Last Updated: August 01, 2022
· dcondrey

Using multiple accounts with git or Github

If you have mutliple people using the same computer, or different user accounts for different repos it can be rather frustrating trying to figure out how to switch accounts if your on OSX and find your not being prompted for your login info because it's been cached.

That's all thanks to the helper utility for git which caches your login info (encrypted) in the OSX keychain.

To view the current credentials cached use the command git credential-osxkeychain get followed by pressing enter twice.

if you press enter only once you will invoke the command but it will apear to hang, if you press enter a second time you will be prompted by a dialog box to confirm access to your keychain and then the information will be returned in terminal

And if you want to clear it so your prompted to login again you can clear it like this:

git credential-osxkeychain erase

But that's stupid. I don't want to have to do all this everytime I need to switch accounts.. There is a better solution.

If you would like to prevent this issue in the future you can configure the git helper tool for osx-keychain to store your login credentials associated with the entire path of the repository rather than just the domain which is the default.

The Fix:

In terminal enter the command

git config --global --edit

This will open a configuration file. If you haven't already, you may want to set your default editor so the file opens in your preferred application.. For example, to set Sublime Text as your default editor: git config --global core.editor "subl -n -w"

With the config file opened, search for useHttpPath (or define it if it doesn't exist). And set it's value to true. It should look like this:

  helper = osxkeychain
  useHttpPath = true

This will instruct git (as well as github) that any credentials used to login should only be associated with the full repository path that was queried, not for the entire domain (in the case of github) all repositories on

So now you can be logged into your repository, and your boyfriend can be logged into his repository and there will be no conflicts between your logins.

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You have no idea how many headaches this has caused me since I moved away from SSH (which had its pitfalls, too...). Thank you very much for the great post :)

over 1 year ago ·

One possibility is to keep multiple .gitconfig files and swap them out to identify as the user you wish to be. Great post btw.

over 1 year ago ·