How to store large files on GitHub? What is Git LFS?

How to store large files on GitHub? What is Git LFS?

In the realm of software development, version control systems like Git have become indispensable tools. They allow developers to collaborate seamlessly, track changes, and manage code effectively. However, Git wasn't initially designed to handle large files efficiently. This limitation can be problematic for projects that involve multimedia assets, large datasets, or binaries.

Enter Git LFS (Large File Storage), a solution tailored specifically for managing large files within Git repositories. In this article, we'll delve into what Git LFS is, its benefits, and how to use it to streamline large file management effortlessly.

Understanding Git LFS

Git LFS extends Git by replacing large files with text pointers while storing the actual file content in a separate storage. This decoupling mechanism ensures that Git repositories remain lightweight and performant, even when dealing with sizable assets. Instead of storing large files directly within the repository, Git LFS manages them externally.

Benefits of Git LFS

  1. Efficient Version Control: By storing large files outside the Git repository, Git LFS prevents repositories from becoming bloated. This helps maintain a smooth version control experience, even for projects with substantial assets.

  2. Improved Performance: Since Git LFS only stores text pointers in the repository, cloning and fetching operations become significantly faster. Developers can access the files they need without unnecessary delays, enhancing productivity.

  3. Reduced Storage Costs: Large files can consume considerable disk space within a repository. Git LFS reduces storage overhead by storing these files in a separate location, potentially saving costs for organizations hosting repositories.

  4. Streamlined Collaboration: Git LFS facilitates collaboration on projects involving large files by ensuring that team members can clone and work with repositories efficiently. This is particularly advantageous for distributed teams working on multimedia-rich applications or data-intensive projects.

Getting Started with Git LFS

Now that we understand the benefits of Git LFS, let's explore how to incorporate it into our workflow:


Before using Git LFS, you'll need to install it on your system. Most package managers provide straightforward ways to install Git LFS Download Here, then can run below commands:

Initializing Git LFS in a Repository

Once Git LFS is installed, navigate to your Git repository and run the following command to initialize Git LFS:

git lfs install

This command configures Git LFS for the current repository, enabling it to track large files.

Tracking Large Files

To start tracking large files with Git LFS, use the git lfs track command followed by the file patterns you want to track. For example:

git lfs track "*.psd"

This command instructs Git LFS to track all PSD files in the repository.

Committing and Pushing Changes

After tracking large files, commit your changes as usual:

git add .
git commit -m "Add large files"

Then, push your changes to the remote repository:

git push origin main

Cloning a Repository with Git LFS

When cloning a repository that uses Git LFS, ensure that Git LFS is installed on your system. Git LFS will automatically download the large files referenced in the repository, allowing you to work with them seamlessly.


Git LFS addresses the challenges associated with managing large files in Git repositories, offering a scalable and efficient solution for version controlling multimedia assets, datasets, and binaries. By decoupling large files from the repository itself, Git LFS streamlines collaboration, enhances performance, and reduces storage overhead.

Whether you're working on a multimedia-rich application, a data-intensive project, or any other scenario requiring version control of large files, Git LFS empowers you to manage your assets with ease, ensuring that your Git workflows remain smooth and productive.

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