If you’ve received the error “The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by checkout“ you are likely using git submodules. Git Submodules are a tool that allows you to pull in a separate working tree, often another repository, into an existing repository. Submodules are handy for code isolation and code management within an organization. When working in a repository that leverages submodules you could potentially see errors when you try to checkout or switch to a different branch.
Steps to reproduce:
git checkout my-feature-branch
error: The following untracked working tree files would be overwritten by checkout
On branch main
nothing to commit, working directory clean
In this case we have to force a checkout, ignoring the untracked files, using the
git checkout my-feature-branch -f
This will at least allow us to switch branches. To more permanently fix the issue we need to remove and re-add the submodules.
rm -rf /path/to/submodule
git checkout main
git merge my-feature-branch
git submodule foreach git fetch --tags
git submodule update --init --recursive
By executing a few more commands we’re effectively updating the
main branch with the code from