A Business-Minded Agency and eCommerce Powerhouse

How to Enable Private Apps on Shopify

Private apps provide Shopify business owners with extended, personalized store features. These apps are built by third-party developers exclusively for your store. They differ from public apps (which are available to many different stores) or custom apps (which don’t require open API access.)


For example, the installation of a private app enables store owners to import data from separate eCommerce platforms. It can also allow for additional data integrations with content management systems other than Shopify, by means of an API. Further, private apps allow store owners to extend their selling capacity to custom storefronts, such as mobile applications, video games, and websites.


Due to their uniquities, enabling private apps on Shopify is slightly different than the traditional app store installation. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process to enable private apps on your Shopify store and expand your selling potential to the full.

Installing Private Apps on Shopify

Unlike public applications, private apps aren’t actually “installed” on a store. Since these apps are assigned, by design, to one specific Shopify store, the installation process isn’t necessary. Instead, store owners enable, or give permission, to the app at the time it is created.


To begin the process for the very first time, store owners need to enable private app development. Once allowed, this feature cannot be disabled, so make sure that you are comfortable granting developers API access to your store.

Enabling Private App Development on Shopify

  1. Log into your store’s admin panel.
  2. Open the Apps menu, then click on “Manage Private Apps.”
  3. Carefully read the Shopify API License and Terms of Use.
  4. Click the “Enable Private App Development” button.
  5. Review and check the terms, then choose the “Enable” button.

Once you’ve completed the first five steps, enabling your private application is simple. You simply need to create the proper credentials for the application you wish to utilize.

How to Generate Credentials to Enable a Private Shopify App

  1. Log into your store’s admin panel.
  2. Open the Apps menu, then click on “Manage Private Apps.”
  3. Click “Create Private App.”
  4. In the App Details section, give your application a recognizable name, and enter the developer’s contact email address. Shopify will utilize this contact in the future if an issue arises with the private app.
  5. Next, in the Admin API section, select the appropriate areas of your store for which the app will access data.
  6. To utilize the Shopify Storefront API (to extend your store’s selling capacity to additional non-Shopify channels), follow the following steps. Otherwise, move on to step seven.
    1. Select “Allow this app to access your storefront data using the Storefront API.”
    2. Then, select the applicable store data to share with the app. Use caution when opening your API in this manner to the public, and only allow permissions if you are comfortable with the possible risks. Only enable as much data as the app requires to function.
  7. Finally, click “Save.”

The API key and password will display on the screen. Utilize these credentials carefully, as you would with any other important password information. After all, anyone with this information has full access to the API of the store, which means that they have access to all of your store’s data.

Editing API Permissions and Private App Information

Once you’ve created and enabled a private app, you can utilize the same Apps menu to change, edit, and delete app permissions. As with the enabling process, choose the “Manage Private Apps” button. Then, click on the name of the app you’d like to update.


From there, you can edit and adjust permissions accordingly. Additionally, you can update the developer’s email address and even the app name. Just remember to click the “Save” button after making any changes. Also, be aware that changing app permissions may cause a private app to lose functionality or “break” altogether.


To delete a private app from your store, click on the trashcan icon next to its name in the private app list.

Expand Your Store’s Selling Potential With Private Apps

With private apps, Shopify allows you to customize your selling potential and expand the usability of your store with API access.


If you’re interested in enabling or developing a private app on your Shopify store, feel free to reach out to our Shopify experts. We’re here to help you make the most of your eCommerce journey.