Git Refusing to Merge Unrelated Histories on Rebase

Better Stack Team
Updated on June 24, 2024

The "refusing to merge unrelated histories" error typically occurs when you're trying to merge or rebase branches that have diverged and have no common ancestor. This usually happens when you're trying to merge or rebase branches that were created independently and don't share any commit history.

To resolve this issue, you can pass the --allow-unrelated-histories option to the git merge or git rebase command. Here's how you can do it:

For Merging:

git merge <branch-name> --allow-unrelated-histories

Replace <branch-name> with the name of the branch you want to merge.

For Rebasing:

git rebase <branch-name> --allow-unrelated-histories

Replace <branch-name> with the name of the branch you want to rebase onto.

By using the --allow-unrelated-histories option, you're explicitly telling Git to allow the merge or rebase operation even if the branches have unrelated histories.


  • Be cautious when using -allow-unrelated-histories, as it can lead to unexpected results, especially if the branches you're merging or rebasing have significant differences.
  • After resolving the unrelated histories issue, make sure to review the changes carefully to ensure that the resulting history is what you expect.
  • If you're still encountering issues, it may be helpful to review the commit history of the branches involved to understand why they're considered unrelated.
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