Private apps

Private apps are built exclusively for your Shopify store (unlike public apps, which are built to work with many stores). You can use private apps to add features to your Shopify admin, access your store's data directly using Shopify's APIs, or extend your online store to other platforms using custom storefronts.

Private apps have different use cases:

  • Build an importer to migrate your data from Magento or another provider to Shopify. Instead, you can also migrate your data with the Shopify Import app.
  • Integrate your store's data with a custom solution that you're using to manage your orders, products, or inventory outside of Shopify.
  • Offer products from your Shopify store on a custom storefront, like a mobile app, website, or video game.

If your store is on the trial plan, then you can't create more than five private apps. Otherwise, you can create as many private apps as you need. To learn more about building a private app, see Shopify's developer documentation.

Enable private app development from the Shopify admin

If you want to work with private apps, then you need to first enable the private app development setting in your Shopify admin. Only the store owner can enable private app development.

By default, this setting is disabled. Private apps have open API access to your store and access to your Shopify admin. If you're comfortable with a private app and its app developer having this level of access, then you can enable private app development.

Steps:

  1. Log in as the store owner.
  2. From your Shopify admin, go to Apps.
  3. Click Manage private apps.
  4. Click Enable private apps.
  5. Read and check the terms, and then click Enable private app development.

After you've enabled private app development, you can generate new credentials for a private app.

Generate credentials from the Shopify admin

After you enable private app development from the Shopify admin, you need to generate the required credentials from the Shopify admin of the store that you want to connect with your app.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Apps.

  2. Click Manage private apps.

  3. Click Create private app.

  4. In the App details section, enter a name for your private app and a contact email address.

    Shopify uses the email address to contact the developer if there is an issue with the private app, such as when an API change might break it.

  5. In the Admin API section, select the areas of your store that you want the app to be able to access.

  6. If you want to use the Storefront API, then select Allow this app to access your storefront data using the Storefront API.

    1. In the Storefront API permissions section, select which store data you want to expose to the app.

    Four permissions are selected by default: Read products and collections, Read and modify customers, Read and modify checkouts, and Read blogs and articles.

  7. When you're done, click Save.

The API key and password for your app are now displayed on screen.

After you have the required credentials, the private app can access your store's data.

Change Storefront API permissions for a private app

If your private app uses the Storefront API, then you can change what areas of your store the app can access by changing the app's permissions.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Apps.

  2. Click Manage private apps.

  3. Click the name of the app whose permissions you want to change.

  4. In the Storefront API section, under Storefront API permissions, select which store data you want the app to access.

Four permissions are selected by default: Read products and collections, Read and modify customers, Read and modify checkouts, and Read blogs and articles.

  1. Click Save.

  2. In the You've made changes to your app dialog, click Save.

Change the developer contact email

Shopify uses the developer contact email to contact the developer if there is an issue with the private app, such as when an API change might break it. To make sure your app keeps working as expected, you should make sure that this email is correct and up to date.

You can change or update the developer email in the Shopify admin:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Apps.

  2. Click Manage private apps.

  3. Click the name of the app that you want to edit.

  4. Enter the developer's email address in the Emergency developer email field.

Delete a private app

You can delete private apps that you no longer want to use from the Apps page in your Shopify admin.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Apps.

  2. Click Manage private apps.

  3. Click the delete icon beside the app that you want to delete.

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