Thursday, April 3, 2014

GitHub "Clone to Desktop" with Windows GitHub.


You download GitHub code by "cloning" the repository to a local repository.  They call this a desktop clone. Each  GitHub repository home page has a neat "Clone to Desktop" button in the web interface that you would think clones the repository to your desktop.  

That button actually takes you to the GitHub Windows application download page even if you have the GitHub app already installed. This is where I usually get stuck and head off to some search engine for help.

The Windows GitHub application tries to tell you what to do at the bottom of the "local repository" screen.  It says to "Drag a repository here to add". That phrase always confused me. I can never figure out where to drag the repository from.









It turns out you are supposed to drag the URL for the repository from your browser onto the desktop application.  

Resize your browser window so you can drag the repository onto the GitHub windows application. It will immediately clone that repository to your local GitHub repository.

This example shows the location in the browser of the component you grab and drag onto the main GitHub application window.

 



39 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post! I was getting so frustrated that I was about to throw my computer out the window. I cannot believe that GitHub has not made this more clear. On my GitHub on Wndows 8 I don't even see the "drag here" box, so I had no clue what to do

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much. You save me lots of time. Just the same as Paul's situation, I don't see "drag here" either. Clicking "Clone in Desktop" directs me to the download page, not activating GitHub for Windows. This happens with version 2. With GitHub Desktop version 1, I got no problem at all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, I just want to update this. On github.com, you have to log in and then clicking Clone in Desktop will work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was key for me! Once I logged in I could clone to desktop - thanks so much!!!

      Delete
    2. Logged in and clone in Desktop didn't work at all.

      Thanks for drag&drop solution!

      Delete
  4. I was using "Clone in Desktop" until I ran into some small inconveniences. I now prefer to copy the clone URL, and run a basic "git clone " through command line. More details:
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25816844/how-can-i-hide-the-pr-remote-branches

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the post, as Paul said there is no 'drag here' option as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for that. What a stupid setup on github!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for that, this problem has been really frustrating me!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks! The drag and drop thing works as you described.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for that, couldn't find the info anywhere else. Whilst the Github client looks very nice it is very much as case of style over substance when something that should be so simple requires multiple web searches.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Whis is what I need! Thanks for the great help
    What a terrible software operating design github is!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Both ways worked for me:
    1. log in to github in web browser then Clone in Desktop
    2. without being logged into github, drag the URL of code you want to clone to your github desktop application window
    Thanks so much for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Must be the most terrible ui ever. I downloaded the latest version today, logged into both app and web, clicked Clone in Desktop. The app was activated and then nothing. Why is the button still there when it clearly doesn't do what it used to? And why aren't there any hints, both in app and web, that drag-n-drop is the thing..?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Where's a UX specialist when you need one? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. ah, OK On windows 10 there is no "drag here" box either. For several days, the 'clone to desktop' button took me to the windows client download page but it seems to be fixed today. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for that! "Clone to desktop" button still seems to take you to the download page. Very very un-intuitive.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This has gotten retarded, and I can't tell if it's because of GitHub, Chrome, or Windows. Chrome normally opens up a window asking if you want to always launch the app or not, now it doesn't for GitHub, and GitHub for Windows has a very unintuitive interface for adding repos, which I've already discussed with them. Really, make it as easy as possible for the user to get as much done as possible, and they will love you, otherwise you're wasting everyone's time and they won't want to use your products any more than they have to.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a wonderful post. I truly enjoyed reading this.
    Bluetooth balance board

    ReplyDelete
  18. I searched through so many Github documents and web pages before finding your drag-and-drop solution. Thank you for writing this page!

    ReplyDelete
  19. +1 thanks for the hint! Same problem here (Firefox, reinstall of GitHub Windows solved it for 1-2 times only)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you - I thought I was going nuts! - GITHUB are you deliberately making this difficult for new users?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks so much, me too was stuck and now it works!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. You're the king! For some reason, the GitHub desktop button on the repository pages had stopped working for me. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. How can be done the URL dragging from the Edge browser? That easy way seems to work only with IE ...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Good post....thanks for sharing.. very useful for me i will bookmark this for my future needs. Thanks.
    New Branded Laptops and Desktops In Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am so grateful for this post. Having spent some time trying to download desktop Github, after successful install, I was stuck on cloning. Thanks very much for this post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yeah, github desktop is not a great newbie experience. And github is supposed to be so great. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Along with everyone else here..."Thank you!" Most helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks Joe - I echo the comments above. This had me stumped until I found your post.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks, as a newbie I'm rapidly coming to hate github. The useless button makes me think it sucks even more. There was no drag to here prompt in the desktop client Chocolate-Covered Yaks (3.3.2.0) 570bd2e, but when I dragged the icon a message appeared, by which stage it was too late because I'd already done what the message was prompting me to do.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Check the following for latest instructions on Github client. It also talking about branching and merging easily https://www.attosol.com/create-and-merge-branches-using-github-desktop-client/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks, Joe. Like so many others, I had no clue what to do.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks, came to this about 4 times over the last 2 years but just ended up downloading the zip instead as couldnt be arsed working it out. Good to finally be told how to do it, clearly and simply.

    ReplyDelete