What does the "Track?" checkbox do?

When I push changes to repository the dialog with repository and branch selections have checkboxes that are named "Track?" and have 3 states; empty, checked and "-".

I think they have something to do with git tracking branches feature(?) but why three states, and what those states mean?

2 answers

1 accepted

Checked = Set the remote branch to be the one the local branch should track

Unchecked = Stop the local branch tracking anything

Mixed (-) = Don't change any tracking on this branch, leave it as-is

The latter is the default so that you can push ad-hoc to different remotes / branches from a local branch and not change the tracking setup (neither setting it to a new branch, or unsetting it to stop tracking)

Thank you. I'm worried if I can accidentally mess up by checking multiple branches, but I'll probably just leave the checkbox as defaut.

No, you can't mess up since each row is a local branch. If you checked multiple branches all it would mean is that each of those local branches would track the remote branch listed next to them (if pushed).

So what does it mean to have the local branch tracking the remote?

I was confused about this too, so I did some research.

A 'tracked' branch is the default remote branch for the local branch, so if you use 'git pull' or 'git push', Git knows which remote branch to use.

SourceTree uses the tracked branch to know what state you are in locally. If you switch the 'tracked' branch, SourceTree will show that new branch by default next time you open the push/pull dialogs. SourceTree will also change how it displays the notifications of how many commits ahead/behind your local branch is.

There's more info about Git's tracked branches here:

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Atlassian Community Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Atlassian Community!

This community is celebrating its one-year anniversary and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has all the feels.

Read more
Community showcase
Brian Ganninger
Published Jan 23, 2018 in Sourcetree

Tip from the team: workflow and keyboard shortcuts

Supported Platforms macOS Sourcetree has a lot to offer and, like many developer tools, finding and using it all can be a challenge, especially for a new user. Everyone might not love ...

649 views 0 4
Read article

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you