Git Not Recognized Error: Command Line Troubleshooting Tips

Getting the dreaded ‘Git not recognized’ error message in your command line environment? Don’t panic! This common issue usually means that Git is not installed on your system, or it’s not properly set up in your system’s PATH. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to troubleshoot and fix this error so you can get back to coding in no time.

Troubleshooting ‘Git Not Recognized’ Error Step by Step

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve here. We want to make sure that Git is installed on your computer and that your system recognizes it when you use Git commands in the command line. Ready? Let’s go!

Step 1: Check if Git is Installed

Type git --version into your command line and press Enter.

If Git is installed, this command will display the version of Git that’s on your computer. If you get an error message or if the version is outdated, it’s time to install or update Git.

Step 2: Install or Update Git

Go to the official Git website and download the latest version for your operating system.

Installation is usually straightforward. Just follow the prompts, and make sure to select the option to add Git to your system’s PATH during the installation process. This will allow you to use Git commands in your command line environment.

Step 3: Add Git to System PATH Manually

If Git is already installed but not recognized, you might need to add it to your system’s PATH manually.

On Windows, search for ‘Environment Variables’ in your start menu, and select ‘Edit the system environment variables.’ Click on ‘Environment Variables,’ find the ‘Path’ variable, and add the path to your Git bin folder, which is usually something like C:Program FilesGitbin.

On Mac or Linux, open your terminal and edit your shell profile file, like .bash_profile or .zshrc, using a text editor. Add a new line with export PATH=/usr/local/git/bin:$PATH.

Step 4: Restart Your Command Line Environment

Close and reopen your command line environment.

This is important because changes to the PATH variable aren’t recognized by the command line until it’s restarted. After restarting, try running a Git command again to see if the issue is resolved.

Step 5: Verify the Fix

Type git --version again to confirm that Git is now recognized.

If the version number appears, congratulations! You’ve successfully fixed the ‘Git not recognized’ error. If not, you may need to repeat the steps or seek further assistance.

After completing these actions, your command line should recognize Git commands, and you can start using Git for version control on your projects.

Tips for Troubleshooting ‘Git Not Recognized’ Error

  • Ensure that you have admin rights on your computer when installing or updating Git.

  • If you’re on Windows and using Git Bash, check that you’re using the Git Bash terminal, not the Windows Command Prompt or PowerShell.

  • For Mac users, make sure you have Xcode Command Line Tools installed, as they include Git.

  • If you’re using a version manager like SDKMAN! or NVM, ensure that they are not interfering with your Git installation.

  • Keep your Git version up to date to avoid compatibility issues with other software and repositories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t find the Git bin folder?

If you cannot locate the Git bin folder, it may indicate that Git is not installed. Revisit step 2 and ensure that Git is installed correctly on your system.

Why do I need to add Git to my system’s PATH?

Your system’s PATH is a list of directories that the command line searches for executable files. Adding Git to the PATH allows you to run Git commands from any directory without specifying the full path to the Git executable.

Can I use these steps for any command line environment?

Yes, these steps are applicable for most command line environments, including Bash, PowerShell, and CMD. The exact steps for adding Git to PATH may vary slightly depending on your operating system.

How do I know if my Git version is outdated?

Running git --version will show you the installed version. You can compare this to the latest version available on the Git website. If your version is behind, it’s a good idea to update it.

What should I do if I’m still getting the ‘Git not recognized’ error after following these steps?

If the error persists, there may be other issues with your system configuration. Seeking help from online forums, a knowledgeable friend, or a professional may be your next step.


  1. Check if Git is installed.
  2. Install or update Git.
  3. Add Git to the system PATH manually.
  4. Restart your command line environment.
  5. Verify that Git is recognized.


Troubleshooting the ‘Git not recognized’ error can be a bit intimidating if you’re new to command line environments or version control systems. However, with this guide, I hope I’ve demystified the process for you. Remember, the key steps involve checking if Git is installed, ensuring it’s up to date, and making sure it’s included in your system’s PATH.

If you’ve followed the steps outlined here and are still facing issues, remember that the tech community is incredibly supportive and resourceful. There are numerous forums, like Stack Overflow, GitHub discussions, and even Git’s own community support channels, where you can seek further assistance.

The ‘Git not recognized’ error is just a minor roadblock on your coding journey. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll overcome it and be on your way to mastering Git, an essential tool for any developer. Keep coding, keep learning, and don’t let small errors discourage you. Happy coding!