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Delete merged branch

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A GitHub app built with Probot that automatically deletes a branch after it's merged. That's it, enjoy!

🔔 Wait, do you really need this? 🔔

You may not need this app as GitHub recently added this feature natively to their platform. It allows you to automatically delete the head branch after a merge. If you need more advanced controls and configuration settings, this app is still well suited for the job.

Running it locally

  1. First, follow these instructions for making your own GitHub app.

    1. Give your app the following permissions:
      • Repository contents: Read & Write.
      • Pull requests: Read
    2. And Subscribe to the following events
      • Pull Request
  2. Then, clone the repo:

git clone
  1. Copy .env.example to .env and set the right environment variables as here

  2. Now, install app dependencies and run it:

# Install dependencies
npm install

# Run the bot
npm start

How it works

This GitHub app listens to the pull_request.closed webhook. If a pull request is closed and the connected branch is merged, it will delete the branch.


The optional app configuration YAML file should be saved as .github/delete-merged-branch-config.yml. At the moment it supports the following options:

  • exclude (array) - list of branches that should not be automatically deleted after a merge. Wildcards supported.
  • delete_closed_pr (bool) whether or not a branch should be deleted if PR is closed without merging

Example .github/delete-merged-branch-config.yml:

  - development
  - qa
  - feature-*
delete_closed_pr: true

Release process

CI (GitHub Actions) is in charge of releasing new versions of the GitHub App to Google Cloud Platform. On every new commit to master we run semantic-release to determine whether the major/minor/patch version should be incremented. If so, we update the version running in production.

Running in GitHub actions

This app is compatible with GitHub Actions. You need to create a workflow that is triggered on the pull_request event for this. Then, you use this repo for the action. (SvanBoxel/delete-merged-branch@master). Don't forget to check the GITHUB_TOKEN secret. That's it.

name: delete branch on close pr
    types: [closed]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - name: delete branch
        uses: SvanBoxel/delete-merged-branch@main
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}


If you have suggestions for how this GitHub app could be improved, or want to report a bug, open an issue! We'd love all and any contributions.

For more, check out the Contributing Guide.


ISC © 2018 Sebass van Boxel


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No more manually deleting merged branches, this lovely app does it for you.





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