This plugin does one thing: disables the WP REST API for visitors who are not logged into WordPress. No configuration required.

This plugin works with only 22 short lines of code (less than 2KB). So it is super lightweight, fast, and effective.


  • Disable REST/JSON for visitors (not logged in)
  • Disables REST header in HTTP response for all users
  • Disables REST links in HTML head for all users
  • 100% plug-and-play, set-it-and-forget solution

The fast, simple way to prevent abuse of your site’s REST/JSON API

How does it work? That depends on which version of WordPress you are using..

WordPress v4.7 and beyond

For WordPress 4.7 and better, this plugin completely disables the WP REST API unless the user is logged into WordPress.

  • For logged-in users, WP REST API works normally
  • For logged-out users, WP REST API is disabled

What happens if logged-out visitor makes a JSON/REST request? They will get only a simple message:

“rest_login_required: REST API restricted to authenticated users.”

This message may customized via the filter hook, disable_wp_rest_api_error. Check out this post for an example of how to do it.

Older versions of WordPress

For WordPress versions less than 4.7, this plugin simply disables all REST API functionality for all users.

More information available below in the FAQs section.


This plugin does not collect or store any user data. It does not set any cookies, and it does not connect to any third-party locations. Thus, this plugin does not affect user privacy in any way. If anything it improves user privacy, as it protects potentially sensitive information from being displayed/accessed via REST API.


How to Install

  1. Upload the plugin to your blog and activate
  2. Done! No further configuration is required.

More info on installing WP plugins


To test that the plugin is working, log out of WordPress and then request https://example.com/wp-json/ in a browser. See FAQs for more infos.

Like the plugin?

If you like Disable WP REST API, please take a moment to give a 5-star rating. It helps to keep development and support going strong. Thank you!


Why would anyone want to disable the REST API?

Technically this plugin only disables REST API for visitors who are not logged into WordPress. With that in mind, here are some good reasons why someone would want to disable REST API for non-logged users:

  • The REST API may not be needed for non-logged users
  • Disabling the REST API conserves server resources
  • Disabling the REST API minimizes potential attack vectors
  • Disabling the REST API prevents content scraping and plagiarism

I’m sure there are other valid reasons, but you get the idea 🙂

There already is another “Disable REST” plugin?

Yep, actually there are two other “Disable REST” plugins:

The first of those plugins is awesome and provides a LOT more features and functionality than is required to simply disable REST. And the second plugin was shut down due to lack of use. I wrote my disable-REST plugin because I wanted something super lightweight, fast, and effective. If you are looking for more options and features, then check out the first of those two listed alternatives.

How do I test that REST is disabled?

Testing is easy:

  1. Log out of WordPress
  2. Using a browser, request https://example.com/wp-json/

If you see the following message, REST is disabled:

“rest_login_required: REST API restricted to authenticated users.”

Then if you log back in and make a new request for https://example.com/wp-json/, you will see that REST is working normally.

Does it disable REST functionality added by other plugins?

Yes, if the REST endpoints are registered with the WP REST API.

Does this work with Gutenberg/Block Editor?

Yes. It works the same regardless of which editor (Classic or Block) you are using.

How to customize the error message?

By default the plugin displays a message for unauthenticated users: “REST API restricted to authenticated users.” To customize that message to whatever you want, add the following code via functions.php or simple plugin:

function disable_wp_rest_api_error_custom($message) {

    return 'Customize your message here.'; // change this to whatever you want

add_filter('disable_wp_rest_api_error', 'disable_wp_rest_api_error_custom');

How to allow access for Contact Form 7?

As explained in this thread, the plugin Contact Form 7 requires REST API access in order for the contact form to work. To allow for this, you can install our free plugin to allow REST access for CF7. Learn more and download at Perishable Press. When used together with the Disable REST API plugin, the CF7 addon will enable sending emails to work again.

Got a question?

Send any questions or feedback via my contact form


Nopémber 16, 2021
Beautiful plugin. Before accessing /wp-json on my site leaked tonnes of information. After activation there was just a "REST API restricted to authenticated users" message, wonderful! As yet, I don't know if API authentication requests are permitted. At the present time I don't need such, but for potential APP access in future I would. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Great Plugin, thanks!
Oktober 8, 2021
Thanks for making this plugin Jeff! I always appreciate your work and have literally been Googling "wordpess problem Jeff Starr" as of late to find what I need. You always come through! P.S. to anyone else who doesn't have these yet, check out Jeff's 7G Firewall, BBQ, and Blackhole for bots. He also has an amazing htaccess tricks book which is over 9000x worth it. Happy blogging!
Séptémber 4, 2021
Just install and activate, this plugin will do the rest for you.
Juli 9, 2021
Blocking potential entry points and attack vectors is key to maintaining a healthy website. This small but efficient tool does what it says without fuss or impacting your sites' functions. Nothing to lose by installing it and a potential attack point blocked 🙂
Méi 25, 2021
I'm not using the rest API, neither do those nasty crackers out there.
Méi 22, 2021
I just recently learnt about REST API in WP. I already used "My Private Site"-Plugin which restricts access to content to logged in users. But this works only for the web frontend. Via default enabled REST API still everyone is capable to read all posts! This I unfortunately did not know until I heard about in a tech podcast. What I also like about this plugin at least in the current version it does not simply turn off REST API it just restricts access to logged in Users. So, if your logged in (e.g., via application password) you can still access the API. This is excellent! I just wished "My Private Site"-Plugin would also have thought about WP's REST API. Everyone using this plugin in my opinion will also be interested in not still granting access to content for everyone via REST.
Read all 25 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Disable WP REST API” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “Disable WP REST API” into your language.

Interested in development?

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


If you like Disable WP REST API, please take a moment to give a 5-star rating. It helps to keep development and support going strong. Thank you!


  • Tests on WordPress 5.8


  • Adds support for CF7 (Thanks to @darko-a7) (more info)
  • Adds filter hook disable_wp_rest_api_post_var
  • Tests on PHP 7.4 and 8.0
  • Tests on WordPress 5.7


  • Tests on PHP 7.4 and 8.0
  • Tests on WordPress 5.6


  • Refines readme/documentation
  • Tests on WordPress 5.5


  • Tests on WordPress 5.4


  • Tests on WordPress 5.3


  • Updates some links to https
  • Tests on WordPress 5.3 (alpha)



  • Tests on WordPress 5.1 and 5.2 (alpha)


  • Tests on WordPress 5.1


  • Adds homepage link to Plugins screen
  • Updates default translation template
  • Tests on WordPress 5.0


  • Updates GDPR blurb and donate link
  • Adds “rate plugin” link to Plugins screen
  • Adds icons for the WordPress Plugin Directory
  • Generates default translation template
  • Further tests on WP versions 4.9 and 5.0 (alpha)


  • Initial release