Authenticate with a backend server

If you use Google Sign-In with an app or site that communicates with a backend server, you might need to identify the currently signed-in user on the server. To do so securely, after a user successfully signs in, send the user's ID token to your server using HTTPS. Then, on the server, verify the integrity of the ID token and retrieve the user's ID from the sub claim of the ID token. You can use user IDs transmitted in this way to safely identity the currently signed-in user on the backend.

Send the ID token to your server

First, when the user signs in, get their ID token:

  1. When you configure Google Sign-in, call the requestIdToken method and pass it your server's web client ID.

    // Request only the user's ID token, which can be used to identify the
    // user securely to your backend. This will contain the user's basic
    // profile (name, profile picture URL, etc) so you should not need to
    // make an additional call to personalize your application.
    GoogleSignInOptions gso = new GoogleSignInOptions.Builder(GoogleSignInOptions.DEFAULT_SIGN_IN)
            .requestIdToken(getString(R.string.server_client_id))
            .requestEmail()
            .build();
  2. When your app starts, check if the user has already signed in to your app using Google, on this device or another device, by calling silentSignIn:

    GoogleSignIn.silentSignIn()
            .addOnCompleteListener(this, new OnCompleteListener<GoogleSignInAccount>() {
                @Override
                public void onComplete(@NonNull Task<GoogleSignInAccount> task) {
                    handleSignInResult(task);
                }
            });
    
  3. If the user can't sign in silently, present your normal signed-out experience, giving the user the option to sign in. When the user does sign in, get the user's GoogleSignInAccount in the activity result of the sign-in intent:

    // This task is always completed immediately, there is no need to attach an
    // asynchronous listener.
    Task<GoogleSignInAccount> task = GoogleSignIn.getSignedInAccountFromIntent(data);
    handleSignInResult(task);
  4. After the user signs in silently or explicitly, get the ID token from the GoogleSignInAccount object:

    private void handleSignInResult(@NonNull Task<GoogleSignInAccount> completedTask) {
        try {
            GoogleSignInAccount account = completedTask.getResult(ApiException.class);
            String idToken = account.getIdToken();
    
            // TODO(developer): send ID Token to server and validate
    
            updateUI(account);
        } catch (ApiException e) {
            Log.w(TAG, "handleSignInResult:error", e);
            updateUI(null);
        }
    }

Then, send the ID token to your server with an HTTPS POST request:

HttpClient httpClient = new DefaultHttpClient();
HttpPost httpPost = new HttpPost("https://yourbackend.example.com/tokensignin");

try {
    List nameValuePairs = new ArrayList(1);
    nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair("idToken", idToken));
    httpPost.setEntity(new UrlEncodedFormEntity(nameValuePairs));

    HttpResponse response = httpClient.execute(httpPost);
    int statusCode = response.getStatusLine().getStatusCode();
    final String responseBody = EntityUtils.toString(response.getEntity());
    Log.i(TAG, "Signed in as: " + responseBody);
} catch (ClientProtocolException e) {
    Log.e(TAG, "Error sending ID token to backend.", e);
} catch (IOException e) {
    Log.e(TAG, "Error sending ID token to backend.", e);
}

Verify the integrity of the ID token

After you receive the ID token by HTTPS POST, you must verify the integrity of the token. To verify that the token is valid, ensure that the following criteria are satisfied:

  • The ID token is properly signed by Google. Use Google's public keys (available in JWK or PEM format) to verify the token's signature.
  • The value of aud in the ID token is equal to one of your app's client IDs. This check is necessary to prevent ID tokens issued to a malicious app being used to access data about the same user on your app's backend server.
  • The value of iss in the ID token is equal to accounts.google.com or https://accounts.google.com.
  • The expiry time (exp) of the ID token has not passed.
  • If you want to restrict access to only members of your G Suite domain, verify that the ID token has an hd claim that matches your G Suite domain name.

Rather than writing your own code to perform these verification steps, we strongly recommend using a Google API client library for your platform, or calling our tokeninfo validation endpoint.

Using a Google API Client Library

Using one of the Google API Client Libraries (e.g. Java, Node.js, PHP, Python) is the recommended way to validate Google ID tokens in a production environment.

Java

To validate an ID token in Java, use the GoogleIdTokenVerifier object. For example:

import com.google.api.client.googleapis.auth.oauth2.GoogleIdToken;
import com.google.api.client.googleapis.auth.oauth2.GoogleIdToken.Payload;
import com.google.api.client.googleapis.auth.oauth2.GoogleIdTokenVerifier;

...

GoogleIdTokenVerifier verifier = new GoogleIdTokenVerifier.Builder(transport, jsonFactory)
    .setAudience(Collections.singletonList(CLIENT_ID))
    // Or, if multiple clients access the backend:
    //.setAudience(Arrays.asList(CLIENT_ID_1, CLIENT_ID_2, CLIENT_ID_3))
    .build();

// (Receive idTokenString by HTTPS POST)

GoogleIdToken idToken = verifier.verify(idTokenString);
if (idToken != null) {
  Payload payload = idToken.getPayload();

  // Print user identifier
  String userId = payload.getSubject();
  System.out.println("User ID: " + userId);

  // Get profile information from payload
  String email = payload.getEmail();
  boolean emailVerified = Boolean.valueOf(payload.getEmailVerified());
  String name = (String) payload.get("name");
  String pictureUrl = (String) payload.get("picture");
  String locale = (String) payload.get("locale");
  String familyName = (String) payload.get("family_name");
  String givenName = (String) payload.get("given_name");

  // Use or store profile information
  // ...

} else {
  System.out.println("Invalid ID token.");
}

The GoogleIdTokenVerifier.verify() method verifies the JWT signature, the aud claim, the iss claim, and the exp claim.

If you want to restrict access to only members of your G Suite domain, also verify the hd claim by checking the domain name returned by the Payload.getHostedDomain() method.

Node.js

To validate an ID token in Node.js, use the Google Auth Library for Node.js. Install the library:

npm install google-auth-library --save
Then, call the verifyIdToken() function. For example:

var GoogleAuth = require('google-auth-library');
var auth = new GoogleAuth;
var client = new auth.OAuth2(CLIENT_ID, '', '');
client.verifyIdToken(
    token,
    CLIENT_ID,
    // Or, if multiple clients access the backend:
    //[CLIENT_ID_1, CLIENT_ID_2, CLIENT_ID_3],
    function(e, login) {
      var payload = login.getPayload();
      var userid = payload['sub'];
      // If request specified a G Suite domain:
      //var domain = payload['hd'];
    });

The verifyIdToken function verifies the JWT signature, the aud claim, the exp claim, and the iss claim.

If you want to restrict access to only members of your G Suite domain, also verify the hd claim matches your G Suite domain name.

PHP

To validate an ID token in PHP, use the Google API Client Library for PHP. Install the library (for example, using Composer):

composer require google/apiclient
Then, call the verifyIdToken() function. For example:

require_once 'vendor/autoload.php';

// Get $id_token via HTTPS POST.

$client = new Google_Client(['client_id' => $CLIENT_ID]);
$payload = $client->verifyIdToken($id_token);
if ($payload) {
  $userid = $payload['sub'];
  // If request specified a G Suite domain:
  //$domain = $payload['hd'];
} else {
  // Invalid ID token
}

The verifyIdToken function verifies the JWT signature, the aud claim, the exp claim, and the iss claim.

If you want to restrict access to only members of your G Suite domain, also verify the hd claim matches your G Suite domain name.

Python

To validate an ID token in Python, use the verify_oauth2_token function. For example:

from google.oauth2 import id_token
from google.auth.transport import requests

# (Receive token by HTTPS POST)
# ...

try:
    idinfo = id_token.verify_oauth2_token(token, requests.Request(), CLIENT_ID)

    # Or, if multiple clients access the backend server:
    # idinfo = id_token.verify_oauth2_token(token, requests.Request())
    # if idinfo['aud'] not in [CLIENT_ID_1, CLIENT_ID_2, CLIENT_ID_3]:
    #     raise ValueError('Could not verify audience.')

    if idinfo['iss'] not in ['accounts.google.com', 'https://accounts.google.com']:
        raise ValueError('Wrong issuer.')

    # If auth request is from a G Suite domain:
    # if idinfo['hd'] != GSUITE_DOMAIN_NAME:
    #     raise ValueError('Wrong hosted domain.')

    # ID token is valid. Get the user's Google Account ID from the decoded token.
    userid = idinfo['sub']
except ValueError:
    # Invalid token
    pass

The verify_oauth2_token function verifies the JWT signature, the aud claim, and the exp claim. You must also verify the iss claim and the hd claim (if applicable) by examining the object that verify_oauth2_token returns. If multiple clients access the backend server, also manually verify the aud claim.

Calling the tokeninfo endpoint

An easy way to validate an ID token for debugging and low-volume use is to use the tokeninfo endpoint. Calling this endpoint involves an additional network request that does most of the validation for you, but introduces some latency and the potential for network errors.

To validate an ID token using the tokeninfo endpoint, make an HTTPS POST or GET request to the endpoint, and pass your ID token in the id_token parameter. For example, to validate the token "XYZ123", make the following GET request:

https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v3/tokeninfo?id_token=XYZ123

If the token is properly signed and the iss and exp claims have the expected values, you will get a HTTP 200 response, where the body contains the JSON-formatted ID token claims. Here's an example response:

{
 // These six fields are included in all Google ID Tokens.
 "iss": "https://accounts.google.com",
 "sub": "110169484474386276334",
 "azp": "1008719970978-hb24n2dstb40o45d4feuo2ukqmcc6381.apps.googleusercontent.com",
 "aud": "1008719970978-hb24n2dstb40o45d4feuo2ukqmcc6381.apps.googleusercontent.com",
 "iat": "1433978353",
 "exp": "1433981953",

 // These seven fields are only included when the user has granted the "profile" and
 // "email" OAuth scopes to the application.
 "email": "testuser@gmail.com",
 "email_verified": "true",
 "name" : "Test User",
 "picture": "https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kYgzyAWpZzJ/ABCDEFGHI/AAAJKLMNOP/tIXL9Ir44LE/s99-c/photo.jpg",
 "given_name": "Test",
 "family_name": "User",
 "locale": "en"
}

If you are a G Suite customer, you might also be interested in the hd claim, which indicates the hosted domain of the user. This can be used to restrict access to a resource to only members of certain domains. The absence of this claim indicates that the user does not belong to a G Suite hosted domain.