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 below for information about how to use this filter).

JWT tokens

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
{"username": "my_username", "password": "my_password"}
  "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
{"token": "your_refresh_token"}
  "access_token": "your_new_access_token",
  "expires_in": 86400
  "code": "api_api_bearer_auth_error_invalid_token",
  "message": "Invalid token.",
  "data": {
    "status": 401

Make a request with token

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


Change how long 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.

define('API_BEARER_ACCESS_TOKEN_VALID_IN_SECONDS', 3600); // 1 minute

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;