Sometimes you need to put an empty folder in your project on GitHub, but traditionally git doesn’t track empty folders, and then the question pops up: “how to make an empty folder appear on GitHub if git doesn’t allow it?”

Don’t worry about it, you’ll see on this pro tip how to do it using a special file called .gitkeep.

This happened to me a few years ago on the project I was working on: one of the open-source tools depended on the existence of a folder to download sample data and the team decided that putting a check on the folder’s existence or its creation in our code would be an overkill. One way we found to ensure the folder’s existence was using .gitkeep.

By placing this file in an empty folder, it ensures that git will add this folder to your versioning system and because it is a hidden file, it makes it easier to maintain the folder structure without getting in the way of using the folder for other purposes.

In the image below you have a project called exemplo-pastas that already has a file that has already been committed and there are no changes tracked by git, then I create a new folder called diretorio1 and when running git status again git continues to inform that there are no changes to the project.

exemplo 1

Now if we create the file .gitkeep inside diretorio1, git shows that there is a directory to be added, see:

exemplo 2

With this you can see how .gitkeep works and if you want to see it in practice, this example is available in this GitHub repository.