Git ignores .gitignore when working with PowerShell

Today, a Git problem drove me nuts: I added files to the .gitignore file to make sure Git does not track and commit them to the repository. However, Git stubbornly ignored the file and kept adding all the files in my directory to the index.

As it turned out, PowerShell was the problem. I added the files in .gitignore with a simple echo test.txt > .gitignore. I got suspicious when I saw the file’s size and remembered that PowerShell uses UTF-16 to handle Strings. When editing the file in an external editor, Git recognized the content and ignored the files.

So, the solution for me was to use an external text editor for .gitignore or explicitly change the encoding when adding an entry via PowerShell using ac -path .gitignore -Value "test.txt" -Encoding ascii

Git ignores .gitignore in PowerShell due to UTF-16 encoding

Über Stefan

Polyglot Clean Code Developer

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