Reviews allow collaborators to comment on the changes proposed in pull requests, approve the changes, or request further changes before the pull request is merged. Repository administrators can require that all pull requests are approved before being merged.

After a pull request is opened, anyone with read access can review and comment on the changes it proposes. Repository owners and collaborators can request a pull request review from a specific person. Organization members can also request a pull request review from a team with read access to the repository.

Reviews allow for discussion of proposed changes and help ensure that the changes meet the repository's contributing guidelines and other quality standards. You can define which individuals or teams own certain types or areas of code in a CODEOWNERS file. When a pull request modifies code that has a defined owner, that individual or team will automatically be requested as a reviewer.

Header of review requesting changes with line comments

A review has three possible statuses:

  • Comment: Submit general feedback without explicitly approving the changes or requesting additional changes.
  • Approve: Submit feedback and approve merging the changes proposed in the pull request.
  • Request changes: Submit feedback that must be addressed before the pull request can be merged.

Image of review statuses

Tips:

  • If required reviews are enabled and a collaborator with write, admin, or owner access to the repository submits a review requesting changes, the pull request cannot be merged until the same collaborator submits another review approving the changes in the pull request.
  • Repository owners and administrators can merge a pull request even if it hasn't received an approved review, or if a reviewer who requested changes has left the organization or is unavailable.
  • If both required reviews and stale review dismissal are enabled and a code-modifying commit is pushed to the branch of an approved pull request, the approval is dismissed. The pull request must be reviewed and approved again before it can be merged.
  • When several open pull requests each have a head branch pointing to the same commit, you won’t be able to merge them if one or both have a pending or rejected review.

You can view all of the reviews a pull request has received in the Conversation timeline, and you can see reviews by repository owners and collaborators in the pull request's merge box.

Image of reviews in a merge box

Tip: You can find a pull request where you or a team you're a member of is requested for review with the search qualifier review-requested:[USERNAME] or team-review-requested:[TEAMNAME]. For more information, see "Searching issues and pull requests."

Required reviews

Repository administrators can require that all pull requests receive at least one approved review from someone with write or admin permissions or from a designated code owner before they're merged into a protected branch. For more information, see "About protected branches."

When required reviews are enabled, anyone with access to the repository can approve changes in a pull request. However, to merge your pull request you need someone who has write or admin permissions in the repository to approve your pull request's changes in their review. If review is required from a designated code owner and the pull request affects code that has a designated owner, approval from that owner is required.

For more information, see "About required reviews for pull requests."

Tip: If necessary, people with admin or write access to a repository can dismiss a pull request review. For more information, see "Dismissing a pull request review."

Further reading