How to Fix “Git Pre-Receive Hook Declined” Issue

As you use Git for version control, you may occasionally encounter errors that disrupt your workflow. One such error is the “git pre-receive hook declined” issue. This error occurs when the remote repository has a pre-receive hook that rejects the changes you’re trying to push. In this article, we’ll discuss what pre-receive hooks are, why this error occurs, and how to resolve it step by step.

Understanding Pre-Receive Hooks

A pre-receive hook is a custom script that runs on the remote repository before changes are accepted. It provides a way to enforce rules and policies on the code being pushed. If the hook script finds any violation, it can reject the push request, and the user will receive the “git pre-receive hook declined” message.

Common Causes of the “Git Pre-Receive Hook Declined” Error

  1. Failed code quality checks: The pre-receive hook may enforce coding standards and reject the push if the code does not meet specific quality criteria.
  2. Insufficient permissions: The user trying to push the changes might not have the necessary permissions to do so.
  3. Invalid commit messages: The hook can be set to verify commit messages and reject the push if the messages do not follow a specific format.
  4. Unresolved merge conflicts: The hook may reject the push if it detects unresolved merge conflicts in the changes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix “Git Pre-Receive Hook Declined” Issue

Step 1: Understand the reason for rejection

Carefully read the error message returned by the pre-receive hook. It usually contains details about the specific rule or policy that the changes have violated. Understanding the reason for rejection will help you determine the appropriate action to fix the issue.

Step 2: Address the violation

Based on the reason for rejection, take appropriate action to address the violation:

  • Failed code quality checks: Review and fix the issues in your code to meet the required quality standards. Use tools like linters to ensure your code is clean and adheres to best practices.
  • Insufficient permissions: Contact the repository administrator to verify your permissions and request necessary access.
  • Invalid commit messages: Amend your commit messages to follow the required format. Use git commit --amend to modify the most recent commit message or use interactive rebase (git rebase -i) to modify multiple commit messages.
  • Unresolved merge conflicts: Resolve any existing merge conflicts in your branch and commit the changes.

Step 3: Test your changes locally

Before pushing your changes again, run any relevant tests and ensure your code works as expected. Also, ensure your local branch is in sync with the remote branch by pulling the latest changes.

Step 4: Push the changes again

After addressing the violation and testing your changes locally, try pushing the changes to the remote repository again using git push. If you have fixed the issue, the push should succeed, and the “git pre-receive hook declined” error should no longer appear.


The “git pre-receive hook declined” error can be resolved by understanding the reason for rejection, addressing the violation, and pushing the changes again. Pre-receive hooks are a powerful tool for enforcing coding standards and policies, but they can sometimes disrupt your workflow. By following this step-by-step guide, you can quickly fix the issue and get back to developing your project.


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