API Bearer Auth


The API Bearer Auth plugin enables authentication for the REST API by using JWT access an refresh tokens. After the user logs in, the access and refresh tokens are returned and can be used for the next requests. Issued tokens can be revoked from within the users admin screen. See below for the endpoints.

Note that after activating this plugin, all REST API endpoints will need to be authenticated, unless the endpoint is whitelisted in the api_bearer_auth_unauthenticated_urls filter (see FAQ for how to use this filter).


Access tokens can be formatted as JWT tokens. For this to work, you first have to create a secret and add it to the wp-config.php file. If you don’t do this, access tokens will work also, but are just random strings. To create a random secret key, you can do for example:


And then add the result to wp-config:

define('API_BEARER_JWT_SECRET', 'mysecretkey');

If you have problems, you can verify your JWT tokens at: https://jwt.io/

Revoke tokens

This plugin adds a column to the users table in de admin where you can see when a token expires. You can also revoke tokens by selection the “Revoke API tokens” from the bulk actions select box.

API endpoints

Note that all endpoints expect JSON in the POST body.



POST /api-bearer-auth/v1/login

Request body:

Note: client_name is optional. But if you use it, make sure to use it as well for the refresh call!

{"username": "my_username", "password": "my_password", "client_name": "my_app"}


  "wp_user": {
    "data": {
      "ID": 1,
      "user_login": "your_user_login",
      // other default WordPress user fields
  "access_token": "your_access_token",
  "expires_in": 86400, // number of seconds
  "refresh_token": "your_refresh_token"

Make sure to save the access and refresh token!

Refresh access token


POST /api-bearer-auth/v1/tokens/refresh

Request body:

Note: client_name is optional. But if you did use it for the login call, make sure to use it here as well!

{"token": "your_refresh_token", "client_name": "my_app"}

Response success:

  "access_token": "your_new_access_token",
  "expires_in": 86400

Response when sending a wrong refresh token is a 401:

  "code": "api_api_bearer_auth_error_invalid_token",
  "message": "Invalid token.",
  "data": {
    "status": 401

Do a request

After you have the access token, you can make requests to authenticated endpoints with an Authorization header like this:

Authorization: Bearer <your_access_token>

Note that Apache sometimes strips out the Authorization header. If this is the case, make sure to add this to the .htaccess file:

RewriteCond %{HTTP:Authorization} ^(.*)
# Don't know why, but some need the line below instead of the RewriteRule line
# SetEnvIf Authorization .+ HTTP_AUTHORIZATION=$0
RewriteRule ^(.*) - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%1]

If you are not logged in or you send an invalid access token, you get a 401 response:

  "code": "api_bearer_auth_not_logged_in",
  "message": "You are not logged in.",
  "data": {
    "status": 401

Important update

Update immediately if you’re using a version below 20200807. Before this version all access tokens were updated when calling the refresh callback.

If you are affected by this the fastest solution is to execute this query:

update wp_user_tokens set access_token_valid = NOW();

This will invalidate all access tokens. This means that all users need to refresh their access token and will get a new access token and a unique one this time.

A big thank to @harchvertelol for reporting this and suggesting the fix as well!


  1. Upload the plugin files to the /wp-content/plugins/api-bearer-auth directory, or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly.
  2. If you want your access tokens to be formatted as JWT tokens, define a random string as a API_BEARER_JWT_SECRET define in your wp-config.php file.
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress.
  4. From now on, every REST API endpoint needs to be authenticated.


Change time the access tokens are valid

By default an access token is valid for 1 day. You can change this, by defining the API_BEARER_ACCESS_TOKEN_VALID_IN_SECONDS constant in your wp-config.php file.


Whitelist unauthenticated URLs

By default all REST API endpoints are only available for authenticated users. If you want to add some more endpoints to this whitelist, you can use the api_bearer_auth_unauthenticated_urls filter. Note that you need to specify the endpoint relative to the site_url() and that you can specify regular expressions.

For example:

add_filter('api_bearer_auth_unauthenticated_urls', 'api_bearer_auth_unauthenticated_urls_filter', 10, 2);
function api_bearer_auth_unauthenticated_urls_filter($custom_urls, $request_method) {
  switch ($request_method) {
    case 'POST':
      $custom_urls[] = '/wp-json/myplugin/v1/something/?';
    case 'GET':
      $custom_urls[] = '/wp-json/myplugin/v1/something/other/?';
  return $custom_urls;


April 12, 2021
We choose this plugin wrt the more popular alternatives to make use of the refresh token endpoint. Easy to setup, work as expected.. flawlessly! Wordpress version: 5.7, PHP 7.4 Thank you
July 6, 2020
Thanks for this plugin & for enhancing wordpress with more long-awaited developer tools. God bless you real good.
May 27, 2020
I love how simple the plugin is. Just need to install, read docs and follow in 5 mins. Thank you!
February 25, 2020
The plugin is refreshingly simple in its purpose and it does it perfectly. I could use it to login and use my API via JWT Auth in seconds! Thanks!
Read all 6 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“API Bearer Auth” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “API Bearer Auth” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Added permission_callback to prevent error in log.


  • Added client_name key to login and refresh endpoint.
  • Database changes: client_name and some indexes.


  • Fix for servers that change the headers to lower or uppercase.


  • Removed user_pass from returned user after login call.


  • Big bug fixed (thanks to @harchvertelol!), please update immediately! Calling the refresh request will update ALL access tokens! This is now fixed.


  • Preflight requests (OPTIONS) should not require autentication:


  • Removed Swagger


  • Sanitize user input for swagger file


  • Revoke tokens from the users admin screen
  • Better documentation


  • Migrations
  • Refresh token is not a JWT token


  • Also returns expires_in for access token
  • The use with a verified access JWT token is returned directly now without
    querying the database first.
  • Changed the define for valid time access token


  • Added JWT tokens


  • Tested with WordPress 5.0.2
  • Added Swagger to make testing of the plugin easier


  • Define constants to change valid period of access and refresh tokens


  • First release