Who doesn’t love GitHub? And who hasn’t their GitHub account cluttered with forked repositories of projects you’ve long stopped contributing too? Do you want to clean up your account and unfork outdated repositories? Learn how to unfork a GitHub repo the correct way.
How to unfork a repository
Unfortunately, GitHub doesn’t offer an Unfork repository button. Unforking is a manual process which needs to be done by a GitHub employee. But because of the large demand for unforking or detaching repositories, GitHub has built a special chatbot to enter your request. Luckily, the GitHub team performs unfork requests very fast, so it’s very likely that it takes only a few minutes to half an hour.
How to detach/extract a GitHub repository
- Go to support.github.com/request (or go to GitHub.com and click Contact GitHub in the footer).
- Click Attach, detach or reroute forks.
- In the Subject field, typ ‘Unfork’. A blue banner should appear with ‘Our virtual assistant can help’. Click the banner.
- A chat should appear on screen with the Virtual Assistant. Paste the URL of the repository.
Note: make sure to paste the URL to the forked repository, so not the original repository. It should look like https://github.com/username/forked-repo-name.
- Specify what should be done with Child forks:
username/forked-repo-namehas child forks, what should we do with these?
Commonly you’ll want to bring the child forks along with you when detaching your fork from the upstream repository.
- Bring the child forks with the repository
- Leave the child forks behind
- Select one of the options and send the form.
- Within a few minutes to half an hour you should get a confirmation in your e-mail.
Now you’ve successfully unforked a GitHub repository! The repository stays in your account as a personal repository, without ties to the original repository.