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Refresh an Access Token

Refresh an Access Token

To authenticate to the Box API the Postman collection will use an Access Token to identify you, the User to the API. Access tokens expire after 1 hour and therefore need to be refreshed every hour.

Using a Refresh Token

If you set up your own Box App in step 2 of the Postman Quick Start guide then your Box environment in Postman should include a valid client_id and client_secret. These client credentials and the refresh_token can be used to create a new value for the access_token.

A valid client ID and secret in the Postman environment

To refresh the access token, select the Refresh access token API call within the Authorization folder of the Postman collection.

The refresh access token API call in Postmam

Next, click the Send button to request a new access_token.

Postman Send button

At the end of this API call, your environment should have a new access_token and refresh_token value, and you should be able to make any of the other API calls.

Refresh tokens are only valid once and need to be used within 60 days. If used within 60 days, a new one is created together with a new access token and the 60 day period starts again.

A refresh token expires if not used within 60 days, after which a new refresh token and access token need to be requested by going through the Quick Start guide again.

Automatically refreshing an access token

The Postman collection can automatically detect an expired access_token value and request a new one by using the refresh_token. By default this feature is enabled but it can be turned off by setting the enable_auto_refresh_access_token Postman environment variable to false.

To set this value, click the edit button in the top right of your Box Postman environment variables.

A valid client ID and secret in the Postman environment

Find the row in the table for the enable_auto_refresh_access_token variable and set the Current Value to true. Next, click Update to save your changes.

From now on, any time you make any API call the Postman collection will check if your access_token has expired and try to refresh it automatically before making your desired API call.

Re-authenticating your Postman collection

In some cases you might need to re-authenticate your Postman collection by going through the Quick Start guide again. A common reason for this is because you haven't used the Postman collection in over 60 days and your refresh_token has expired.

To re-authenticate, first remove your old Box Postman environment. To do so, click the little gear icon in the top right and select your environment from the list.

Delete the Box Postman environment

Select Delete to delete the environment. Then, restart the Postman Quick Start guide again from the start.

When re-importing the Box Postman Collection for a second time the Postman app might ask you to import the new collection as a copy or replace the old one. We recommend importing it as a copy in order to preserve any custom configuration you might have made to any of the APIs.