I have been trying to teach myself QGIS by using this forum and others to help. Most of my questions can be answered by downloading plugins that are available through 3rd party repositories but for some reason I am not able to connect with these. Anyone have any ideas why this is the case?

  • In Qgis, Plugins>Fetch Python Plugins, click the Repositories tab. What is the "Status" that you see there for existing repositories?
    – vinayan
    May 10, 2012 at 12:17
  • On the Respositories tab the status is 'unavailable'. Clicking 'Add 3rd party repositories' makes no difference.
    – BNA
    May 10, 2012 at 12:32
  • 1
    are you behind a proxy? I do get that error while i am...
    – vinayan
    May 10, 2012 at 12:34
  • i work in the NHS so probably...
    – BNA
    May 10, 2012 at 13:22
  • Please use a Comment rather than an Answer for a comment like this. However, if you were going to detail some steps you took in order to answer your own Question then that would be acceptable as an Answer which you could then Accept to finalise the question.
    – PolyGeo
    May 29, 2013 at 2:34

6 Answers 6


I was able to set up proxy settings in QGIS (Settings->Options->Network) so that it could communicate through our proxy server. In my case, the Default proxy type didn't work--I had to use HTTPProxy. Once that was done, I had no problem getting to the plugins on the repo servers.

  • I am behind a firewall and Hawken answer worked for me...Thanks
    – user9122
    Jul 26, 2012 at 6:10
  • also need restart Qgis. Thx)
    – lolipop
    Apr 6, 2017 at 11:57
  • I restarted Qgis, but it didn't work until I cleared the cache (I guess). Go to Settings > Options > Network > Cache Settings > Authentication > Clear authentication connection cache
    – carloswm85
    Nov 24, 2021 at 17:03

Here is a workaround if you are behind proxy and not getting the repositories. This would work for all python plugins.

  1. Download the plugin directly from the repository url using your browser. For example, for CadTools, download the zip file from the here repo link
  2. Unzip the file. Copy the folder(usually one directory down the extracted folder) to your python plugins directory. In windows, this would be for QGIS1: C:\Program Files\Quantum GIS Wroclaw\apps\qgis\python\plugins, for QGIS2: C:\Users\yourusername\.qgis2\python\plugins or for QGIS3: C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\QGIS\QGIS3\profiles\default\python\plugins and on OSX: ~/.qgis/python/plugins
  3. Restart QGIS and now you can see this plugin installed. Just enable this plugin in the Plugin Manager.
  • 1
    And in OSX the directory is ~/.qgis/python/plugins
    – Simbamangu
    May 10, 2012 at 20:34
  • In vinayan's step #1, you can access the repository urls, by double-clicking on a listed repository and copy/pasting its .xml url to your browser. Many of the repositories have a .xsl stylesheet that renders the plugin listings as HTML. For example: faunalia.it/qgis/plugins.xml If the repository does not have a stylesheet, have a look at the .xml source in your browser for the download links.
    – dakcarto
    May 11, 2012 at 0:00
  • Update for QGIS 2.0 and later: the target path is C:\Users\username\.qgis2\python\plugins, and the repository is now plugins.qgis.org/plugins
    – AndreJ
    Jan 8, 2015 at 10:50
  • For QGIS 3 it will be: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\QGIS\QGIS3\profiles\default\python\plugins Jan 19, 2018 at 9:39

If you are running QGIS from behind some firewall/proxy setups, you can't get the repositories. I have the same issue when running QGIS behind a restrictive firewall via a proxy at work, but no problem when running QGIS from home.

  • You can get the repos! See my answer for more details. Basically a restart is required.
    – Unapiedra
    Jan 19, 2018 at 9:23
  • This is perhaps a change since I posted this answer almost six years ago. Jan 19, 2018 at 10:46

On your QGIS go to

settings >> options >>network

Then check the "Use proxy for web access" box

set the proxy type to be defaultProxy to use the system proxy

That way, whatever proxy seetings you have will be inherited and you won't have to insert again.


Running QGIS 2.18.12.

  • Configure the Proxy in Settings > Options > Network. (As others have pointed out.)
  • Select Use proxy for web access.
  • (For me):
    Proxy type: HttpProxy
    Host: my-proxy-url.foo (No leading https://)
    Port: 3128.
    User/Password: empty.
  • Verify that it works: Help > Check QGIS Version.
  • Restart QGIS.
  • Now, go to Plugins > Manage and Install Plugins.
  • Success: Plugin repository gets updated.

I had the same issue with not being able to connect to official repository but found how to fix this. I replaced DHCP with a static IP address and QGIS now connects to repository. How to here: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/19249/how-to-assign-a-static-ip-address-in-xp-vista-or-windows-7/

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