How To Generate PayPal REST API Keys

In order for your web developer to connect your online payment forms to your PayPal account, he or she will most likely ask for your PayPal REST API Keys. Specifically, the PayPal REST API Keys are called REST API Apps Client ID and Secret.

Process Last Tested: June 2023

PayPal updates their systems often. If these instructions do not work for you please let me know in the comments.

Note:
If you stumble onto PayPal SOAP API Keys, keep looking. SOAP API Keys will not work in place of REST API Keys. They are not the same.

Steps for Generating PayPal REST API Keys:

  1. Login to the PayPal Developer Portal using your PayPal account login.
    Use whichever account you want the funds directed to.
    https://developer.paypal.com/
  2. Go to the My Apps & Credentials page, in Sandbox Mode. It’s hard to find, so use this link after you login:
    https://developer.paypal.com/dashboard/applications/sandbox
  3. Confirm that the top of the My Apps & Credentials page shows “Sandbox” mode is active and blue color (not Live mode, green color)
  4. Click the “Create App” button,
    for the app name I recommend using the name of your website.
    and choose Merchant (seller) not Platform.
    The app name is a label so you can later identify where the keys are used.
  5. On the next page Copy and Paste the Client ID, and Secret Key into an email.
    Paste as Plain Text is possible.

    Label these keys as Sandbox Keys.

    The keys are very long alphanumeric strings something like:
    AUeN0fATqrv00ucukMPLSz00PAaMDDjxg0APNBxJZ-ul0cjVFNPVKYTD0GkSl0wxMMNu_XrhCTdgssev
  6. Go to the My Apps & Credentials page again, this time in Live mode. Use this link:
    https://developer.paypal.com/dashboard/applications/live
  7. Confirm that the top of the page shows “Live” mode in active and green color (not Sandbox mode, blue color)
  8. Click the “Create App” button again,
    use the same app name you entered for the Sandbox in step #4 (the name of your website).
  9. On the next page Copy and Paste the Client ID, and Secret Key into the email.
    Paste as Plain Text is possible.

    Label these keys as Live Keys.

I recommend putting the keys in a text file and mailing the text file as an attachment to your web developer. This will avoid line breaks being introduced in the middle of the key, or any other formatting changes, which can cause the key to become invalid.

PayPal Developer Portal Screen Captures

Published by

Kimball

Kimball is a website designer and developer in Goffstown, NH.

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