Troubleshooting: How to Resolve 'Merge_Head Exists' Error and Complete Your Merge

If you are a developer who has encountered the "Merge_Head Exists" error while trying to complete a merge, don't worry. This error is a common issue that can be resolved by following a few simple steps.

What is the 'Merge_Head Exists' Error?

The "Merge_Head Exists" error occurs when Git detects that you have an existing merge in progress. This can happen if you have previously attempted to merge a branch or if you have aborted a merge.

When you try to complete a merge while this error is present, Git will display the following message:

fatal: Committing is not possible because you have unmerged files.
Please, fix them up in the work tree, and then use 'git add/rm <file>'
as appropriate to mark resolution and make a commit, or use 'git commit -a'.

How to Resolve the 'Merge_Head Exists' Error

To resolve the "Merge_Head Exists" error, you will need to complete the previous merge or abort it. Here are the steps to follow:

Check the status of your merge by running the following command:

git status

This will display a message that indicates whether you have an existing merge in progress.

If you have an existing merge in progress, you can complete it by running the following command:

git commit -m "Merge completed"

This will commit the changes from the merge and resolve the "Merge_Head Exists" error.

If you do not want to complete the merge, you can abort it by running the following command:

git merge --abort

This will cancel the merge and remove any changes that were made during the merge.

After completing or aborting the merge, run the following command to update the Git index:

git reset

This will reset the index to the state before the merge and allow you to continue working on your project.


Q1. Can I complete a merge if I have conflicts?

A. Yes, you can complete a merge with conflicts by resolving the conflicts and then committing the changes.

Q2. Will aborting a merge delete my changes?

A. No, aborting a merge will only remove the changes that were made during the merge.

Q3. How can I prevent the 'Merge_Head Exists' error from occurring?

A. You can prevent this error by completing or aborting any existing merges before attempting a new merge.

Q4. Can I use a different command to complete a merge?

A. Yes, you can use the git merge --continue command to complete a merge instead of git commit -m "Merge completed".

Q5. What should I do if none of these steps work?

A. If you are still experiencing issues after following these steps, try resetting your Git repository to a previous commit or consult with other developers in your team for assistance.

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