Maybe you forked a repository on GitHub and it carried over all the existing releases and tags. For whatever reason you must now delete a large amount of tags from your Git repository. While GitHub provides a web interface for doing so it must be done one tag at a time.
- Standard sh compatible shell.
- The git cli client or command must be installed.
- This was tested on Linux, FreeBSD, and MacOS X
- Windows users should try using Cygwin
There is a better way
Make a new local copy of the repository using git clone. Then switch into it.
git clone https://github.com/account/project.git project-copy
To prevent from being prompted for a username, email address, and password make sure you have setup some initial configuration values. If you already have this setup feel free to skip over.
Setup name and email
git config user.name "Your Name"
git config user.email "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Create a .netrc file in your home directory containing the remote server name, your login, and password. For example, if using GitHub:
echo "# GitHub Automatic Login" >> ~/.netrc
echo "machine github.com" >> ~/.netrc
echo "login your_github_username" >> ~/.netrc
echo "password your_github_password" >> ~/.netrc
echo "" >> ~/.netrc
Then use the following set of commands on that new copy to delete all the tags and save the changes to remote.
git tag -d $TAGS;
for TAG in $TAGS; do git push origin :refs/tags/$TAG; done;
After a few minutes (depending on how much there is to delete) all the tags will be irreversibly gone.