How to register and setup an API access key for Unsplash?

Unsplash is a popular platform known for its vast collection of high-quality, royalty-free images. For developers and businesses wanting to integrate Unsplash’s extensive image library into their applications or websites, gaining API access is essential. This article guides you through the process of registering and setting up an API access key for Unsplash.

Step 1: Create an Unsplash Account

Before accessing the Unsplash API, you need an Unsplash account. If you don’t have one, visit Unsplash.com and sign up. The process is straightforward – you just need an email address and a password.

Step 2: Register as a Developer

Once you have an Unsplash account, the next step is to register as a developer. Go to the Unsplash Developer page https://unsplash.com/developers and click on the “Join as a Developer” or “Register as a Developer” button. This will redirect you to a page where you can begin the process of creating your application.

Step 3: Register Your Application

To get an API key, you must register your application with Unsplash. During registration, you’ll be asked to provide details about your application, such as its name, description, and the application’s website URL. Be as accurate as possible, as this information is crucial for Unsplash to understand how their API will be used.

Step 4: Accept the API Guidelines

Unsplash has specific guidelines and usage terms for its API. It’s important to read and understand these guidelines thoroughly. They include rules about attribution, rate limits, and acceptable use cases. Agreeing to these terms is a prerequisite for obtaining access to the API.

Step 5: Receive Your API Access Key

After successfully registering your application and agreeing to the guidelines, Unsplash will provide you with an API access key. This key is unique to your application and will be used in API requests to authenticate your application.

Step 6: Implement the API in Your Application

With your API key in hand, you can start integrating the Unsplash API into your application. The Unsplash API documentation provides detailed instructions and endpoints for implementing various functionalities, such as searching for images, downloading images, and accessing curated collections.

Step 7: Stay Within the API Rate Limits

Unsplash imposes rate limits to ensure fair usage and the stability of its platform. Make sure your application adheres to these limits. If you anticipate needing higher limits, you can request this from Unsplash, usually involving a review process.

Step 8: Keep Your API Key Secure

Security is paramount. Keep your API key confidential to prevent unauthorized use. Exposing your API key publicly can lead to misuse, which might result in your access being revoked.


Setting up an API access key for Unsplash is a straightforward process. It opens a world of high-quality images for your application or website, enhancing user experience and visual appeal. Just remember to follow Unsplash’s guidelines and use the API responsibly. With these steps, you’re well on your way to leveraging the power of Unsplash in your digital projects.