Git error Fatal: remote origin already exists (Quick Fix)

When you get the error fatal: remote origin already exists. after running this command inside a local Git repository:

git remote add origin

It’s usually because you cloned a remote repository that already has a remote origin URL configured. But that’s not how Git works.

The quick fix is to replace add origin with set-url origin.

However you might want to learn something while you’re here, so read on.

In your Terminal, while inside the cloned project folder (local repository), run this command:

git remote --verbose

This will give you the origin URLs for fetch and push, for the repo you cloned.

Let’s say you just cloned the official create-react-app project from Facebook’s GitHub repository:

git clone

Then in your Terminal, while inside your create-react-app directory, you run the git remote --verbose command while inside it, and get this output:

origin (fetch)
origin (push)

This should be an AHA moment, look at the remote origin URLs, they point to Facebooks GitHub profile /facebook/.

But you want them to point to your GitHub profile /your-profile/.

You need to change the origin URLs, by using the aforementioned set-url command instead of add.

While inside your Terminal where you just got the fatal error, run this command (replace profile-name with your real GitHub profile name, and project-name with the name of your GitHub remote repository):

git remote set-url origin

In my case, since my GitHub profile name is TechStacker and I created a remote GitHub repo also called create-react-app (the same as the cloned repo), my command looks like this:

git remote set-url origin

To confirm, I’ll run the git remote --verbose command again. This time, both my origin URLs (fetch & push) point to my GitHub profile:

origin (fetch)
origin (push)

The set-url command simply updates the origin URL of your repository, so it now points to your remote repository, instead of the profile where you cloned the project from.

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