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Adding & Updating GitHub Access Token on Mac

Using an Access Token for the first time

Follow the instructions on Github to Create an Access Token in Github

Configure Git to use the osxkeychain

By default, git credentials are not cached so you need to tell Git if you want to avoid having to provide them each time Github requires you to authenticate. On Mac, Git comes with an “osxkeychain” mode, which caches credentials in the secure keychain that’s attached to your system account.

You can tell Git you want to store credentials in the osxkeychain by running the following:-

git config --global credential.helper osxkeychain

Add your access token to the osxkeychain

Now issue a command to interract with Github which requires authentication, eg. git clone or git pull. When you are prompted to supply your Password for 'https://username@github.com': you enter your access token instead. Your token should now get cached in the osxkeychain automatically.

$ git clone https://github.com/username/repo.git

Cloning into 'repo'...
Username for 'https://github.com': your_github_username
Password for 'https://username@github.com': your_access_token

Updating an existing Access Token

Regenerate token on Github

If your existing token has expired, or been revoked, or you are on a new machine and do not have access to the existing token then you can regerate a new one in the Github console Settings -> Developer settings -> Personal access tokens.

Remove an existing token from your Mac keychain

You can remove an existing password or token stored in the osxkeychain using the following command.

$ git credential-osxkeychain erase ↵
host=github.com ↵
protocol=https ↵
↵

You should now be prompted for your Github credentials when attempting a git pull/clone/push etc and your token should automatically get stored in the osxkeychain. If subsequent calls to Github repeatedly prompt you for your credentials then likely the credential.helper is not set - see next section.


Troubleshooting

$ git pull

remote: Invalid username or password.
fatal: Authentication failed for 'https://github.com/user/repo.git/'

If authentication fails and you are not prompted to enter your credentials, like in the above example, or you are repeatedly challenged by Github for your credentials, then check if you have the credential.helper set.

git config --global credential.helper

If not, or it is set to something other than osxkeychain, then update/set it.

git config --global --unset credential.helper
git config --global credential.helper osxkeychain

Then try again and you should now be prompted for your credentials.

$ git clone https://github.com/username/repo.git

Cloning into 'repo'...
Username for 'https://github.com': your_github_username
Password for 'https://username@github.com': your_access_token

Ensure you provide your access token rather than password when prompted.

@neilsy
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neilsy commented Dec 9, 2019

I had to change access method, from login/password to token access. But trying to delete the existing credential, I found that 'git credential-osxkeychain erase' seemed to hang for me (on OS X 10.14.6). I was able to delete the credential in the Keychain Access app without any problem. After that, running 'git pull' prompted me for new credentials

@mickod
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mickod commented Dec 27, 2020

I also found that the command 'git credential-osxkeychain erase' hung, even when using the longer form here: https://docs.github.com/en/free-pro-team@latest/github/using-git/updating-credentials-from-the-macos-keychain#deleting-your-credentials-via-the-command-line

Deleting from the KeyChain Access App worked fine - one note is that there will likely be multiple entries for GitHub.com and it is the "internet password" entry for github.com that you want to delete.

If you are worried about deleting a key you can't recover again by mistake, you can copy the existing key from keychain access by right clicking it also - with all the usual caveats that as soon as you save it someplace you need to be very careful to fully delete it afterwards if you don't want a copy of it.

@maximivanov
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Fresh Big Sur 11.1 install. I want to remove a Github token from the keychain.

git credential-osxkeychain erase hangs.

I can see a github.com entry in the Keychain Access UI, but I cannot remove it.
If I filter for that entry with search box, right-click and Delete "github.com" does nothing.
If I clear the filter and find the entry in the list, Delete option is not available in the context menu.

I ended up using a command line tool to remove the token from the keychain:

security delete-internet-password -l github.com

(You may want to use security find-internet-password --help to find the entry first.)

@colvint
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colvint commented Feb 3, 2021

Also fresh Big Sur 11.1 install here.

Running:

ssh -T git@github.com

Did the trick for me.

@SimonGolms
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After typing git credential-osxkeychain erase the display does not hang/load, instead it expects another input, see: https://stackoverflow.com/a/28007050

 $ git credential-osxkeychain erase ⏎
 host=github.com  ⏎
 protocol=https   ⏎
 ⏎
 ⏎

@jondhill333
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Yep, the above works, it just appears like its done nothing. However just go to push to Github again and you will see it asks for authorisation and it should be all working.

@frisbiesa
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I deleted the token from the keychain but I'm still not being prompted for my new api password. Super frustrating.

@startakovsky
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Same. This string of comments didn't help / weren't intuitive to me. Going to manually manipulate git config.

@benslack19
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benslack19 commented May 19, 2021

This was much more frustrating than I expected as well but got it to eventually work. I'm on MacOS Catalina. Here were my steps:

  • I deleted within the Keychain Access app based on this GitHub page.
  • It wouldn't prompt me for a password after a git push or a git clone of a private repo.
  • I then tried git credential-osxkeychain erase but it hangs.
  • I tried git config --global credential.helper osxkeychain, which was taken from [here].(https://gist.github.com/nepsilon/0fd0c779f76d7172f12477ba9d71bb66).
  • I then re-started my computer.
  • It worked after the re-boot.

@Archaeo-Programmer
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My solution ended up being much simpler than the suggestions above (at least for macOS Mojave version 10.14.6). After following the instructions above to generate/re-generate (I had to regenerate a token due to the new authentication token formats), I tried the following:

  • I did git pull with the hopes of being prompted to update my password. But it just said that the password failed.
  • I tried looking into keychain access, but nothing came up when searching for git / GitHub
  • I then tried git credential-osxkeychain erase, but mine also hangs.
  • I then simply quit the terminal, then opened it back up and went to my git directory, did git pull again and then it prompted me for my user name and password.

@WANGJIEKE
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WANGJIEKE commented Jun 29, 2021

My solution consists this step

After typing git credential-osxkeychain erase the display does not hang/load, instead it expects another input, see: https://stackoverflow.com/a/28007050

 $ git credential-osxkeychain erase ⏎
 host=github.com  ⏎
 protocol=https   ⏎
 ⏎
 ⏎

and then a git config --global credential.helper osxkeychain (though this step may be unnecessary), then finally a git pull on an existed repository.

@terryjray
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Using the 'git credential-osxkeychain erase' method above with the host and protocol options did work for repos that I could delete and reclone. The big issue for me was that I had a local commit that I needed to push when github decided to finally stop allowing passwords. None of the steps above allowed me to push my local commit to remote. The only thing I could do was manually edit the .git/config in my repo and manually replace my old password with the token. That did the trick but I think having to do this is ugly and hacky and I wish it wasn't necessary :(

@lucidlive
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Fresh Big Sur 11.1 install. I want to remove a Github token from the keychain.

git credential-osxkeychain erase hangs.

I can see a github.com entry in the Keychain Access UI, but I cannot remove it.
If I filter for that entry with search box, right-click and Delete "github.com" does nothing.
If I clear the filter and find the entry in the list, Delete option is not available in the context menu.

I ended up using a command line tool to remove the token from the keychain:

security delete-internet-password -l github.com

(You may want to use security find-internet-password --help to find the entry first.)

Thanks, same issue and this worked for me

@binDongKim
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$ git credential-osxkeychain erase ⏎
host=github.com ⏎
protocol=https ⏎

This worked for me. The tricky / essential part is the "enter" key. You need to keep entering the enter key in each line.
After this, when you try any git command such as git push, the new configuration setting will be prompted.

@tresf
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tresf commented Jul 28, 2021

The lower paragraph uses the words "prompt you for your token". I would recommend it's changed to match the paragraph above which specifically states "prompt you for your Password" to match. Also, the paragraph above might have a missing _ after the word password.

- Now, the next time you attempt a `clone/pull/push` etc on a private repo, the Github API should prompt you for your new token on the command line and entering the new token should also add it to your local Key Chain which you can check as below.
+ Now, the next time you attempt a `clone/pull/push` etc on a private repo, the Github API should prompt you for prompt you for your _Password_ on the command line and entering the new access token should also add it to your local Key Chain which you can check as below.

@piratebroadcast
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$ git credential-osxkeychain erase ⏎
host=github.com ⏎
protocol=https ⏎

This worked for me. The tricky / essential part is the "enter" key. You need to keep entering the enter key in each line.
After this, when you try any git command such as git push, the new configuration setting will be prompted.

For anyone searching, this is the correct solution.

@jonjack
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Author

jonjack commented Sep 9, 2021

tresf

The lower paragraph uses the words "prompt you for your token". I would recommend it's changed to match the paragraph above which specifically states "prompt you for your Password" to match. Also, the paragraph above might have a missing _ after the word password.

- Now, the next time you attempt a `clone/pull/push` etc on a private repo, the Github API should prompt you for your new token on the command line and entering the new token should also add it to your local Key Chain which you can check as below.
+ Now, the next time you attempt a `clone/pull/push` etc on a private repo, the Github API should prompt you for prompt you for your _Password_ on the command line and entering the new access token should also add it to your local Key Chain which you can check as below.

Thanks, I updated.

@tuyenphk
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tuyenphk commented Oct 6, 2021

Hey, it is the first time I access the MacOS so based on the new restriction of GitHub on August 2021, the internet password for github.com on keychain access does not show up here. Thus, how can I enter username and password for git on my terminal? Thanks!

@christophergraber
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I opened my VScode on Mac and it prompted "Keychain Access wants to user your confidential information stored in 'github.com' in your keychain. I looked in my Keychain and did see a github.com entry and was able to copy the password. But when I entered it in the popup box it never worked. I deleted the Keychain entry manually. Tried making a new personal access key, restarting, doing git clone etc, but was never getting prompted for my new password/PAC.

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ghost commented Oct 20, 2021

Thank you it solved my problem

@cadetCoder
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After typing git credential-osxkeychain erase the display does not hang/load, instead it expects another input, see: https://stackoverflow.com/a/28007050

 $ git credential-osxkeychain erase ⏎
 host=github.com  ⏎
 protocol=https   ⏎
 ⏎
 ⏎

This works for me too! Big help! Thanks

@Mehuge
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Mehuge commented Nov 30, 2021

All I did was edit .git/config and change pass = <old-token> to pass = <new-token>. Perhaps my git is not configured to use osxkeychain?

Visual Studio Code did its own thing and asked github.com to authorise access using some fancy link.

I have to say, its all a bit of a mess though, it should be as simple as telling git to update token.

@sebmellen
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For anyone potentially struggling with this, try opening the Keychain application in OSX and changing the Personal Access Token value there. This worked very well for me. See attached screenshot.

Photo of using Mac OS Keychain to edit values for Github Personal Access Token

@fijisoo
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fijisoo commented Jul 9, 2022

For anyone potentially struggling with this, try opening the Keychain application in OSX and changing the Personal Access Token value there. This worked very well for me. See attached screenshot.

Photo of using Mac OS Keychain to edit values for Github Personal Access Token

this is a solution for me! thanks!

@wuqinqiang
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Keychain

so cool

@niams-bdmds
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cool. this worked

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