Git status fatal: bad object HEAD

First of all, note that using git itself is not enough to keep data safe. You still need to back it up and have a remote repository in cases of corruption.

There are some reasons when a git repository becomes badly damage and when you do:

git status

you will see :

fatal: bad object HEAD


More likely a disk error or an unclean PC or Laptop shutdown or disconnect suddenly and unsafely a hard drive from laptop could have left the repository in this state.

The consequence problem is that the ~/main_repo/.git directory of your repository is damaged.

There are several ways and methods to fix it but if you have a backup in GitHub or other online git repositories or another remote server, you can fix such errors easily.


I assume you have a backup in github like:

So make a temp directory and then clone the backup repository in it.


cd ~git clone

Note: Be careful for cloning the repository with suffix .git like above. If you put backup_repo instead of backup_repo.git then you can not find .git directory inside what you have cloned.

Then replace the broken .git folder with the one from the clone by mv or cp -r commands.


If you delete the damaged .git directory by:

rm -rf ~/main_repo/.git

and try to copy the clone (backup) ~/backup_repo/.git directory to ~/main_repo/ by :

cp -r ~/backup_repo/.git ~/main_repo/

you will lose all the things that are not in your working directory (local branches, stash, etc).

So first of all just use cp -r or mv try to fix the problem.

mv ~/backup_repo/.git ~/repo/orcp -r ~/backup_repo/.git ~/repo/


git status

You will see the stage becomes normal!

If you want to run all the git commands just in one command read this.

Written by

Web geek, Self-taught full-stack web developer, Learning Python, Laravel, Vuejs, UX/UI design, Nuclear Physicist PhD

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