How to Resolve Git Status Unmerged Paths

John Wachira Feb 02, 2024
How to Resolve Git Status Unmerged Paths

This article discusses the steps needed to resolve the unmerged paths in Git. We normally get this message when we have merge conflicts in our repository.

You will likely encounter such a message when files conflict when merging branches.

For example, you have modified a file in the master branch and the same file in the feature branch. Merging the two will cause conflicts that you will have to resolve manually.

Every time you run the git status command, you will get the Unmerged paths message. So, how do you resolve this?

Resolve Git Status Unmerged Paths

We will employ an example to demonstrate the scenario explained above.

In our master branch, we will edit the file and commit the changes. We will then switch to the feature branch and edit the file on the same line as in master and commit.

Lastly, we will try to merge the two branches.

git merge feature

Let’s run the git status command.

git status

The easiest way out is to resolve the conflicts and commit the changes. We will use Meld to resolve the conflicts.

Run the git mergetool command to open Meld. You should get something like this:

git mergetool

The red part shows the merge conflicts. All we need to do is edit the documents to remove the conflict, save the changes and exit Meld.

In our case, we’ll keep it simple and edit the document to look the same.

On the Bash terminal, we can run the git add command and git commit to commit our changes and finish the merge process.

Alternatively, you can use an editor like VSCode. It shows you where the merge conflicts are and how you can resolve the conflicts.

Check out this example.


You can choose to Accept the current changes, Incoming Changes, Both Changes, or Compare the changes. Accepting both changes will leave your file with two versions that are not what we want.

Once we have resolved the conflicting files, we can add the file to the index and commit using the git add and git commit commands.

This should complete the merge, and you will get a clean working directory if you run the git status command.

In a nutshell, the Unmerged paths message pops up when we have merge conflicts in our repositories. You have to manually resolve the conflicts and commit the changes.

It is always advisable to use a mergetool like Meld. It makes identifying where the files conflict and making the necessary changes easier.

Author: John Wachira
John Wachira avatar John Wachira avatar

John is a Git and PowerShell geek. He uses his expertise in the version control system to help businesses manage their source code. According to him, Shell scripting is the number one choice for automating the management of systems.


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