Great. Some genius decided it would be fun to put in 300 useless changes, but it’s 72 commits ago. You can’t do a reset because you need those 72 commits, but you want to undo those changes, and not by hand. Enter git revert.

Git revert is relatively limited in the scope of things it does, which is nice, so here’s how to use the command line version of it:

git revert [--[no-]edit] [-n] [-m parent-number] [-s] [-S[<keyid>]] <commit>…​
git revert --continue
git revert --quit
git revert --abort

Basically, git revert takes your current files, and deletes any changes from the commit(s) you give it, making a new commit. Options you have are:

  1. -e/--edit: edit the commit message before committing the revert (this is default, add the no- between dashes and ‘edit’ to make it not ask you to write a message)
  2. -m parent-number/--mainline parent-number: this lets you revert a merge (which you usually can’t do because Git has no way of knowing which parent was the one you want). However note that this makes it so that future merges will not include any changes that are part of a commit that was an ancestor to the reverted merge. For a complete explanation of reverts and how to use them in this case, see
  3. -n/--no-commit: if you don’t want a commit to be automatically created by the revert, then use this. This is useful if you’re reverting more than one commit in a row, then you can do it all at once
  4. -S[<keyid>]/--gpg-sign[=<keyid>]: the keyid argument is option and defaults to the committer identity, but it has to be the no space option. The GPG thing is just who is the author
  5. -s/--signoff: add a signoff line at the end of the automatically created message, this is explained in detail surrounding commit
  6. ’–strategy=': use the given merge strategy (should only be used once), this is the same strategy thing that merge uses
  7. -X<option>/--stategy-option=<option>: pass the merge strategy-specific option to the merge strategy, this is explained more with merge

Some basic examples: git revert HEAD~1: revert the changes of the parent of HEAD and create a new commit.

git revert -n branch~4..branch: revert all changes done by the last 5 commits of the branch ‘branch’, but don’t make a commit, just put changes in the index and working directory