License Key

All Wordfence installations need a License key, also known as an API-key. The key can be a free key or a premium key.

Wordfence License Key

Each Wordfence installation has a License Key, also referred to as an “API-Key”. The License Key is a string of letters and numbers that uniquely identifies your site. This key is used in several of Wordfence’s features to preserve the integrity of data and to make sure that any communication between your site and Wordfence Servers is secure.

When you first install Wordfence you are automatically configured to have the free version. Wordfence will contact our servers and automatically fetch a free License Key which saves you having to come to our site and register. This gets you up and running with our product as fast as possible.

If you decide to upgrade to a paid version of Wordfence, you will need to go to and click on the “Get premium” button. When you purchase premium, you will receive a premium key. This key needs to be installed on your website, via your WordPress admin interface in order to enable Wordfence premium features.

Note that we offer discounts when you buy or renew more than one license. You can read more about our pricing here.

How many keys do I need to buy?

Each installation of the Wordfence plugin requires a unique Wordfence license key. If you have a WordPress Multisite, you only need one license key because a WordPress Multisite is a single installation of the WordPress file system and only has one installation of the Wordfence plugin.

You can not protect more than one WordPress installation (single or Multisite) with one premium license key, unless it is a staging or development website of the accompanying production website. See the section below for staging sites to learn more about this.

Installing your premium key

When you purchase Worfence premium you receive a new License Key which you need to install on your site to enable Premium features. Your Premium License Keys are stored in your user account on You can fetch them from there anytime.

  1. Sign in to with the account you created when you ordered the key(s).
  2. Click the menu link that says “LICENSES”
  3. Your keys will be listed on the page you are taken to. Copy the one you want to install
  4. On your website, go to the Wordfence plugin’s Global Options page (linked from the Wordfence Dashboard)
  5. In the “Wordfence License” section, paste the key you copied from into the “License Key” field
  6. Save options and premium is now enabled

Downgrading your License Key

If you decide you want to use your premium License Key on another website or you want to discontinue your use of Wordfence Premium, you can go the Global Options page in Wordfence and in the Wordfence License section, click to Downgrade to a free License. This removes your premium License Key from the database and automatically fetches a free License Key for your site from our servers. Premium features will be disabled immediately if you choose this option.  Make sure and turn off auto renew in your account on for that license.  Auto-renew can be switched off on the Premium page, selecting the license(s) you want to update, and clicking the “Auto Renewal” button then “Disable”.

If you have decided that you want to use your license key on a different website then you will need to reset the license key in your account. In your account mark the check box for the license key and press the button to reset the selected license. You will see that the license key is no longer assigned to the original website and you can now install the license key on the other website.

Use Wordfence license on staging

A premium license that is valid for a specific site can also be used on corresponding staging and development sites. We are initially opening up this capability to the following common subdomains below and your license key will work automatically on these staging or development site subdomains. If you have different staging or development URLs then these will need to be enabled by Wordfence premium support staff. Please send in your staging or development site URLs via our premium support ticket system.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Move premium API-key to a different site

    Log in to your account at and reset the API-key. After having done that, you can install the key on a different site.

    You can also choose to downgrade the key via your Wordfence Options page and then install the key on the other site.

  • Do I need a key for both my staging and regular website?

    No. A Wordfence license can be used on a corresponding staging or dev site. To enable this functionality, send in the URL to your staging site to Wordfence premium support.

  • What is an API-key?

    An API-key is a unique identifier that Wordfence uses to verify that your site is actually your site and not another site. The key is a code; a long row of jumbled digits and letters. When you install the free version of Wordfence you are automatically assigned a free API-key. When you upgrade to Wordfence premium, you get a premium key which you need to install in place of the free key.

    Read more about API-Keys

  • Key is in use on another site

    If you get a message saying that your License Key is in use on another site, it can mean that your domain has changed or that you have accidentally installed the same key on two sites. To fix this please:

    • Login to
    • Select the button to “Manage API keys”
    • Click the checkbox next to the key you want to use on the new site and then click “Reset selected keys”

    Once they key has been reset, you can reinstall it in the “License Key” field on the “Global Options” in your Wordfence installation.