Add a file to a repository

Adding files to a repository is a small, but key task. Bringing files in to a repository, such as code, images, or documents, allows them to be tracked by Git, even though they may have been created elsewhere.

You can add a file to a repository in your terminal, and then push to GitLab. You can also use the web interface, which may be a simpler solution.

If you need to create a file first, for example a text file, that can also be done from the terminal or web interface.

Add a file using the command line

Open a terminal/shell, and change into the folder of your GitLab project. This usually means running the following command until you get to the desired destination:

cd <destination folder>

Create a new branch to add your file into. Submitting changes directly to the default branch should be avoided unless your project is very small and you’re the only person working on it.

You can also switch to an existing branch if you have one already.

Using your standard tool for copying files (for example, Finder in macOS, or File Explorer on Windows), put the file into a directory in the GitLab project.

Check if your file is actually present in the directory (if you’re on Windows, use dir instead):


You should see the name of the file in the list shown.

Check the status:

git status

Your file’s name should appear in red, so git took notice of it! Now add it to the repository:

git add <name of file>

Check the status again, your file’s name should have turned green:

git status

Commit (save) your file to the repository:


Now you can push (send) your changes (in the branch <branch-name>) to GitLab (the Git remote named ‘origin’):

git push origin <branch-name>

Your image is added to your branch in your repository in GitLab.