Turning a Folder into a Git Repository

Turning a Folder into a Git Repository


Version control is fundamental to modern software development, allowing developers to track changes, collaborate efficiently, and manage their projects effectively.

Git, one of the most popular version control systems, provides a straightforward way to track changes in your codebase.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the process of turning a folder into a Git repository, making it easier for you to manage your project’s development history.

Why Create a Git Repository?

Before we dive into the steps, let’s briefly discuss why creating a Git repository is crucial for your project:

  1. Version Control: Git allows you to keep track of every change made to your project, providing a historical record of modifications, additions, and deletions.
  2. Collaboration: It simplifies collaboration with team members by enabling you to share your code, work concurrently on different branches, and merge changes seamlessly.
  3. Backup: Git repositories serve as backups, ensuring that your project’s code is safe and recoverable in case of data loss.
  4. Branching: Git enables you to work on multiple features or bug fixes concurrently by creating branches, making development more organised and efficient.
  5. Open Source: If you plan to open-source your project, Git makes it easy for other developers to contribute, fork, and suggest improvements.

Steps to Create a Git Repository

Now, let’s walk through the steps to create a Git repository for your project folder:

Step 1: Open a Terminal or Command Prompt

On your computer, open a terminal window or command prompt. You’ll use this interface to execute Git commands.

Step 2: Navigate to Your Project Folder

Use the cd command to navigate to the folder you want to turn into a Git repository. For example:

cd /path/to/your/project/folder

Step 3: Initialise the Git Repository

Once you’re inside your project folder, use the git init command to initialise a new Git repository:

git init

This command initialises an empty Git repository in your folder.

Step 4: Add Your Files

Before you can track changes, you need to add your project’s files to the repository. Use the git add command followed by a dot . to add all files in the folder:

git add .

Alternatively, you can specify individual files to add:

git add filename.txt

Step 5: Commit Your Changes

After adding your files, commit them to the repository using the git commit command. This creates a snapshot of your project’s current state:

git commit -m "Initial commit"

Replace "Initial commit" with a descriptive message summarising the changes in this commit.

Step 6: Configure Git (Optional)

You can configure your Git identity by setting your name and email address using the following commands:

git config --global user.name "Your Name" git config --global user.email "your@email.com"

This step is optional but helps identify the author of each commit.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully turned a folder into a Git repository. You can now track changes, collaborate with others, and efficiently manage your project’s development history.

As you continue to work on your project, remember to commit your changes regularly and use Git’s powerful features to streamline your development process.

Git offers an array of possibilities, from branching and merging to collaborating with teams, making it an indispensable tool for any developer.

You can find the official GIT documentation here: – https://git-scm.com/docs


Hi, my name is Stephen Finchett. I have been a software engineer for over 30 years and worked on complex, business critical, multi-user systems for all of my career. For the last 15 years, I have been concentrating on web based solutions using the Microsoft Stack including ASP.Net, C#, TypeScript, SQL Server and running everything at scale within Kubernetes.