OAuth Desktop and Web Application Flows

This guide walks you through how to set up OAuth2 for API access using your own credentials and either the desktop flow or the web flow. These steps only need to be done once, unless you revoke, delete, or need to change the allowed scopes for your OAuth2 credentials.

Create OAuth2 credentials

  1. Follow the steps to configure a Google API Console project for the Google Ads API.

  2. Download the client's JSON file by first clicking its Download OAuth client icon and then the DOWNLOAD JSON button on the following screen.

    Save the file to your home directory so that you now have the local file ~/client_secret_XXX.apps.googleusercontent.com.json (where XXX will be values specific to your project). We'll use this file in the next step to run the code example.

Set up the client library

  1. In a terminal, run the generate_user_credentials example. Use command line flags to pass it the JSON file you downloaded in the previous step.

    generate_user_credentials.py \
  2. The example prompts you to visit a URL where you'll need to allow the OAuth2 credentials to access your Google Ads account on your behalf.

    Paste this URL in your browser:

    Navigate to the URL in a private browser session or an incognito window. Sign in with the same Google account you use to access Google Ads. Click Continue on the OAuth2 consent screen.

    Consent screen

  3. You are then taken to a page with a message indicating that the authorization succeeded.

    Your refresh token has been fetched. Check the console output for further instructions.

  4. Return to the console where you ran the example, which should now be displaying your refresh token and some instructions for configuring the client library:

    Your refresh token is: 1/Yw.........................................
    Add your refresh token to your client library configuration as described here: