Refresh Tokens with OAuth 2.0

LinkedIn supports programmatic refresh tokens for all approved Marketing Developer Platform (MDP) partners.

Introduction

Refresh tokens are used to get a new access token when your current access token expires. For more information, see the OAuth 2.0 RFC.

LinkedIn offers programmatic refresh tokens that are valid for a fixed length of time. By default, access tokens are valid for 60 days and programmatic refresh tokens are valid for a year. The member must reauthorize your application when refresh tokens expire.

Refresh Token Lifespan

When you use a refresh token to generate a new access token, the lifespan or Time To Live (TTL) of the refresh token remains the same as specified in the initial OAuth flow (365 days), and the new access token has a new TTL of 60 days.

For example, on:

  • Day 1 - Your refresh token has a TTL of 365 days, and your access token has a TTL of 60 days.
  • Day 59 - If you generate a new access token using the refresh token, the access token will have a TTL of 60 days and the refresh token will have a TTL of 306 days (365-59=306).
  • Day 360- If you generate a new access token, your access token and refresh token will both expire in 5 days (365-360=5) and you must get your application reauthorized by the member using the authorization flow.

Note

Refresh Tokens are useful in minting new Access tokens and allow for seamless operations for extended periods of time. However, LinkedIn reserves the right to revoke Refresh Tokens or Access Tokens at any time due to technical or policy reasons. In such scenarios, the expectation from products leveraging Refresh Tokens is to fallback to the standard OAuth flow, and present the login screen to the end users.

Step 1: Getting a Refresh Token

Use the Authorization Code Flow to get both a refresh token and access token. If your application is authorized for programmatic refresh tokens, the following fields are returned when you exchange the authorization code for an access token:

  • refresh_token — Your refresh token for the application. This token must be kept secure.
  • refresh_token_expires_in — The number of seconds remaining until the refresh token expires. Refresh tokens usually have a longer lifespan than access tokens.

Sample Response

{
  "access_token": "AQXNnd2kXITHELmWblJigbHEuoFdfRhOwGA0QNnumBI8XOVSs0HtOHEU-wvaKrkMLfxxaB1O4poRg2svCWWgwhebQhqrETYlLikJJMgRAvH1ostjXd3DP3BtwzCGeTQ7K9vvAqfQK5iG_eyS-q-y8WNt2SnZKZumGaeUw_zKqtgCQavfEVCddKHcHLaLPGVUvjCH_KW0DJIdUMXd90kWqwuw3UKH27ki5raFDPuMyQXLYxkqq4mYU-IUuZRwq1pcrYp1Vv-ltbA_svUxGt_xeWeSxKkmgivY_DlT3jQylL44q36ybGBSbaFn-UU7zzio4EmOzdmm2tlGwG7dDeivdPDsGbj5ig",
  "expires_in": 86400,
  "refresh_token": "AQWAft_WjYZKwuWXLC5hQlghgTam-tuT8CvFej9-XxGyqeER_7jTr8HmjiGjqil13i7gMFjyDxh1g7C_G1gyTZmfcD0Bo2oEHofNAkr_76mSk84sppsGbygwW-5oLsb_OH_EXADPIFo0kppznrK55VMIBv_d7SINunt-7DtXCRAv0YnET5KroQOlmAhc1_HwW68EZniFw1YnB2dgDSxCkXnrfHYq7h63w0hjFXmgrdxeeAuOHBHnFFYHOWWjI8sLLenPy_EBrgYIitXsAkLUGvZXlCjAWl-W459feNjHZ0SIsyTVwzAQtl5lmw1ht08z5Du-RiQahQE0sv89eimHVg9VSNOaTvw",
  "refresh_token_expires_in": 525600
}

Note

Refresh tokens are approximately 500 characters long. We recommend that your application stack be made to handle tokens of at least 1000 characters to accommodate future expansion plans. This applies to access tokens as well as refresh tokens.

Step 2: Exchanging a Refresh Token for a New Access Token

You can exchange the refresh token for a new access token by making the following HTTP POST request with a Content-Type header of x-www-form-urlencoded and the following parameters in the request body:

https://www.linkedin.com/oauth/v2/accessToken
Parameter Description Required
grant_type The value of this field should always be refresh_token. Yes
refresh_token The refresh token from Step 1. Yes
client_id The Client ID value generated when you registered your application. Yes
client_secret The Client Secret value generated when you registered your application. Yes

Sample Request

POST https://www.linkedin.com/oauth/v2/accessToken

Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
grant_type=refresh_token&refresh_token=AQQOMeCIQMa6-zjU-02w8EJW67wPVk3hjJE5x1lZhU013LihKD8i1DpvaAl2jnuP8F1uXMgkm8nzjPfnaJR_kQNOxsLRLZWnAMzHMm81S0yQlkBYicw&client_id=861hhm46p48to2&client_secret=gPecS7yqHkyyShvR

A successful request returns a new access token with a new expiration time and the refresh token.

{
  "access_token": "BBBB2kXITHELmWblJigbHEuoFdfRhOwGA0QNnumBI8XOVSs0HtOHEU-wvaKrkMLfxxaB1O4poRg2svCWWgwhebQhqrETYlLikJJMgRAvH1ostjXd3DP3BtwzCGeTQ7K9vvAqfQK5iG_eyS-q-y8WNt2SnZKZumGaeUw_zKqtgCQavfEVCddKHcHLaLPGVUvjCH_KW0DJIdUMXd90kWqwuw3UKH27ki5raFDPuMyQXLYxkqq4mYU-IUuZRwq1pcrYp1Vv-ltbA_svUxGt_xeWeSxKkmgivY_DlT3jQylL44q36ybGBSbaFn-UU7zzio4EmOzdmm2tlGwG7dDeivdPDsGbj5ig",
  "expires_in": 86400,
  "refresh_token": "AQWAft_WjYZKwuWXLC5hQlghgTam-tuT8CvFej9-XxGyqeER_7jTr8HmjiGjqil13i7gMFjyDxh1g7C_G1gyTZmfcD0Bo2oEHofNAkr_76mSk84sppsGbygwW-5oLsb_OH_EXADPIFo0kppznrK55VMIBv_d7SINunt-7DtXCRAv0YnET5KroQOlmAhc1_HwW68EZniFw1YnB2dgDSxCkXnrfHYq7h63w0hjFXmgrdxeeAuOHBHnFFYHOWWjI8sLenPy_EBrgYIitXsAkLUGvZXlCjAWl-W459feNjHZ0SIsyTVwzAQtl5lmw1ht08z5Du-RiQahQE0sv89eimHVg9VSNOaTvw",
  "refresh_token_expires_in": 439200
}

API Error Details

HTTP STATUS CODE ERROR MESSAGE ERROR DESCRIPTION RESOLUTION
400 invalid_request "The provided authorization grant or refresh token is invalid, expired or revoked" Invalid or expired or revoked refresh token is sent as part of the request. Refresh Token expired or revoked or invalid, hence reauthenticate the member to generate the new refresh token.
400 invalid_request "A required parameter "redirect_uri" is missing" Redirect_URI in the request is missing. It is mandatory parameter. Pass the Redirect_URI in the request to route user back to correct landing page.
400 invalid_request "A required parameter "grant_type" is missing" Grant type in the request is missing. It is mandatory parameter. Add grant_type as "refresh_token" in the request.
400 invalid_request "A required parameter "client_id" is missing" Client ID in the request is missing. It is mandatory parameter. Pass the client id of the app in request.
400 invalid_request "A required parameter "refresh_token" is missing" Refresh Token in the request is missing. It is mandatory parameter. Pass the stored Refresh Token received as part of initial access token call.