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API keys are necessary to work with Algolia. They give code-level access to your account, data, and index settings. You need a valid API key to send or update your data, search your index, or do anything else with Algolia’s API.
Predefined API keys
Algolia comes with a set of predefined API keys, the most important being the Admin API key and the Search-only API key.
Admin API key
Your Admin API key is your most sensitive key and should remain confidential.
Search-only API key
Algolia provides a search-only API key that lets you search your data. It works on all your Algolia application indices and is safe to use in your production frontend code.
You may want to use this key to create more restricted API keys. For example, generate a search API key that limits access to a specific user, index, or a set of indices.
Other API keys
You can only use these APIs if your plan has access to them.
Define and secure access
API keys give you a secure way for you to manage access to your Algolia account:
- They let you connect to your app.
- They let you define permissions once you’re connected. You can have search-only API keys to search your data or indexing keys to add or delete records and manage indices. You can also create all-purpose keys that let you search and index, but avoid doing this outside development.
Define scope with restrictions
API keys can help you control and limit the scope and behavior of your APIs. For example, exclude some users, group others, limit the duration of a user’s access, and more.
Rights and restrictions
Access control list (ACL)
When creating an API key, grant it an access level that controls actions like searching or updating. The ACL defines each allowed feature for a given API key.
- Search (
search): allowed to perform search operations.
- Browse Index (
browse): allowed to retrieve all index data with the
- Add records (
addObject): allowed to add or update records in the index.
- Delete records (
deleteObject): allowed to delete an existing record.
- List indices (
listIndexes): allowed to get a list of all existing indices.
- Delete index (
deleteIndex): allowed to delete an index.
- Get index settings (
settings): allowed to read all index settings.
- Set index settings (
editSettings): allowed to update all index settings.
- Use analytics API (
analytics): allowed to retrieve data with the Analytics API.
- Use recommendation API (
recommendation): allowed to interact with the Recommendation API.
- Use usage API (
usage): allowed to retrieve data with the Usage API.
- Access logs (
logs): allowed to query the logs.
- Get unretrievable attributes (
seeUnretrievableAttributes): allowed to retrieve
unretrievableAttributesfor all operations that return records.
API key restrictions
Restrictions are optional. Every key can have one or more of the following restrictions:
- Indices: the indices that are accessible.
- Rate limit: limit the number of allowed API calls per hour.
- Records retrieved: limit the number of retrieved records.
- Validity: set an expiration time.
- HTTP referrers: authorize HTTP referrers.
- Query parameters: enforce specific query parameters.
- Description: add a description to a particular key.
Main and secured API keys
When generating API keys, you can create:
- Long-lasting main API keys
- Temporary, virtual, secured API keys.
Main API keys
Main API keys should be long-lasting and central to your solution.
When creating a main API key, you must define all the rights and restrictions. You can create, view, and manage these from the dashboard or with the API. They’re usually long-lasting and central to your solution, but you should rotate them for security purposes.
Secured API keys
Secured API keys are derived from one of your main API keys. They inherit the rights and restrictions of their base API keys, which they can’t override. It means you can’t generate a secured API key with fewer restrictions than its base API key. For example, if a base key restricts a search to 1,000 records, a derived secured API key keeps that same restriction or limit it even more, but never less.
Secured API keys are virtual, which means they aren’t stored anywhere, and you can’t find them on the Algolia dashboard. Generate them as needed for circumstances like granting temporary access or giving users access to a subset of data.
Here are some common uses for secured API keys:
- Many users: when you need to generate API keys for an indefinite number of users.
- Mobile: never hardcode API keys in your mobile app.
Create and manage your API keys
You can’t see secured API keys on the Algolia dashboard and can only create them with the
If base API key restrictions are updated, the updates are inherited by its derived secured API keys.
Revoke an API key
Revoking an API key makes it unusable.
If an API key is leaked or misused, it’s crucial to revoke it as soon as possible. You should also update your apps to use a new API key so they don’t stop working.
Main API keys
Revoke an API key by deleting it in the dashboard or with the
deleteApiKey method. Deleting a main API key also deletes all derived secured API keys. You can’t restore secured API keys, even if you restore the main key later.
Secured API keys
To revoke a secured API key, revoke the base API key used to generate it.
To make the API key automatically expire,
Restore an API key
If you delete an API key or it expires, you can restore it and its associated restrictions.
Restoring a deleted API key resets its expiry date (
validUntil) to 0 (so that it doesn’t expire).
Algolia stores up to 1,000 deleted API keys. Above that point, Algolia permanently deletes the oldest API keys, and you can’t restore them.
API keys belong to particular users within your app. With this in mind, here are a couple of best practices for assigning and handling API keys:
- If you’re working with a team, link your Algolia account to a company email address, such as
firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t use the email address of a specific team member.
- In production, use the API keys of the Algolia app owner. When doing this, you never have to change or rotate your production keys whenever you need to suspend a team member’s account.
Number of keys
The more keys you create, the more keys you need to manage. To avoid unmanageability and unauthorized use, create as many keys as you need, but no more. Make sure you revoke keys when you no longer need them.
You can create up to 5,000 API keys. If you require thousands of API keys, you can create as many secured API keys as needed.