WordPress 4.7.1 REST API still exposing users

The question:

I have upgraded my WordPress to 4.7.1, and after that I’ve tried to enumerate users through REST API, which should be fixed, but I was able to retrieve users.



[{"id":1,"name":"admin","url":"","description":"","link":"https://mywebsite/author/admin/","slug":"admin","avatar_urls":{"24": ...

Changelog from latest version:

The REST API exposed user data for all users who had authored a post
of a public post type. WordPress 4.7.1 limits this to only post types
which have specified that they should be shown within the REST API.
Reported by Krogsgard and Chris Jean.

After installing plugin Disable REST API, it seems that everything is working fine, but I don’t like to use for every little thing plugin.

The output after using plugin is:

{"code":"rest_cannot_access","message":"Only authenticated users can access the REST API.","data":{"status":401}}

How can I fix this issue without using plugin, or why even after upgrading this stil exist?

EDIT 30.9.2017

I realized that there is a conflict between contact 7 plugin and Disable REST API and that will give you 401 unauthorized error.

When you try to send a message through contact 7 form, it will make a request


and disabling that is not a good idea.

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

This code snippet will hide the users, posts, and comments endpoint results and give 404 as the result, while the rest of the API calls keep running as they were.


add_filter('rest_endpoints', function(){
    $toRemove = ['users', 'posts', 'comments'];
    foreach($toRemove as $val)
        if (isset($endpoints['/wp/v2/'.$val])) {

        if(isset($endpoints['/wp/v2/'.$val.'/(?P<id>[d]+)'])) {
    return $endpoints;


This snippet will remove all the default endpoints.

<?php remove_action('rest_api_init', 'create_initial_rest_routes', 99); ?>

Method 2

 * Wrap an existing default callback passed in parameter and create
 * a new permission callback introducing preliminary checks and
 * falling-back on the default callback in case of success.
function permission_callback_hardener ($existing_callback) {
    return function ($request) use($existing_callback) {
        if (! current_user_can('list_users')) {
            return new WP_Error(
                __( 'Sorry, you are not allowed to access users.' ),
                [ 'status' => rest_authorization_required_code() ]

        return $existing_callback($request);

function api_users_endpoint_force_auth($endpoints)
    $users_get_route = &$endpoints['/wp/v2/users'][0];
    $users_get_route['permission_callback'] = permission_callback_hardener($users_get_route['permission_callback']);

    $user_get_route = &$endpoints['/wp/v2/users/(?P<id>[d]+)'][0];
    $user_get_route['permission_callback'] = permission_callback_hardener($user_get_route['permission_callback']);

    return $endpoints;

add_filter('rest_endpoints', 'api_users_endpoint_force_auth');
  • The endpoint(s) is not blocked for administrators (Gutenberg keeps working)
  • The endpoint rejects anonymous users in a proper way.
  • It’s generic enough to support further endpoints.
  • The current_user_can could be further enhanced, made more generic.
  • Assume that the GET method is the first for a registered route (which so far has always been true)

Method 3

Remove the API link from the HTML head if you like.

// https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/211469/77054
// https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/212472
remove_action( 'wp_head', 'rest_output_link_wp_head', 10 );

Then require authentication for all requests.

// You can require authentication for all REST API requests by adding an is_user_logged_in check to the rest_authentication_errors filter.
add_filter( 'rest_authentication_errors', function( $result ) {
    if ( ! empty( $result ) ) {
        return $result;
    if ( ! is_user_logged_in() ) {
        return new WP_Error( 'rest_not_logged_in', 'Only authenticated users can access the REST API.', array( 'status' => 401 ) );
    return $result;

This will leave you with the desired message.

Now to stop enumeration you could use something like this.

// https://perishablepress.com/stop-user-enumeration-wordpress/
// block WP enum scans
    // https://m0n.co/enum
    if (!is_admin()) {
        // default URL format
        if (preg_match('/author=([0-9]*)/i', $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'])) die();
        add_filter('redirect_canonical', 'shapeSpace_check_enum', 10, 2);
    function shapeSpace_check_enum($redirect, $request) {
        // permalink URL format
        if (preg_match('/?author=([0-9]*)(/*)/i', $request)) die();
        else return $redirect;

Check out the whole post for further techniques.

Method 4

You can fix it through nginx/apache config:

location ~* /wp-json/wp/v2/users {
        allow ip_address;
        deny all;

Method 5

just another answer:

add_filter( 'rest_user_query', '__return_null' );
add_filter( 'rest_prepare_user', '__return_null' );

Method 6

.htaccess code to block all author scans

# BEGIN block author scans
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (author=d+) [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F]
# END block author scans

You can remove it by function as the accepted answer suggested

Method 7

I used this little code in function.php :

 * API REST access only for administrators
 * @return void
 function api_rest_only_for_admin_users() {
  $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
  if ( in_array('administrator', $current_user->roles ) ) {
  } else {
    wp_die('Sorry you are not allowed to access this data','API REST Forbidden',403);
add_filter( 'rest_api_init', 'api_rest_only_for_admin_users', 99 );

Method 8

If you are using a firewall to protect your wordpress website then best option is to block the api endpoint which exposes user details from firewall.

Detect the url https://example.com/wp-json/wp/v2/users and simply block it from firewall.

Edit: only block the user details specific endpoint and not the whole REST api.

Method 9

To complete 2017 BlueSuiter’s answer, here is a solution to filter users by role which makes its solution compatible with the Gutenberg editor.

add_filter( 'rest_endpoints', function( $endpoints ) {
    if(is_user_logged_in()) {

        $user = wp_get_current_user();

        $roles = array('editor', 'administrator', 'author');

        if( array_intersect($roles, $user->roles ) ) return $endpoints; 


    if ( isset( $endpoints['/wp/v2/users'] ) ) unset( $endpoints['/wp/v2/users'] );

    if ( isset( $endpoints['/wp/v2/users/(?P<id>[d]+)'] ) ) unset( $endpoints['/wp/v2/users/(?P<id>[d]+)'] );

    return $endpoints;

The Gutenberg editor needs to query the REST API to get the author. It is therefore necessary to let pass at least all the user roles of your site that have access to a Gutenberg editor, don’t forget the custom posts.

On the public REST API endpoint, a 404 error is returned because is_user_logged_in will always return false.

Method 10

To be able to fix this you first need to know the source of the problem.

  1. Do you use SEO plugins like: All in one SEO pack or Yoast? Try to disable this and check again.
  2. Do you use the Jetpack plugin? Try to disable this and check again.

Please let me know if this pointed you into the right direction.

A dirty way to solve this is to just block the url underneath in your .htacces.

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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