Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Google APIs Explorer?

The Google APIs Explorer is a tool that helps you explore various Google APIs interactively. With the APIs Explorer, you can:

  • Browse quickly through available APIs and versions.
  • See methods available for each API and what parameters they support along with inline documentation.
  • Execute requests for any method and see responses in real time.
  • Make authenticated and authorized API calls with ease.
  • Search across all services, methods, and your recent requests to quickly find what you are looking for.

Accessing APIs

Which APIs does the Explorer support?

APIs Explorer supports the majority of APIs offered by Google. All of the supported APIs are displayed on the main page of the APIs Explorer. We are working to support more APIs over time.

What are some example requests I can make, to get started?

Below is a list of some sample requests that you can use. Follow the links and click on “Execute”:

Do I need to have an API key to use the Explorer?

Credentials to access an API (called API keys) are not needed to use the APIs Explorer. The APIs Explorer uses its own API key whenever it makes a request. When you use the APIs Explorer to make a request, it displays the request syntax, which includes a placeholder labeled {YOUR_API_KEY}. If you want to make the same request in your application, you need to replace this placeholder with your own API key.

Can I use my own API key and/or OAuth 2.0 client ID with the Explorer?

It is recommended you use APIs Explorer's default API key and client id (as described above) for simplicity and to avoid common issues. But if you choose, you can override the default API key and/or client ID with your own (created through the Google Developers console for your Google developers project) in the "Set API key / OAuth 2.0 Client ID" option in the settings dropdown towards the top-right of the Explorer page. For privacy reasons, the data entered into that form will only be stored in local memory, so you will need to re-enter those custom values every time you re-visit the Explorer site, if desired, or the defaults will be used.

Make sure APIs Explorer's domain ( is allowed as a referrer for your API key and as a JavaScript origin for your client ID. Also make sure that the desired API(s) are enabled for the project that those credentials are associated with. Finally, note that if you wish to use OAuth 2.0 authentication with a custom API key or client ID, you must provide both and they must be from the same Google developers project.

What data formats does the Explorer support?

The APIs Explorer currently supports only JSON for responses and request payloads. Some Google APIs support other data formats, such as XML-based formats like AtomPub and Portable contacts. Even though formats other than JSON are not supported in the Explorer today, you can use these formats when you make your own API calls, outside of the Explorer.

Authorized Access

What does it mean to authorize a request using OAuth 2.0?

Certain API requests access your private data, for example, a request to list your followers on Google Plus. These requests require that you authorize the APIs Explorer to access your data, and it must then send authentication credentials that verify that it is authorized to access data on your behalf. This is known as authenticated access. The first time you try to make an authenticated request, the Explorer presents a dialog asking you to grant it access to a limited set of your private data.

On the other hand, many API methods only access public data. These methods don't require you to send authentication credentials, and requests can be made using unauthenticated access. Some methods support both public and private access, and they may behave differently depending on whether authentication credentials are provided. The Explorer allows you to switch between authenticated and unauthenticated requests, so you can see how the API behaves under different scenarios.

What does the "scope" mean when using authorized access?

When you make an authenticated request to an API, the APIs Explorer asks you to grant it permission to access data on your behalf. The specific data that the Explorer can access is limited by the “scope,” which is particular to an API. In other words, the scope limits the power of the access you grant. For example, the Calendar API allows you to grant access to the APIs Explorer using a read-only scope or a regular scope. Before making the first authenticated call, the Explorer asks you to choose which scope you would like to use when granting it access to your data.

Note that different methods might require different scopes. For example, one particular method in an API might require at least a read-only scope, while other methods might require a read-write scope. If you are making an authenticated call and selecting a scope, the APIs Explorer will tell you which scopes are required for calling a method in the selected API; making a request with OAuth credentials obtained using the wrong scope might result in a failed request. If this occurs, you can reset the switch to Authorize your API calls and use a different scope.

When I click on "Authorize" on the select scopes dialog, nothing happens. What’s wrong?

The APIs Explorer uses a popup asking you to grant access to your private data. Several browsers block this popup by default. Try changing your browser's popup settings. For example, Chrome shows you if a popup was blocked on the address bar.

How can I revoke authorized access after I have granted it to Explorer?

When you turn the switch to “Authorize requests using OAuth 2.0” off, the APIs Explorer stops sending authentication credentials, but Google still remembers that the Explorer is authorized to make autenticated requests on your behalf for as long as the credentials you obtained are not expired. This is why you can turn the switch to “Authorize Requests using OAuth 2.0” back on without being asked to grant access again.

If you wish to revoke the permissions you have given the Explorer to access data on your behalf, visit the Google Accounts page for managing authorization for applications. It’s not yet possible to revoke access directly from the Explorer.

How do I use Explorer with a local HTTP API?

If you use Google Cloud Endpoints, and you are running your Endpoint in a development server, your browser may complain about mixed content. Explorer is loaded over HTTPS, but your API (when running locally) is hosted on HTTP.

To resolve this, using Chrome, you must start a Chrome session with special flags as follows:

[path-to-Chrome] --user-data-dir=test --unsafely-treat-insecure-origin-as-secure=http://localhost:port

or a more concrete example:

 /usr/bin/google-chrome-stable --user-data-dir=test --unsafely-treat-insecure-origin-as-secure=http://localhost:8080

You should only do this for local testing purposes, in which case you can ignore the warning banner displayed in the browser.