So I have a thing happen to me that happened once before: I’d done git log --follow «file» and the newest commit I saw was the deletion of «file». However, the file was still in my repo.

Later I figured out that I’d re-added the file in a merge commit (probably one line of development had removed the file while the other one had changed it).

However, git log «file» (or git log --follow «file») seems to ignore merge commits when looking for changes to «file». Is there any way to force it to not do that?

I’m using git 2.4.0.


Try adding the --simplify-merges flag. Despite sounding like an option that would remove merges from the log, it actually adds them in many cases.

Taken from this answer.

  • 1
    Unfortunately, --simplify-merges does not help in this case. git log --follow --simplify-merges -- «file» still does not show the merge in the log. Nov 18 '15 at 10:43
  • 2
    You need "-c" additionally, see stackoverflow.com/questions/43138569/…
    – Étienne
    Mar 7 '19 at 16:55
  • Thanks, @Étienne, I can confirm that -c will include the merge commit in the list of commits output by git diff --follow, even without --simplify-merges. Oct 14 '20 at 11:30
  • Today I had such a case again and while -c made merge commits show up, they had no relation to the changed file so I’m back to square 1 now… Jan 15 at 12:23

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