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git on Windows: prevent “The requested URL returned error: 403” during push of https based repository

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/01/10

When you search for git push "The requested URL returned error: 403", then the usual answer is “use ssh over https”, for instance at [WayBackgithub – Pushing to Git returning Error Code 403 fatal: HTTP request failed – Stack Overflow.

However, lots of places (especially larger corporations and financials) limit outgoing traffic to http and https based for (often perceived) security reasons.

In this case, I needed a solution for Windows, which – after a long search – found two solutions that are below.

I use the repository as an example, but it isn’t limited to GitLab: the same symptoms happen with other hosters as well (for instance on GitHub and BitBucket):

First what doesn’t work: they all give the same 403 message.

  1. Installing a newer git version (I tried git version
  2. have the plain URL:
  3. put just the username or e-mail address in the URL
  4. put just the username or e-mail address in the URL with a blank password
  5. for the four above, add the caching credential helper then add a credential:
    • git config --local credential.helper cachegit config --local credential. wiert
      You get this log:
      Pushing to
      git: 'credential-cache' is not a git command. See 'git --help'.
      remote: HTTP Basic: Access denied
      fatal: Authentication failed for ''

What could work

The first thing that works is to include the actual password in the repository URL like this:

When you enter the correct password, everything is fine. Except that the password is stored as plain text on disk.

What works

The real solution on Windows is to use the Windows Credential Manager. I found this because of the 5th failure above.

To see which username/password combinations have been stored or add your own, you can start the Credential Manager on the command-line like this (each Windows version seems to have a different path to the UI from the control panel; the console trick just works on all Windows versions I tested):

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{1206F5F1-0569-412C-8FEC-3204630DFB70}

Note the above was the reason for writing List of Shell GUIDs for various Windows versions for use in shortcuts and batch files.

What might work on non-Windows systems

I have the impression that the “cached” credential manager will work on non-Windows systems, but need to find some time testing that on multiple platforms. Stay tuned (:

For that I need to look into at least these:


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