The BFG Repo-Cleaner is a tool that's built and maintained by the open source community. It provides a faster, simpler alternative to git filter-branch for removing unwanted data.

---
title: Purging a file from your Git repository's history
subtitle:
    "The BFG Repo-Cleaner is a tool that's built and maintained by the open
    source community. It provides a faster, simpler alternative to git
    filter-branch for removing unwanted data."
author: GitHub Docs
date: December 31, 2020
source: https://docs.github.com/github/authenticating-to-github/removing-sensitive-data-from-a-repository
notoc: false
---

If you commit sensitive data, such as a password or SSH key into a Git
repository, you can remove it from the history. To entirely remove unwanted
files from a repository's history you can use either the `git filter-branch`
command or the BFG Repo-Cleaner open source tool.

## Using the BFG

The [BFG Repo-Cleaner](http://rtyley.github.io/bfg-repo-cleaner/) is a tool
that's built and maintained by the open source community. It provides a faster,
simpler alternative to `git filter-branch` for removing unwanted data. For
example, to remove your file with sensitive data and leave your latest commit
untouched, run:

```bash
$ bfg --delete-files YOUR-FILE-WITH-SENSITIVE-DATA
```

To replace all text listed in `passwords.txt` wherever it can be found in your
repository's history, run:

```bash
$ bfg --replace-text passwords.txt
```

After the sensitive data is removed, you must force push your changes to GitHub.

```bash
$ git push --force
```

See the [BFG Repo-Cleaner's](http://rtyley.github.io/bfg-repo-cleaner/)
documentation for full usage and download instructions.

## Installing BFG Repo-Cleaner

- [macOS](#installing-bfg-repo-cleaner-on-macos)
- [Windows](#installing-bfg-repo-cleaner-on-windows)

### Installing BFG Repo-Cleaner on macOS

To install BFG Repo-Cleaner from the command using [Homebrew](https://brew.sh/):

```bash
brew install bfg
```

### Installing BFG Repo-Cleaner on Windows

After [downloading](https://rtyley.github.io/bfg-repo-cleaner/) the BFG
Repo-Cleaner jar file, move it to the `C:\bin\lib\bfg` folder (full path should
be `C:\bin\lib\bfg\bfg.jar`). Create a new file called `bfg.cmd` and save it to
a folder called `C:\bin`. Copy the following contents into the `bfg.cmd` file:

```cmd
@echo off
REM Usage: bfg [options] [<repo>]
java -jar "%~dp0lib\bfg\bfg.jar" %*
```

Assuming `C:\bin` has already been added to your environment's `%Path%`
variable, you can now run BFG Repo-cleaner from anywhere using command `bfg`.---
title: Purging a file from your Git repository's history
subtitle:

## Using git filter-branch

See
[GitHub Docs](https://docs.github.com/en/free-pro-team@latest/github/authenticating-to-github/removing-sensitive-data-from-a-repository#using-filter-branch)
for git filter branch example.