to the same branch, it’s not uncommon to encounter this hiccup.

Common Scenarios Leading to the Error

Every error has its root causes, and in the case of Git, these scenarios are often tied to the workflows and habits of developers.

Concurrent changes by multiple collaborators

Imagine a scenario where two developers, Alice and Bob, are working on the same Git branch. Alice pushes her changes to the remote repository. Meanwhile, Bob, unaware of Alice’s updates, tries to push his changes. Since the remote has updates from Alice which Bob doesn’t have locally, Git throws the error. This is a classic case of concurrent changes leading to conflicts.

Forgetting to pull recent updates

Sometimes, the error can be a result of a simple oversight. A developer might forget to pull the most recent updates before making local changes and subsequently pushing them. Not having the latest codebase can lead to this error, as Git would identify discrepancies between the local and remote branches.

Overwriting remote history

One of the more advanced scenarios leading to this error involves altering the commit history. Activities like rebasing or amending previous commits can modify the commit history. When a developer tries to push these changes without ensuring synchronization with the remote branch’s history, Git identifies the mismatch and throws the error.

For developers navigating the rich features of Git, errors are inevitable. However, with a keen understanding and proper guidance, these roadblocks can be swiftly managed. For further insights and solutions, always refer to Git’s official documentation to ensure you’re accessing accurate and up-to-date information. Happy coding on codedamn!

How to Fix the Error

Experiencing errors with Git can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to push code or collaborate with a team. The “Updates were rejected because the tip of your current branch is behind” error is one that many developers on codedamn might come across. This post aims to help you understand and efficiently fix this error, ensuring smooth coding sessions.

Safe Approaches

While the temptation might be to jump in and fix the error immediately, it’s essential to understand the safe methods that won’t jeopardize your repository’s integrity.

Using git pull

The primary approach to fix this error is by using the git pull command.

git pull origin branch-name

This command fetches the latest changes from the remote branch and merges them with your local branch. During this process, you may encounter merge conflicts if there are changes in the remote branch that conflict with your local changes.

To resolve merge conflicts:

  1. Open the files with conflicts. Git will mark the conflicting areas.
  2. Edit the files to reconcile the differences.
  3. Once resolved, stage the changes using git add filename.
  4. Commit the changes with git commit and then push them.

Using git pull --rebase

Another method is to use git pull with the --rebase option.

git pull --rebase origin branch-name

Rebasing re-arranges your local commits by placing them on top of the remote branch’s commits. While rebasing, if the changes you’ve made locally overlap with the changes made remotely, you’ll encounter conflicts.

To resolve conflicts during a rebase:

  1. Edit the conflicting files.
  2. Stage the changes with git add filename.
  3. Continue the rebase process with git rebase --continue.

Alternative Approaches

There are other methods to handle this error, but they carry varying levels of risk.

Using git fetch followed by git merge

Instead of directly pulling changes, you can first fetch them.

git fetch origin

This command retrieves the latest updates from the remote branch without automatically merging them. After fetching, you can merge the fetched changes into your local branch:

git merge origin/branch-name

Force Push (Caution!)

A more drastic measure is the force push:

git push origin branch-name --force

This command forcefully updates the remote branch with your local changes, potentially discarding changes in the remote. It’s risky and can disrupt the workflow for other collaborators. Use this only when you’re entirely sure of its implications and preferably after communicating with your team.

Best Practices

To minimize disruptions:

  • Always pull the latest changes before starting your work.
  • Communicate frequently with collaborators.
  • Avoid force pushes unless absolutely necessary and understood.

Preventing the Error in Future

No one likes to see errors repeatedly. Here’s how you can minimize the chances of this error occurring in the future:

Set up Git for rebasing

By default, Git is set to merge. To make Git use rebase when pulling:

git config --global pull.rebase true

Using Git GUI tools

Tools like SourceTree, GitKraken, or GitHub Desktop offer visualizations of branching and merging, helping you understand the repository’s state and avoid potential issues.

Regularly fetching updates

Staying updated with remote changes ensures you’re always working with the latest codebase.

Working in feature branches

Instead of working directly on the main or master branches, create separate branches for features or bug fixes. This reduces the likelihood of conflicts when merging.


Understanding and fixing Git errors is crucial for a seamless development workflow. By following best practices and regularly updating your local repository, you can minimize disruptions and maintain a productive coding environment on codedamn.

Further Reading & Resources

For those keen to dive deeper into Git, here are some official resources:

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