Stashing only unstaged changes in Git

Published on in Git

git stash -k doesn't work as expected. Use a temporary commit instead.

Table of contents


git stash -k  # -k = --keep-index

What this does:

  • Keeps the staged changes: nice.
  • Stashes unstaged and staged changes: not nice since the stash entry will also contain the staged changes. This can be problematic as (in this blog post) we want to stash only unstaged changes.


Using my Git aliases:

  1. git c -m wip to create a temporary commit
  2. git stash to stash the remaining (unstaged/uncommitted) changes
    • Optionally use -u (= --include-untracked) to also stash untracked files
  3. git undo to undo the previous commit (the temporary commit done in step 1)
    • Optionally use --soft to keep the changes in the staging area

If not using my Git aliases:

  • git c = git commit
  • git undo = git reset HEAD~

Source of the solution: Stephen Hanson's answer on Stack Overflow.

My point is that my Git aliases make the solution even nicer, especially git undo since I can't remember the underlying command, plus git reset is scary (but the alias makes it less scary).