TortoiseGit: Manage GitHub Files Visually with Ease on Windows

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TortoiseGit is open-source windows explorer extension using that you can easily manage the files in the GitHub repository.

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Are you looking for an easy-to-use Git client for your Windows system? Look no further than TortoiseGit! This powerful tool offers a user-friendly interface that can help simplify your Git workflow. TortoiseGit is a Windows Shell Interface to Git-based on TortoiseSVN. 

In this blog, we will provide an introduction to TortoiseGit, including its advantages and basic features. We’ll also cover advanced features like stashing changes, comparing branches and revisions, and cryptographic authentication of history. Finally, we’ll provide troubleshooting tips and resources to help you get the most out of TortoiseGit.


What Is TortoiseGit?


TortoiseGit is a completely open-source free Windows shell interface to Git-based repositories based on TortoiseSVN. You can use this with whichever development tool you want there is no integration for specific IDEs like Visual Studio, Eclipse, or others. Download Tortoisegit now.

TortoieGit was developed under GPL means with General Public License, which means it was completely free for anyone. even for commercial purposes. The free source code is also available and you can develop your own version for it.

It will help you in cloning the repository from Git and performing some different tasks in the local repository such as committing files, creating branches, resolving errors and merging, pushing changes to the repository, and comparing the branches.

Tortoisegit: Manage Github Files Visually With Ease On Windows 1

Company Details

In 2008, Frank Li found that Git was a very good version control system, but it lacked a good GUI client. The idea for a Git client as a Windows shell integration was inspired by a similar client for SVN named TortoiseSVN.

Frank studied the source code of TortoiseSVN and used it as a base for TortoiseGit. He then started the project, registered the project at, and put the source code online.

At the end of 2010, Sven Strickroth joined the TortoiseGit project. Then, he became the current maintainer a few years later.

In August 2015, GoogleCode was shut down and the TortoiseGit project established its website and migrated the main repository and issue tracker to GitLab.


Getting Started with TortoiseGit

How to use it?

When it comes to getting started with TortoiseGit, the process is straightforward and user-friendly. Begin by downloading and installing the client on your Windows machine. From there, you can either create a new repository or clone an existing one to begin managing your code changes. With its intuitive GUI, you can easily commit changes, push and pull from remote repositories, and customize settings to integrate with other tools like GitHub or Bitbucket. For more complex workflows, take advantage of advanced features such as branching, merging, and stashing.

The installation process of TortoiseGit

  • To get started, simply download the installer from the official website and run it on your Windows computer.
  • During the installation process, you have the option to select your preferred language, components, and features.
  • Once installed, TortoiseGit integrates seamlessly with Windows Explorer, providing a straightforward interface for managing your Git repositories.
  • Overall, getting up and running with TortoiseGit should be a breeze for developers of all skill levels.

Setting up the local repository

  • When you’re ready to start using TortoiseGit, the first step is to set up a local repository on your Windows computer.
  • This allows you to clone an existing repository and make changes to the files in your local copy.
  • To do this, simply create a new folder where you want your repository to be located and then right-click on the folder and select “Git Clone” from the TortoiseGit menu.
  • From there, you can enter the URL of the remote repository that you want to clone into your local repository, and then start making changes to the files in your local copy.
  • With this simple setup process, you can begin using TortoiseGit to manage all of your Git repositories quickly and easily.

User interface

On every Windows device, the TortoiseGit is installed as a Windows shell extension that can be accessed by right-clicking on the local git repository or any other folder. The context menu has each and every option that can be performed on the respected repository.

Tortoisegit: Manage Github Files Visually With Ease On Windows 2

Basic Features of TortoiseGit

How does it work?

Committing changes using TortoiseGit

When working on a project, it’s essential to keep track of changes and versions. TortoiseGit makes this process easy by providing a user-friendly way to commit changes to your repository. With its context menu integration in Windows Explorer, you can easily access Git functions without leaving your working environment. Simply right-click on the file or folder you want to commit, select “Git Commit -> Master,” and add a commit message describing your changes. TortoiseGit also allows you to view and manage all your commits through its graphical interface.

TortoiseGit is easy to use, whenever you select any file and right click you will get commands that can be performed on that file. You can also see the status of the file here itself.

Powerful commit dialog with spell checker integrated and auto-completion of the pathname with respect to various programming languages.

TortoiseGit has a flexible mechanism for Integration with any web bug-tracking system. and is also available in different languages.

It also has some other useful tools like TortoiseGitMerge which will show the changes you made for a particular file and helps to resolve the conflicts in the file. TortoiseGitBlame This tool shows the log messages in the file. TortoiseGitIDiff This tool will help to see the changes made to the images in the file.

tmerge twopane
Tmerge Twopane

Commit and Push changes

Once you downloaded the latest version of TortoiseGit you need to clone the file from your git repository to the local repository, to do that right-click on the screen and select Git clone then enter the git repository URL, and local directory to store the files then click OK. Now the files will be available in your local repository.

Once you make the changes on the file you can commit that by clicking +Add and you can add the message saying what changes you made.

Tortoisegit: Manage Github Files Visually With Ease On Windows 3

And now you can push the files to the GitHub repository by clicking the Push button.


Creating and Managing branches with TortoiseGit

When working on a collaborative project, creating and managing branches is crucial to ensure smooth and efficient development. TortoiseGit provides an easy way to create new branches directly from the context menu in Windows Explorer or within its repository browser.

creating branch
Creating Branch

With TortoiseGit, you can switch between different branches effortlessly and merge changes between them, making it an indispensable tool for developers working on multiple features simultaneously.

managing branch
Managing Branch

Resolving conflicts in TortoiseGit

When working on a collaborative project, conflicts can arise when multiple people make changes to the same file. Fortunately, TortoiseGit provides an easy and user-friendly interface for resolving these conflicts. Users can compare different versions of the file and choose which changes to keep or discard.

Additionally, TortoiseGit offers options for merging conflicting changes from different branches, making it easier to manage conflicts in Git repositories. With TortoiseGit, you can avoid time-consuming conflict resolution and focus on developing your code efficiently.

Shell Integration

shell integration
Shell Integration

TortoiseGit provides seamless shell integration with Windows Explorer, enabling users to access Git commands directly from the context menu. The integration also works with many other file managers and in File/Open dialogs, allowing for easy version control without switching applications.

However, it’s worth noting that TortoiseGit is primarily developed as an extension for Windows Explorer, so integration may not always be complete in other applications.

Icon overlays

TortoiseGit provides an intuitive way to keep track of changes in your Git repository. The status of each file and folder can be easily identified with small overlay icons, allowing you to quickly assess the state of your working tree. This feature helps prevent mistakes and ensures that you always know which files have been modified, deleted, or added.

Easy access to Git commands

TortoiseGit enables easy access to Git commands through its explorer context menu. By adding its own submenu to the Windows shell, it provides a one-stop shop for executing all Git commands without switching between different applications. This not only saves time but also simplifies the version control process, making it more user-friendly for beginners and experts alike.


Advanced Features of TortoiseGit

Why choose Tortoisegit?

Stashing changes in TortoiseGit

image 179
Stashing Changes

When working on a project with Git, it’s common to find yourself in a situation where you need to switch tasks or work on a different branch. In these cases, stashing changes in TortoiseGit can be incredibly helpful. Stashing changes allows you to save your work without committing it to the repository, giving you the flexibility to come back to it later.

TortoiseGit makes stashing easy: you can stash changes from specific files or the entire working directory, and stashed changes can be merged with other branches or cherry-picked into another commit. This feature is especially useful when you need to keep track of multiple tasks simultaneously or want to keep your work organized without cluttering up the repository with incomplete commits.

Comparing branches and revisions using TortoiseGit

comparing branches and revisions
Comparing Branches And Revisions

Efficiently comparing changes between different branches and revisions is crucial for collaboration among developers. TortoiseGit simplifies this process by offering a visual diff tool that highlights the differences in code, making it easy to spot changes.

Additionally, using TortoiseGit’s revision graph, you can track how changes have been merged over time, and even merge changes from one branch into another. These advanced features make it easier for developers to manage complex projects and collaborate effectively.

Distributed version control

Distributed version control is a crucial feature of TortoiseGit that sets it apart from traditional version control systems. With Git, developers have their own local copy of the entire development history, allowing them to work independently and efficiently. Changes can be easily imported and merged across different repositories, making it easier for teams to collaborate on complex projects. Whether you need to share code with other developers or work on multiple branches simultaneously, distributed version control in TortoiseGit makes it simple and straightforward.

Atomic commits

When working on a project with multiple contributors, keeping track of changes and identifying bugs can become challenging. Atomic commits in TortoiseGit can help alleviate these issues by grouping related changes into a single commit. This feature ensures that a commit either goes into the repository completely or not at all, making it easier to revert changes if necessary. Additionally, atomic commits can improve collaboration by allowing multiple contributors to work on the same codebase while breaking down changes into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Strong support for non-linear development

TortoiseGit provides strong support for non-linear development, making it easy to branch and merge changes quickly and efficiently. With its powerful tools for visualizing and navigating a non-linear development history, TortoiseGit is ideal for teams working on complex projects. This makes it easier to manage code changes, collaborate with other developers, and keep track of multiple code versions simultaneously. Additionally, TortoiseGit makes it easy to publish your repository anywhere without any special web server configuration required, providing you with unparalleled flexibility in your development process.

Efficient handling of large projects

Efficient handling of large projects is a crucial feature for software development teams. TortoiseGit is designed to scale well even when managing large projects and extended histories. It boasts speeds that are significantly faster than most other version control systems. Its packed format is highly efficient, making it an ideal choice for long-term revision storage. Additionally, TortoiseGit supports rapid and convenient branching and merging, providing powerful tools for visualizing and navigating non-linear development histories.

Cryptographic authentication of history

Git is known for its strong cryptographic authentication of history, which ensures that the integrity of the codebase is maintained at all times. Each revision or commit in Git depends on the complete development history leading up to it, making it impossible to make changes unnoticed once published. Moreover, Git supports cryptographically-signed tags, which provides an extra layer of security and authenticity to the source code. These features make Git a preferred choice for many developers worldwide.

Toolkit design

Git follows the Unix tradition and is a collection of several small tools written in C. Additionally, it also has numerous scripts that provide convenient wrappers to perform more complex operations with ease. This toolkit design allows Git to provide a balance between easy human usage and easy scripting.

As a result, Git can be used by both novice and experienced developers alike. It is also why Git remains one of the most popular version control systems across various development environments today.


Advantages of using TortoiseGit

Uses and Applications
  • TortoiseGit is a valuable tool that offers several advantages to software developers. Perhaps the most significant benefit of TortoiseGit is its user-friendly interface, which simplifies Git repository management for beginners and seasoned developers alike.
  • The integration with Windows Explorer provides easy access to all Git functionalities, enabling developers to perform branching, merging, and tagging operations with ease.
  • In addition, TortoiseGit also supports popular hosting services like GitHub and Bitbucket, allowing users to collaborate on software development projects seamlessly.
  • With TortoiseGit’s powerful diff tool for comparing code changes, developers can ensure that their codebase is always up-to-date, making it a great choice for anyone looking to streamline their workflow.

Troubleshooting and Resources for TortoiseGit

Support Details
  • Websites like Stack Overflow and the official TortoiseGit documentation offer a wealth of information on how to fix common issues.
  • Additionally, incorporating keyboard shortcuts and customizations can enhance productivity when using TortoiseGit.
  • By learning these tricks, users can save time and streamline their workflow. With these resources at hand, any problem can be tackled effectively and efficiently.
  • great FAQ Support
  • Also, you can choose an issues tracker on GitLab


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Final Verdict

IsTortoiseGit right for You?

TortoiseGit is an easy-to-use Git client for Windows that simplifies the process of version control. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, it has become a popular choice for developers across the globe.

TortoiseGit is the best open-source tool to get your GitHub files to a local repository with commit, branching, merge, compare, and other options. Download the latest version here.



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TortoiseGit: Manage GitHub Files Visually with Ease on Windows
TortoiseGit: Manage GitHub Files Visually with Ease on Windows
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