Protected branches ensure that collaborators on your repository cannot make irrevocable changes to branches. These branches can also be protected by requiring pull requests to have at least one approved review before they can be merged.

If you own a repository with multiple collaborators who create branches and open pull requests, you may need to enforce branch protections to keep your project and pull requests organized and safe.

Protected branches block several features of Git on a branch that a repository administrator chooses to protect. A protected branch:

  • Can't be force pushed
  • Can't be deleted
  • Can't have changes merged into it until required status checks pass
  • Can't have changes merged into it until required reviews are approved
  • Can't be edited or have files uploaded to it from the web
  • Can't have changes merged into it until changes to files that have a designated code owner have been approved by that owner

If your repository belongs to an organization, you can restrict users or teams from pushing to a protected branch.