Checkout the previous git branch


Today I needed to checkout a branch, pull the latest, then checkout dev, pull the latest, and merge dev into my branch.

This flow is pretty typical of my work, but I wondered: is there an easier way to go back to the previous branch in git?

Turns out there is, and StackOverflow came to the rescue:

git checkout -

This command will checkout the most recent branch. For more of an explanation, read the full response on StackOverflow.

To complete the steps above, I could run the following commands:

git checkout feature/branch-with-a-long-name
git pull
git checkout dev
git pull
git checkout -
git merge dev

If I can remember that command, it will be more efficient that going back through my command history. Hope that helps you too!

Happy version controlling!

Daniel 6:10 (SDG)

About

My name is Sean McPherson (SeanMcP), and I am a software engineer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Here I write articles about programming for developers of all levels.