How to Fix: Error: Src Refspec Master Does Not Match Any in Git

How to fix: Error: src refspec master does not match any in Git

If you’re a developer using Git, you’ve probably encountered the error message “src refspec master does not match any” at some point. This error can be frustrating and confusing, especially for beginners who are new to version control.

In this article, we’ll explain what this error message means common causes of the error and provide you with several solutions to help you fix it.

If you have this exact error, naming the master branch in the error message and you want a quick attempt to fix it without reading any further, try: git push origin main. If that doesn’t help, keep reading as this error can be caused by different reasons.

Understanding the Error Message

The error message “src refspec master does not match any” is usually caused by Git when pushing changes and not finding the master branch in your remote repository.

The actual error can happen with any branch, and the branch will be highlighted in the error itself, “Error: src refspec {branch} does not match any”.

This could be due to several reasons, including:

  • The branch name may be incorrect (e.g., it is called main).
  • There may be no commits on the branch.
  • The branch may have been deleted.

Common Fixes for the Error

Working on the Wrong Default Branch

This error happened a lot when we moved from using master to main as the default branch in most systems, for example, GitHub.

Most local copies of projects were using the master branch, but the repository default branch was renamed to main.

The best way to find out if your branch exists in the remote repository is by running git branch -r

git branch -r

> result:
>  origin/main
>  origin/test

Knowing that the master branch is missing in the remote we have two options forward. We either create and push the master branch, or we switch to another branch, i.e.: main.

To force the use of the master branch and fix the error, run:

git checkout -b master
git push origin master

If you don’t want that, and instead use another branch, simply run:

git push origin main

If you are unaware of the name of the default branch, you can run git show-ref to find it out.

No Commits on the Branch

Another common reason why you may get: “Error: src refspec {branch} does not match any” when pushing in Git is that you haven’t made a single commit for the branch yet.

This is easy to reproduce if you start with a new Git repository:

mkdir git-test
cd git-test

git init

git add

git remote add origin
git push -u origin main

After creating a new git repository with git init and introducing some changes, we add the remote (notice that it doesn’t matter if the repo doesn’t exist) and we try to push, but in the process we forgot to commit the changes, so we receive the error:

error: src refspec main does not match any

And it was as expected. Committing the changes and pushing again will work as it should.

Make sure you commit your changes before trying to push!

To check if you have pending changes from committing, you can run:

git status

To commit, after staging the changes with git add run the following command and specify the commit message that you want:

git commit -m "my first commit"

Best Practices for Avoiding the Error

Here are some recommendations to prevent you from seeing “src refspec master does not match any” often:

  1. Use the correct branch name: When pushing or pulling changes, make sure you’re using the correct branch name. If you’re not sure, use the git branch command to check which branch you’re on.

  2. Commit changes frequently: It’s always a good idea to commit changes frequently, especially if you’re working on a larger project. This helps you avoid having too many uncommitted changes and reduces the risk of encountering errors when pushing changes.

  3. Keep your local and remote repositories in sync: To avoid errors, make sure you’re pulling changes regularly from the remote repository to keep your local repository up to date. Use the git pull command to update your local repository with the latest changes.


In conclusion, the “src refspec master does not match any” error in Git can be a frustrating issue to encounter, especially if you’re new to version control. However, with the solutions we’ve provided in this article, you should be able to resolve the error and continue managing your code effectively and efficiently.

Remember to always use the correct branch name, commit changes frequently, keep your local and remote repositories in sync, use descriptive commit messages, and use branches for experimental changes to avoid encountering this error in the future.

By following these best practices, you can reduce the risk of encountering errors and ensure a smooth and streamlined workflow when working with Git. With proper version control, you can manage your code effectively and collaborate with others on your projects with confidence.

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Juan Cruz Martinez - Author @ Live Code Stream

Juan Cruz Martinez

Juan has made it his mission to help aspiring developers unlock their full potential. With over two decades of hands-on programming experience, he understands the challenges and rewards of learning to code. By providing accessible and engaging educational content, Juan has cultivated a community of learners who share their passion for coding. Leveraging his expertise and empathetic teaching approach, Juan has successfully guided countless students on their journey to becoming skilled developers, transforming lives through the power of technology.