It can be challenging to maintain a repository after it’s been in use for months, through iterations, and by more and more teams. The online interfaces to team Git repositories – GitHub, Azure Repos, etc. – have several views into the current state of your repo.

  • Who last committed to that branch
  • How old is the branch
  • Quick buttons to delete stale branches

Even with these tools, it may not be easy to identify which branches truly require cleanup. In this article, we’ll explore how to use PowerShell to assist with targeting and operating on Git branches that meet the criteria we establish.

To demonstrate the commands being used, I use PowerShell from within a Jupyter notebook by running a container authored by GitHub user @jaykul – jaykul/powershell-notebook-base. The full exercise with code is hosted on Azure Notebooks. Azure Notebooks is a free hosted service to develop and run Jupyter notebooks in the cloud with no installation.



Commands in Git have options to format their output and produce data-rich textual output to the command line. PowerShell is an expressive shell language which allows quick sorting, filtering, and fluid operation on rich data types. Combining the two makes quick work of performing repository maintenance, producing reports, and integrating your repository with other tools.

Using calculated metrics like commits ahead or behind creates the ability to automate process rules you might implement with your team. With all the rich data available through Git, there are bound to be several devops workflows your team can automate with PowerShell.

The alternate link may provide a better experience for those with lower resolutions.