The three Git commands reset, revert, and checkout can be somewhat confusing, since all appear to perform similar operations. Another reason these three commands can be confusing is that other version control systems have different meanings for the words reset, revert, and checkout.
However, there are some good guidelines and rules for when each command should and should not be used.
If you want to change to a different branch, use git
checkout. Your current branch and
change to match the tip of the given branch.
The git reset command does not change your
branch. However, if you supply the name of a branch, it will change the
state of your current working directory to look
like the tip of the named branch. In other words, git
reset is intended to reset the current branch’s
Because git reset --hard is designed to recover to a known state, it is also capable of clearing out failed or stale merge efforts, whereas git checkout will not. Thus, if there were a pending merge commit and you attempted to recover using git checkout instead of git reset --hard, your next commit would erroneously be a merge commit!
The confusion with git checkout is due to its
additional ability to extract a file from the object store and put it
into your working directory, possibly replacing a version in your
working directory in the process. Sometimes the version of that file is
one corresponding to the current
HEAD version, and sometimes it is an earlier version. ...