Bitwarden Public API

Category: Organizations
On this page:

    The Bitwarden Public API provides Organizations a suite of tools for managing members, collections, groups, event logs, and policies.


    For automating management of Vault items, we recommend using the CLI. Access to Vault items relies on Vault decryption, which must be done with a Username and Master Password rather than an API Key.

    The Public API is a RESTful API with predictable resource-oriented URLs, accepts JSON-encoded request bodies, returns JSON-encoded responses, and uses standard HTTP response codes, authentication, and verbs.

    The Public API is compatible with the OpenAPI Specification (OAS3) and publishes a compliant swagger.json definition file. Explore the OpenAPI Specification using the Swagger UI:


    Access to the Bitwarden Public API is available customers on the following plans, Classic 2019 Enterprise Organizations, current Enterprise Organizations, and current Teams Organizations. For more information, see About Bitwarden Plans.


    Base URL

    For Cloud-hosted,

    For Self-hosted,

    Authentication Endpoints

    For Cloud-hosted,

    For Self-hosted,


    The API uses bearer access tokens to authenticate with protected API endpoints. Bitwarden uses an OAuth2 Client Credentials application request flow to grant bearer access tokens from the endpoint. Authentication requests take client_id and client_secret as required parameters.

    The API Key client_id and client_secret can be obtained by an Owner from the Web Vault by navigating to Organization SettingsMy Organization and scrolling down to the API Key section:

    Get Organization API Key
    Get Organization API Key

    If, as an owner, you want to share the API Key with an Admin or other user, use a secure communication method like Bitwarden Send.


    Your API key enables full access to your Organization. Keep your API key private. If you believe your API key has been compromised, select the Rotate API Key button on this screen. Active implementations of your current API key will need to be reconfigured with the new key before use.

    Bearer Access Tokens

    To obtain a bearer access token, make a POST request with Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded with your client_id and client_secret to the Authentication Endpoint. When using the API for Organization Management, you will always use grant_type=client_credentials and scope=api.organization. For example:

    curl -X POST \ \
      -H 'Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded' \
      -d 'grant_type=client_credentials&scope=api.organization&client_id=<ID>&client_secret=<SECRET>'

    This request will result in the following response:

      "access_token": "<TOKEN>",
      "expires_in": 3600,
      "token_type": "Bearer"

    In this response, 3600 represents the expiration value (in seconds), meaning this token is valid for 60 minutes after being issued. Making an API call with an expired token will return a 401 Unauthorized response code.

    Content Types

    The Bitwarden Public API communicates with application/json requests and responses, with one exception:

    The Authentication Endpoint expects a application/x-www-form-urlencoded request, however will respond with application/json.

    Sample Request

    curl -X GET \ \
      -H 'Authorization: Bearer <TOKEN>'

    Where <TOKEN> is the value for the access_token: key in the obtained bearer access token.

    This request will result in a response:

      "object": "list",
      "data": [
          "object": "event",
          "type": 1000,
          "itemId": "string",
          "collectionId": "string",
          "groupId": "string",
          "policyId": "string",
          "memberId": "string",
          "actingUserId": "string",
          "date": "2020-11-04T15:01:21.698Z",
          "device": 0,
          "ipAddress": ""
      "continuationToken": "string"


    Bitwarden has a public status page, where you can find information about service health and incidents for all services including the Public API.

    Response Codes

    The Bitwarden Public API uses conventional HTTP response codes to indicate the success or failure of an API request:

    Status Code Description
    200 OK Everything worked as expected.
    400 Bad Request The request was unacceptable, possibly due to missing or malformed parameter(s).
    401 Unauthorized The bearer access token was missing, invalid, or expired.
    404 Not Found The requested resource doesn’t exist.
    429 Too Many Requests Too many requests hit the API too quickly. We recommend scaling back the number of requests.
    500, 502, 503, 504 Server Error Something went wrong on Bitwarden’s end. These are rare, but Contact Us if they occur.

    Further Reading

    For more information about using the Bitwarden Public API, see the following articles: