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Git Branch Name Capitalisation

·2 mins

I recently had an odd experience where Git was, seemingly randomly, changing the capitalisation of my branch names. This would happen when performing operations like changing branches and pushing branches.

tl;dr version, git stores branch prefixes like Feature/ in a folder and file systems aren’t case-sensitive. You need to delete the offending folder from .git/refs/heads. For a more detailed explanation, read on!

It’ll all started when I began using a branch naming scheme like Feature/branch-name and I thought that the Feature prefix may have been the issue … and it kind of was, just not how I expected :)

After some googl’ing around I discovered that Git stores branches as files and more importantly, it treats branch names like Foo/blah as a folder Foo within which there is a file blah.

… and file systems are not case-sensitive …


Turns out I had accidentally created a branch name feature/something at some time, and even though I had deleted the branch name, the folder lived on. Thus every time I created a new branch with the Feature/ prefix, it would place it in the already existing feature (lower case) folder. While I was on the new branch, the prompt would be showing the uppercase Feature, but when changing away from, and then back to, the branch it would see the lower case folder. Thus explaining the strange case change!

The fix is quite simple. Given a branch prefix feature/ that you want to change to Feature, go to your Git repo, navigate to the


folder and delete the feature folder (making sure it’s empty of course).

The next time you create a branch Feature/foo there will be a new folder created with the correct capitalisation!