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The Azure Artifacts Credential Provider enables dotnet, NuGet.exe, and MSBuild to interactively acquire credentials for Azure Artifacts feeds.

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Azure Artifacts Credential Provider

The Azure Artifacts Credential Provider automates the acquisition of credentials needed to restore NuGet packages as part of your .NET development workflow. It integrates with MSBuild, dotnet, and NuGet(.exe) and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Any time you want to use packages from an Azure Artifacts feed, the Credential Provider will automatically acquire and securely store a token on behalf of the NuGet client you're using.

Build Status


MSBuild on Windows

Install Visual Studio version 15.9-preview1 or later to get the required version of msbuild (
or later).


NuGet(.exe) on the command line version
or later is required. The recommended NuGet version is
or later as it has some important bug fixes related to cancellations and timeouts.


dotnet SDK version

or later is required on Windows. The recommended dotnet version is
or later as it has some important bug fixes related to cancellations and timeouts.


If you are using

, you can use the Azure Artifact Credential Provider by adding it to NuGet's plugin search path. This section contains both manual and scripted instructions for doing so.

Dotnet needs the

version to be installed. NuGet and MSBuild need the
version to be installed.

Installation on Windows

Automatic PowerShell script

PowerShell helper script - To install netcore, run

- e.g.
iex "& { $(irm }"
- To install both netfx and netcore, run
installcredprovider.ps1 -AddNetfx
. The netfx version is needed for nuget.exe. - e.g.
iex "& { $(irm } -AddNetfx"

Manual installation on Windows

  1. Download the latest release of
  2. Unzip the file
  3. Copy the
    for nuget.exe) directory from the extracted archive to

Using the above is recommended, but as per NuGet's plugin discovery rules, alternatively you can install the credential provider to a location you prefer, and then set the environment variable NUGETPLUGINPATHS to the .exe of the credential provider found in plugins\netfx\CredentialProvider.Microsoft\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.exe. For example, $env:NUGETPLUGINPATHS="my-alternative-location\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.exe". Note that if you are using both nuget and dotnet, this environment variable is not recommended due to this issue:

Installation on Linux and Mac

Automatic bash script

Linux or Mac helper script - e.g.

wget -qO- | bash

Manual installation on Linux and Mac

  1. Download the latest release of Microsoft.NuGet.CredentialProvider.tar.gz
  2. Untar the file
  3. Copy the
    (and 'netfx' for msbuild /t:restore command) directory from the extracted archive to

Using the above is recommended, but as per NuGet's plugin discovery rules, alternatively you can install the credential provider to a location you prefer, and then set the environment variable NUGETPLUGINPATHS to the .dll of the credential provider found in plugins\netcore\CredentialProvider.Microsoft\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.dll. For example, $env:NUGETPLUGINPATHS="my-alternative-location\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.dll".

Automatic usage

  • MSBuild in Visual Studio Developer Command Prompt with Visual Studio 15.9+
  • Azure DevOps Pipelines NuGetAuthenticate task
  • Azure DevOps Pipelines NuGet task, NuGetCommandV2 version 2.145.3+ (Azure DevOps Server 2019 Update 1+)


Because the Credential Provider is a NuGet plugin, it is most commonly used indirectly, by performing a NuGet operation that requires authentication using

, or


The first time you perform an operation that requires authentication using

, you must either use the
flag to allow
to prompt you for credentials, or provide them via an environment variable.

If you're running interactively navigate to your project directory and run:

dotnet restore --interactive

Once you've successfully acquired a token, you can run authenticated commands without the

flag for the lifespan of the token which is saved in the session token cache location.


The nuget client will prompt for authentication when you run a

and it does not find credential in the session token cache location. By default, it will attempt to open a dialog for authentication and will fall back to console input if that fails.
nuget restore

When using Windows and you are already signed in to Azure DevOps, Windows Integrated Authentication may be used to get automatically authenticated as the signed in user.


The first time you perform an operation that requires authentication using

, you must use the
switch to allow
to prompt you for credentials. For example, to restore packages, navigate to your project or solution directory and run:
msbuild /t:restore /p:nugetInteractive=true

Once you've successfully acquired a token, you can run authenticated commands without the


Unattended build agents

Azure DevOps Pipelines

Use the NuGet Authenticate task before running NuGet, dotnet or MSBuild commands that need authentication.

Other automated build scenarios

If you're running the command as part of an automated build on an unattended build agent outside of Azure DevOps Pipelines, you can supply an access token directly using the

environment variable. The use of Personal Access Tokens is recommended. You may need to restart the agent service or the computer before the environment variables are available to the agent.

Docker containers

Managing NuGet credentials in Docker scenarios

Azure DevOps Server

The Azure Artifacts Credential Provider may not be necessary for an on-premises Azure DevOps Server on Windows. If the credential provider is needed, it cannot acquire credentials interactively, therefore, the VSSNUGETEXTERNALFEEDENDPOINTS environment variable must be used as an alternative. Supply a Personal Access Token directly using the

environment variable.

From Azure DevOps Server 2020 RC1 forward, the NuGet Authenticate task can be used in Pipelines.

Session Token Cache Locations

The Credential Provider will save session tokens in the following locations:

  • Windows:
  • Linux/MAC:

Environment Variables

The Credential Provider accepts a set of environment variables. Not all of them we recommend using in production, but these two are considered safe.

    : Controls whether or not the session token is saved to disk. If false, the Credential Provider will prompt for auth every time.
    : Json that contains an array of service endpoints, usernames and access tokens to authenticate endpoints in nuget.config. Example:
 {"endpointCredentials": [{"endpoint":"http://example.index.json", "username":"optional", "password":"accesstoken"}]}


The windows plugin, delivered in the

folder of
, ships a stand-alone executable that will acquire credentials. This program will place the credentials in the same location that the .dll would if it were called by nuget.exe, dotnet.exe, or msbuild.exe. The stand-alone executable will also print the available command options, environment variables, and credential storage locations. This information is reproduced here:
C:\> .\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.exe -h
Command-line v0.1.17: .\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.exe  -h

The Azure Artifacts credential provider can be used to aquire credentials for Azure Artifacts.

Note: The Azure Artifacts Credential Provider is mainly intended for use via integrations with development tools such as .NET Core and nuget.exe. While it can be used via this CLI in "stand-alone mode", please pay special attention to certain options such as -IsRetry below. Failing to do so may result in obtaining invalid credentials.

Usage - CredentialProvider.Microsoft -options

GlobalOption Description Plugin (-P) Used by nuget to run the credential helper in plugin mode Uri (-U) The package source URI for which credentials will be filled NonInteractive (-N) If present and true, providers will not issue interactive prompts IsRetry (-I) If false / unset, INVALID CREDENTIALS MAY BE RETURNED. The caller is required to validate returned credentials themselves, and if invalid, should call the credential provider again with -IsRetry set. If true, the credential provider will obtain new credentials instead of returning potentially invalid credentials from the cache. Verbosity (-V) Display this amount of detail in the output [Default='Information'] Debug Verbose Information Minimal Warning Error RedactPassword (-R) Prevents writing the password to standard output (for troubleshooting purposes) Help (-?, -h) Prints this help message CanShowDialog (-C) If true, user can be prompted with credentials through UI, if false, device flow must be used OutputFormat (-F) In standalone mode, format the results for human readability or as JSON. If JSON is selected, then logging (which may include Device Code instructions) will be logged to standard error instead of standard output. HumanReadable Json

List of Environment Variables The following is a list of environment variables that can be used to modify the behavior of the credential provider. They may be used for workarounds but their use is not supported. Use at your own risk.

Log Path NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_LOG_PATH Absolute path to a log file where the provider will write log messages.

Session Token Cache Enabled NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_SESSIONTOKENCACHE_ENABLED Boolean to enable/disable the Session Token cache.

ADAL Authority NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_ADAL_AUTHORITY Set to override the authority used when fetching an ADAL token. e.g.

ADAL Token File Cache Enabled NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_ADAL_FILECACHE_ENABLED Boolean to enable/disable the ADAL token cache. Disabled by default.

PPE ADAL Hosts NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_ADAL_PPEHOSTS Semi-colon separated list of hosts that should use the PPE environment when fetching ADAL tokens. Should only be used for testing/development environments such as DevFabric.

Supported Hosts NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_VSTS_HOSTS Semi-colon separated list of hosts that the ADAL provider supports.

Session Token Time Validity NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_VSTS_SESSIONTIMEMINUTES Time in minutes the generated Session Tokens will be valid for. The default for Personal Access Tokens is 90 days. The default for JWT (self-describing) tokens is 4 hours. The maximum allowed validity period for JWT tokens is 24 hours.

Token Type NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_VSTS_TOKENTYPE Specify 'Compact' to generate a Personal Access Token, which may have a long validity period as it can easily be revoked from the UI, and sends a notification mail on creation. Specify 'SelfDescribing' to generate a shorter-lived JWT token, which does not appear in any UI or notifications and is more difficult to revoke. By default PATs are generated rather than JWTs, unless authentication can be performed non-interactively.

Build Provider URI Prefixes VSS_NUGET_URI_PREFIXES Semi-colon separated list of hosts the build provider supports.

Build Provider Access Token VSS_NUGET_ACCESSTOKEN The Personal Access Token that will be returned as credentials by the build provider.

Build Provider Service Endpoint Json VSS_NUGET_EXTERNAL_FEED_ENDPOINTS Json that contains an array of service endpoints, usernames and access tokens to authenticate endpoints in nuget.config. Example: {"endpointCredentials": [{"endpoint":"http://example.index.json", "username":"optional", "password":"accesstoken"}]}

Cache Location The Credential Provider uses the following paths to cache credentials. If deleted, the credential provider will re-create them but any credentials will need to be provided again.

ADAL Token Cache

Session Token Cache

Windows Integrated Authentication NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_WINDOWSINTEGRATEDAUTHENTICATION_ENABLED Boolean to enable/disable using silent Windows Integrated Authentication to authenticate as the logged-in user. Enabled by default.

Device Flow Authentication Timeout NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_VSTS_DEVICEFLOWTIMEOUTSECONDS Device Flow authentication timeout in seconds. Default is 90 seconds.

NuGet workarounds NUGET_CREDENTIALPROVIDER_FORCE_CANSHOWDIALOG_TO Set to "true" or "false" to override any other sources of the CanShowDialog parameter


How do I know the cred provider is installed correctly? / I'm still getting username/password prompt after installing

This means that either nuget/dotnet was unable to find the cred provider from NuGet's plugin search path, or the cred provider failed to authenticate so the client defaulted to the username/password prompt. Verify the cred provider is correctly installed by checking it exists in the nuget/plugins folder in your user profile (Refer to the setup docs). If using nuget.exe and used the install script to install the cred provider, please make sure you ran it with -AddNetfx.

How do I get better error logs from the cred provider?

Run the nuget.exe/dotnet command with detailed verbosity to see more cred provider logs that may help debugging (

nuget.exe -verbosity detailed
dotnet --verbosity detailed

How do I find out if my issue is a real 401?

Run the credential provider directly with the following command:

C:\Users\\.nuget\plugins\netfx\CredentialProvider.Microsoft\CredentialProvider.Microsoft.exe  -I -V Verbose -U "{organization}/{project-if-feed-is-project-scoped}/_packaging/{feed}/nuget/v3/index.json"
. Check you have the right permissions from the feed permissions.

In an Azure DevOps Pipeline, verify you have set the right permissions for the pipeline by following the docs.


This project welcomes contributions and suggestions; see CONTRIBUTING for more information. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact [email protected] with any additional questions or comments.

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