Note: If, when setting up your repository, you accidentally included files that you did not want to have git follow, you can use this command:
by going to tools>open a shell here in the github GUI. You may also have to include a new line in your .gitignore file...
git rm --cached <filename>
When you inevitably (in my experience) get an error message along the lines of "failed to sync this branch" with options to "open shell to debug" or "cancel," choose the former, and typing
depending on if you are trying to upload (push) or download (pull) changes from github.com will sometimes work.