How can I authenticate API requests?

Return to top


  • Bonaliza Garcia

    Hi, I'm working on a custom request form for our end-users (but still within our Zendesk subdomain). When I try to submit the form and send the data to create the request, it returns with a 403 error. The same code works on postman and the request is being created.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out why im getting a 403. I tried both email/token:api_key authentication and basic email:password authentication. 

  • Tomer Ben Arye


    I think my code 5 post above will help you.


  • Bonaliza Garcia

    @Tomer did you mean the base64 encoded? I did that, my email/token:api_token is encoded. I tried manually encoding it using one of the websites and also dis btoa('email/token:api_token'); but both gave me a 403 error.

  • Bheem Aitha

    Hi @...

    I am getting the same authentication error. Can you please help me on this? I also created a ticket on this.

    C:\Users\yyy> curl https://<subdomain> -u yyy@<company>.com/token:xxxxxxx

    {"error":"Couldn't authenticate you"}



  • Waseem Khan

    Hi Team,

    Precindition: Token is created in zendesk

    I as an admin share my email address and token with other team member. Can they acess the API's? or is it like i need to login to zendesk from the same system/pc from where the user is trying to access the API's?


    Or they can just pass my email address and token simply without i being logged in to zendesk?



  • Dwight Bussman
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Waseem Khan

    Simply having your email & API token is sufficient for any user to make API requests on behalf of your user. This gives them the ability to do anything your user would be able to do via the API. This includes deleting things like tickets/users/organizations/articles/sections/categories/triggers which can be very destructive. For this reason, I would encourage you to be very selective about who has access to these tokens. 

  • Nick Bolton

    Please make it clearer on this page that you have to Base-64 encode the token. Here's the command that I used on Mac to Base-64 encode my token.

    echo -n '' | base64

  • Dwight Bussman
    Zendesk Customer Care

    HeyO Nick,

    Thanks for the feedback. I will make updates to this article to make that clearer.

  • Dan Reyes-Cairo

    I just ran into and resolved an issue using Postman for API requests where the following was returned:

    "error": "Couldn't authenticate you"

    Per the API documentation I was using the following so everything should have been set up correctly:

    • Basic Auth
    • Format: {admin_email}/token:{admin_api_key}
    • URL: {my_domain}{endpoint}

    Turns out, when the base64 encoded Authentication value was being decoded in Postman, it was adding an additional colon : to the decoded username string (I had to check this using a third-party decoding site).

    To resolve, I had to:

    1. Copy the rendered Authorization value in the Header's tab
    2. set Postman to "No Auth"
    3. Manually input the "Authorization" key on the Header's tab
    4. Paste in the copied value
    5. Remove the "g==" that had been added to the encoded value (which removed the colon from the decoded value back to what I had originally input)

    At that point my requests started going through. Hope this helps anyone else that runs into this with Postman!

  • Ramy Ben Aroya

    I have setup SSO for my end users.
    I want to show some of the Zendesk content on my own web app platform without having to proxy the requests to Zendesk API through my server.
    Is there any option to issue /api/v2/help_center/* requests with the JWT token I get from /access/jwt endpoint?
    Also what about CORS? Of course for now I get only 401 response but I see it is not supporting cross origin requests.

  • Fraser, Vanessa

    Hi!  I'm trying to use Azure Logic Apps to Authentic for a POC but I keep getting 401  Couldn't authenticate you.  

    I've encoded my username/token:aaaa via powershell this way but I must be missing something.

    $text = ""
    $encoded = [convert]::ToBase64String([text.encoding]::Unicode.GetBytes($text))

    I went through this article and tried OAuth, api, user/password but just not getting authenticated.  

    Any ideas would be welcome!

  • Dwight Bussman
    Zendesk Customer Care

    Hi Fraser, Vanessa

    After doing that encoding are you passing the encoded value in as a Basic Authorization header as documented here: 

    Authorization: Basic {base64-encoded-string}

    If that doesn't help sort things out for you, I recommend contacting our support team to look into logs for your specific account.

  • Fraser, Vanessa

    I'm sure it is something I'm doing wrong but I have been over and over that article and am not seeing what I have done wrong.  I'll contact support.  Also I can curl using the email/token:tokeninfo so it has to do with my encoding of the email/token:tokeninfo.

  • Felipe Costa

    Hello, SSO authentication works to customer's side?
    We don't have our customer's zendesk password.

  • Dane
    Zendesk Engineering
    Hi Felipe,

    Yes, you can use SSO for your end users. Please refer to Providing multiple sign-in options for team members and end users.
  • Dermot Doran Cato Networks

    Hi All!

    If you are working on macOS, I recommend that you follow the tip given by Nick Bolton.  I tried to create the base64 code using the -i option of the base64 comman, but it kept adding an extra character to the end of encoded output.



  • Benedikt Hild

    Hi All,

    I ran into the same issues described by some people. Here's my working solution: 

    I enconded the credentials mentioned on the dokumention '{email_address}/token:{api_token}'

    with UTF-8

    $Base64AuthInfo = "{email_address}/token:{api_token}"
    $Base64AuthInfo = [convert]::ToBase64String([text.encoding]::UTF8.GetBytes($Base64AuthInfo))

    My previous attempt encoding with unicode did not work. 

    $Base64AuthInfo = "{email_address}/token:{api_token}"
    $Base64AuthInfo = [convert]::ToBase64String([text.encoding]::Unicode.GetBytes($Base64AuthInfo))


    Maybe a mention of that could be usefull inside the API documentation. 





Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk