Automatically archive GitHub repos

Automatically archive your repos when they are outdated? I will show you how you can do it 🔥

Automatically archive GitHub repos
Photo by Roman Synkevych / Unsplash

Recently, I had the feeling that my GitHub repos were starting to get a bit too much. I haven't touched many of them for years, let alone actually used them properly. So I wanted to clean up all my repos and archive everything older than x months/years. But I didn't feel like going through 500 repos manually.

This could be done quite easily with the GitHub CLI. To do this, the GitHub CLI must be installed:

GitHub CLI
Take GitHub to the command line

The script

As a Windows user, it made sense for me to just set up the script with PowerShell. In principle, the script only uses the GitHub CLI and retrieves all repos from the account (you have to be logged in, of course) and archives them or, if desired, switches them to private.

$org = "Disane87"
$limit = 400
$retentionDays = 182

(gh repo list $org -L $limit --json name,pushedAt) | ConvertFrom-Json | ForEach-Object {

    $repoData = $_;
    Write-Host "--------------------------------------------------"
    Write-Host "RepoName $($"

    $publishedDate = [datetime]::ParseExact($repoData.pushedAt, "M/d/yyyy H:mm:ss", $null)
    $timeDiff = New-TimeSpan -Start $publishedDate -End (Get-Date)

    if ($timeDiff.TotalDays -gt $retentionDays) {
        Write-Host "$($ is older than $($retentionDays) days $($timeDiff.TotalDays)"

        gh repo edit "$($org)/$($" --visibility private
        gh repo archive $ -y

In principle, you only need to enter your GitHub user name in the script and change the retention if necessary. By default, this is 182 days.

If you do not want to set your repos to private, then simply comment this line out with #

gh repo edit "$($org)/$($" --visibility private

Et voila, your GitHub is cleaned up: