How to Approve Pull Requests on GitHub

Learn how to approve pull requests on GitHub. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a newbie, understanding the pull request approval process is crucial for effective collaboration. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to approve pull requests on GitHub, helping you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.

What is a Pull Request?

A pull request is a feature in GitHub that allows contributors to propose changes to a codebase. It’s a way to review, discuss, and eventually merge these changes into the main branch of a repository. Pull requests are essential for team collaboration and code quality.

Why Approving Pull Requests is Important

Approving pull requests is a critical step in the software development lifecycle. It ensures that only high-quality code gets merged into the main branch. This approval process is especially important in organizations that require specific rules and checks before merging code. For more details on the approval process, you can refer to the GitHub Docs.

Steps to Approve a Pull Request

Step 1: Navigate to the Repository

  1. Open GitHub and go to the repository where the pull request has been made.
  2. Under your repository name, click on “Pull requests.”

Step 2: Select the Pull Request

  1. In the list of pull requests, click the pull request you’d like to review.

Step 3: Review the Changes

  1. On the pull request page, click “Files changed.”
  2. Review the code and leave comments if necessary.

Step 4: Begin the Approval Process

  1. Above the changed code, click “Review changes.”
  2. Type a comment summarizing your feedback on the proposed changes.

Step 5: Approve the Pull Request

  1. Select “Approve” to approve merging the changes proposed in the pull request.
  2. Click “Submit review.”

Note: Pull request authors cannot approve their own pull requests.

Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Approval Process

  • Make sure to check if the repository has any protected branches that require specific approvals.
  • If significant changes are made to an approved pull request, the previous approval is dismissed, and a new review is required.


Approving pull requests on GitHub may seem daunting, but it’s a straightforward process if you follow these steps. It’s a legendary practice that ensures only the best code makes it to your main branch. So go ahead, start approving those pull requests and become a vital part of your team’s development process.

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