How Do I Check out a Remote Git Branch?

Better Stack Team
Updated on June 21, 2024

To check out a remote Git branch, you first need to ensure that you have fetched the latest changes from the remote repository. Then, you can create and switch to a local branch based on the remote branch. Here's how you can do it:

Step 1: Fetch Remote Branches

Before checking out a remote branch, it's a good practice to ensure that you have the latest information about remote branches by fetching the latest changes:

git fetch

This command will fetch the latest updates from the remote repository, including information about new branches.

Step 2: Check Out the Remote Branch

Once you've fetched the changes, you can check out the remote branch by creating a local tracking branch based on the remote branch. You can do this in one step by specifying the remote branch:

git checkout -t origin/<remote-branch-name>

Replace <remote-branch-name> with the name of the remote branch you want to check out.


  • The t or -track option tells Git to set up a tracking relationship between the local branch and the remote branch. This means that when you push or pull changes, Git knows which remote branch to interact with.
  • If you prefer, you can also create a local branch first and then set up the tracking relationship separately. For example:
git checkout -b <local-branch-name> origin/<remote-branch-name>

This command creates a new local branch (<local-branch-name>) based on the remote branch (origin/<remote-branch-name>) and sets up the tracking relationship.


  • After checking out the remote branch, you can work on it locally and make any necessary changes. Remember to push your changes to the remote repository when you're done.
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