View change log for a single file?

I used to do this a lot in Cornerstone when I was working with SVN. Select a single file and then view the log. It would show me only changesets that affected the selected file, so I could quickly find out when a change was introduced and the surrounding context.

I can't find any way to do this in SourceTree. I've tried using blame on the file, then opening the changeset for the line I'm interested in, but once I do this I can't find any way to go back further into the history. When the actual change I'm interested in wasn't introduced in the most recent change to that line (e.g. subsequent unrelated changes, or code style changes), it makes it difficult to step back any further and find the change I'm interested in.

Am I just missing something in SourceTree, or Git itself that?

7 answers

1 accepted

Hi Tai,

The "Log Selected" option does just that. When looking at a commit, select the file, context click and hit "Log Selected". This works in both Git and Mercurial. (Correct me if I'm misinterpreting your post, though!)


And is it possible to log file without needing to look for commit? Just view log of some random file from repository.

I have this same question.

Me too. This is a very common activity and I'm surprised to see it's not a first class feature of the interface.

Would like to add my voice to the question asked by @Jan Zaloudek. Viewing a file's history, independent of commits, is a common activity so when will this feature make it into the next release of SourceTree?

Ditto to every one else. It's very common to want to see the changes to a specific file. Looking for a commit with the file is difficult and time consuming, especially if it's not been altered for some time.

Also LogSelected seems to limit the file to 100 changes/lines only so sometimes the changes are not all visible.

Piling on. Would love to see this feature as well. We use Git for some non-code (documentation) projects as well and this would really satisfy our needs and is something surprisingly hard to find across the entire Git space.

... me too!! Very common workflow.

Why does it only log a files commits that occurred before the particular commit that you chose to log, even though there are newer commits available for that file on that branch? Is this intentional behaviour?

+1. Checking out the change history of any particular file would be awesome!

All, see my answer. Just make a temporary change to the file you want to log.

That's a workaround, not a solution.

I agree that this would be very beneficial.  I should not have to make a bogus checkin, even if not pushed to look at the log for a file.

+1. "git log <file>" is a very important basic feature. It would be nice to see it implemented in SourceTree.

+1 Can Atlassian acknowledge this issue?? Shouldn't be hard to add this feature!

+1. I make a temporary edit to do this.

See my response below if you don't want to have to make a temporary edit.

SourceTree shows a ... when there are a lot of changes. How do I see past that? How do I view the full log of a file in a single commit?

If you go to the 'File Status' view and change the pulldown which selects which files are visible -- it's normally on 'Pending' – to 'All files, sorted by path', then you can see everything whether or not it has a pending change.

You can then right-click on a file and do 'Log Selected'.

(This works on the Mac, anyway... can't speak for Windows)


Works for me on Windows. Thank you!

Excellent, just what I needed.  A little complicated for a very common task

Thanks very much, exactly what i need!!

How about files I deleted ages ago?



I am using SourceTree 1.6.14 on Windows.  I noticed the "Log Selected" feature only shows changes for the branch you are currently on.  Not sure if I'm the only one who would like this feature, but is there (or will there be) a way to view changes of a single file that occurred on all branches as well?  Basically the same as the SourceTree Log/History revision graph, but for a single file?



See my answer. You can just make a temporary change to the file.

Hi Lawrence, 

I'm not sure if I completely understand your solution, but I would like a full revision graph of a single file across ALL branches, not just the current branch I've currently checked out.  I've tried your method, but after making a temporary change to the file and then performing "Log Selected" it still just s

@Gerald Leung: Then my solution won't help. You'll only be able to see changes that have been merged at some point into the branch you are on. Sorry, man.


I have the same issue. My use case is that:

I find and fix an issue in a current branch of work and realize that I want to put that change into production as a hotfix.

I create a branch from the tagged release and then want to view *all* the history of the affected file so that I can cherry-pick the change into the hotfix branch.

Currently ( once I'm in my hotfix branch and 'log selected' the history of the affected file doesn't include from 'then' to 'now' which is required to allow me to identify and cherry-pick the relevant commit(s).

Right clicking on any file and selecting "Log Selected" is what you want to do.

But usually the challenge is to find a commit containing the file you want to track. The trick is to make a dummy edit to the file, and it'll show up in your Working Copy. From there you can right-click and log it (be sure to follow renames, since it seems to quickly get lost otherwise, even when no renames are involved, at least on the Windows version).

When you're done just revert your dummy change.

Simplest way to do this:

On the command line in your project directory use the command 

git log --follow &lt;filename&gt;

Then use the SHA-1 hash to use the commit search feature in Source Tree (upper right corner). From there you can simply click "Log Selected".

Where <filename> is the full relative path from the project root.

Sorry to all the guys at Atlassian who have to review these posts, but I too would love to see this feature.  It would be my No 1 feature by a long way.

Best workaround I have found for anyone using Visual Studio is to enable Git as the source provider.  It sits nicely alongside SourceTree (neither seems to upset the other), and viewing a file's history in Visual Studio is simply a right-click away.  I use it all the time.

That's a good workaround Lawrence.
I think that what's missing with SourceTree is a control displaying the full working directory as it was at any given commit.  Git Extensions does this ( It's the killer feature that I would love to see SourceTree take on.

I'm using "Custom Action" to launch Git Extension File History feature to do this.  It's better, but the revision graph doesn't show which branch the file belongs to.  Have you, by any chance looked into how to figure out the originating branch of an individual file in the Git Extension File History revision graph?

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