Troubleshooting Builds "Unauthorized" due to contexts


If you are using a context in your workflow, you may encounter the following message. 

Screenshot 2023-09-18 at 12.34.48 PM.png


If your builds are failing as "Unauthorized" and you are utilizing contexts, please try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Restricted Contexts: If you are using a Restricted Context, confirm the blocked user is a part of the security group (defined by GitHub teams), users that are not a part of the GitHub team will not have access to the context
  2. Stale Permissions: If your permission level recently changed, please have an organization admin refresh your user permissions. Additionally, the user in question should also refresh their permissions. A user can refresh their permissions by navigating to their user settings page and click "Refresh Permissions." 
  3. Nested Teams: If the context you are attempting to use is part of a nested team, you will need to add the nested team as a security group
  4. Account renames: If you recently renamed your GitHub username and are suddenly experiencing permission issues please contact Support
  5. Browser extensions: Try to disable browser extensions or log in from a different browser and/or device. If you are still blocked, please submit a HAR file to Support
  6. Invalid/Expired OAuth token: Proceed to a full re-authentication
    1. Sign out of your CircleCI account
    2. Revoke CircleCI's access in Bitbucket or GitHub
    3. Clear your browser's cache and cookies
    4. Sign back into your CircleCI account
    5. Refresh permissions at
  7. Recent change to Context Restrictions: If you've recently adjusted the permissions of a context, changes may not be available immediately due to caching. You will need an organization admin to refresh permissions at (more info)
  8. Project Restrictions: If your team utilizes project restrictions on Contexts, you may be trying to use the Context in a project that it is not authorized to be used in.
  9. Context Expression Restrictions: If your organization has enabled Context Expression Restrictions, you may need to verify that you are not triggering any of the restrictions.

Please note that you can leverage the CircleCI v2 API to find the user id of a user who triggered a workflow. You can use the Get a workflow endpoint. The value assigned to started_by key in the response corresponds to the user ID of the user who triggered the build. 


Additional Resources

Was this article helpful?
3 out of 20 found this helpful



Article is closed for comments.