Scope: Prime Mover Pro

How Authorization Keys Work?


NOTE: Since Prime Mover 1.6.0 – authorization keys are auto-configured upon PRO license activation so there is no manual configuration needed in your end. This tutorial is added so you will know how to manually change these authorization keys. If you already set-up these keys using older Prime Mover versions – then the keys will continue to work as it is – they are not overwritten or gets changed in Prime Mover 1.6.0.


In the Prime Mover Pro version, authorization keys are used to authorize the download of the package. This ensures that only authorized sites can download the created package in your site.

This means that public user, bots , etc. can never download your Prime Mover package because it requires authorization to do it.

If you use Pro version and does not set authorization keys, you cannot migrate package successfully to your another site. You really need to set authorization keys before you can migrate package.

The format of authorization key is:


DOMAIN is the domain that the authorization key belongs. AUTHORIZATION_KEYS is 64-character length alphanumeric. It rejects authorization keys shorter than this.

Prime Mover has native authorization key generator, that will do this for you easily. You should use the built-in generator for consistency and compatibility.

Steps to Configure and Set Authorization Keys

IMPORTANT: Configuring and setting up authorization keys is only done on a first-time basis only. (Usually done after you upgrade to Prime Mover Pro version.) You SHOULD NOT need to to generate authorization keys for each migration.

Follow the steps below on how to configure and set Prime Mover authorization keys in your sites.

Take note that these steps applies to both single-sites / multisite. In multisite, this is done on the Prime Mover settings panel on the network administration page.

The following steps assumes you migrate single-site-one.test to single-site-two.test. There is a video at the end for clarity.

  1. First, you create authorization key for single-site-one.test. This is done by going to Prime Mover – Settings – Security Settings – Authorization Keys setting.
  2. Then click the button, Generate authorization key of this site. Make sure you do this at single-site-one.test server. And then click Save button to store the setting to the database.
  3. You then need to copy the authorization key of single-site-one.test to single-site-two.test server. So that we can authorize single-site-two.test to download/migrate Prime Mover package from single-site-one.test server. This is done by clicking Copy site authorization key to clipboard at single-site-one.test.
  4. Login to single-site-two.test WordPress admin with Prime Mover Pro activated.
  5. Go to Prime Mover – Settings – Security Settings – Authorization Keys setting section.
  6. Paste the authorization key of single-site-one.test in the text area and then hit the save button.
  7. (OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED) If you are planning to migrate package from single-site-two.test back to single-site-one.test, then you should also generate authorization key for single-site-two.test
  8. Paste that key also at single-site-one.test. This way you can do two-way migrations. Don’t forget to save the generated keys.

By this time, your site should now be ready to migrate using Prime Mover Pro.

FAQ in using authorization keys

  1. How often will I need to change my authorization keys? You don’t need to change this very often. Only change this if you think its compromised. To change this, you need to do this on the origin site first, then update the authorization key for that site in all sites in your network.
  2. Is there a way to bypass authorization keys so we can migrate without this? No, for security reasons you should be using authorization keys. This will ensure your package are safe and in the right hands. Take note setting and configuring is only done one-time. You should do this for your own security benefit.
  3. How does Prime Mover authorization keys differ from Prime Mover encryption keys? Encryption keys are used to encrypt your package contents (specifically database and media files). Encryption keys directly affects or tied with your package contents. Meanwhile authorization keys does not have something do with your package, but its used simply to authenticate the communication between Site A and Site B during migration. This to make sure that both sites are authorized to do migrations. This means that if you change authorization keys, it does not affect your package. But if you change your encryption keys, you may not be able to decrypt packages if its generated with other encryption keys.
  4. What restore scenario is using authorization keys? Only when you restore a package using Prime Mover restore URL in the format of https://single-site-one.test?prime_mover_export_hash=xxxxxxxxxxxx&prime_mover_blogid=blog_id using option “Restore backup from a remote URL” . This is where authorization keys are used. If you restore by some other means, (e.g. upload / download, download package from DropBox or other cloud service or restore within server), then authorization keys are not used.
  5. I got “Unauthorized” (401) errors, what does this mean? It means that authorization key is not used or its not correct. Please thoroughly review your authorization keys before and make sure this is correct before you start any migration.

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