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Developer Guide

Authentication Scopes

Nylas supports granular authentication scopes to improve security for your end-users. You can limit the permissions and data Nylas requests during authentication by using the scopes parameter with either the /oauth/authorize Hosted Authentication or connect/authorize Native Authentication endpoints.

To remain secure, Nylas strongly recommends passing only the scopes that your application needs when authenticating a user. Please reference the table below when updating your authentication code to make sure your application requests the minimal amount of access necessary for your app's functionality.

Nylas ScopeDescription
email.modifyRead and modify all messages, threads, file attachments, and read email metadata like headers. Does not include send.
email.read_onlyRead all messages, threads, file attachments, drafts, and email metadata like headers—no write operations.
email.sendSend messages only. No read or modify privileges on users' emails. Using email.send as the only scope with Gmail accounts may lead to unexpected threading behavior.
email.folders_and_labelsRead and modify folders or labels, depending on the account type.
email.metadataRead email metadata including headers and labels/folders, but not the message body or file attachments.
email.draftsRead and modify drafts. Does not include send.
calendarRead and modify calendars and events.
calendar.read_onlyRead calendars and events.
room_resources.read_onlyRead available room resources for an account. Room resources for Office 365 is an Admin Consent Required permission.
contactsRead and modify contacts.
contacts.read_onlyRead contacts.

Microsoft Accounts metadata Scope

Office365, Exchange, and other Microsoft accounts do not offer a scope that mirrors our email.metadata scope. This means that if your app requests email.metadata, we will then request a more permissive scope to cover those needs, then restrict access within our system. This will usually result in our requesting a email.read_only scope in place of email.metadata. Although Nylas will have the resulting access, the requesting app will not have permissions to access the email body.

Service Accounts

Nylas is currently able to onboard Google G Suite and Exchange-based accounts for calendar data only via Service Accounts.


If your app has functionality for users to send and read messages, but not modify messages, you would use the following value for scopes: email.read_only,email.send.

In general, a less permissive scope for a resource is included within a more permissive scope for the same resource. So if your application needs to modify emails, you do not need to request email.folders_and_labels,email.read_only,email.modify; the only scope you need is email.modify. Likewise, to both read and modify calendar events, request calendar scopes.


Inconsistency for Google Accounts

Due to a known bug with the Google API, you should not authenticate Google accounts with the email.metadata scope if you also intend to use more permissive scopes like email.read_only or email.modify.

It's not necessary, since, as described above, the more permissive scopes include the less permissive ones in most cases. Furthermore, combining metadata with those scopes will cause Google to return 403 errors, and the account in question will not sync properly.

The use of email.metadata is suitable for cases where your application only needs access to data such as the email's headers and labels or folders. Because it does not allow reading email bodies or attachments, it's not suitable if you need access to email content. If that content is required, use the more permissive email.read_only scope.

Here are several example requests showing how your app might pass these scopes depending on if you use Hosted Authentication, Native Authentication, or a Nylas SDK.

curl --request GET
  --url 'https://api.nylas.com/oauth/authorize'
  -d 'client_id=a1b2c3d4e5f6g7h8'
  -d 'response_type=code'
  -d 'scopes=email.send,email.read_only'
  -d '[email protected]'
  -d 'redirect_uri=https://yourapp.com/nylas-redirect'
curl --request POST
  --url 'https://api.nylas.com/connect/authorize'
  -d '{
    "client_id": "a1b2c3d4e5f6g7h8",
    "name": "Mike Pfister",
    "email_address": "[email protected]",
    "provider": "gmail",
    "settings": {
        "google_refresh_token": "1/y8afalja2jeljfjdasljf2ljfljalsdjfj",
        "google_client_id": "194792837498-bhasdh2hbamddhljiwkdfhamve41.apps.googleusercontent.com",
        "google_client_secret": "Zdjk3jidjsH8749hdfwfuuQ"
    "scopes": "email.send,email.read_only"
require 'nylas'

api = Nylas::API.new(config.nylas_client_id, config.nylas_client_secret, nil)

nylas_token = api.authenticate(
  name: 'Ben Bitdiddle', 
  email_address: '[email protected]',
  provider: :gmail,
  settings: {
    google_client_id: ENV['GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID'],
    google_client_secret: ENV['GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET'],
    google_refresh_token: auth_hash[:credentials][:refresh_token]
  scopes: ['email.read_only,email.send']

api_as_user = api.as(nylas_token)
from flask import Flask, session, request, redirect, Response
from nylas import APIClient


redirect_url = ""

# Redirect your user to the auth_url
auth_url = client.authentication_url(
const Nylas = require('nylas');

  appId: CLIENT_ID,
  appSecret: CLIENT_SECRET,

options = {
  loginHint: '[email protected]',
  redirectURI: 'https://localhost/callback',
  scopes: ['email.read_only', 'email.send'],

// Redirect your user to the auth_url
auth_url = Nylas.urlForAuthentication(options);

Any tokens obtained this way have a limited scope, so you won't be able to access out-of-scope endpoints with them. For example, if you authenticated with only calendar scope, then the /messages and /threads endpoints will return a 403 HTTP status code:

    "message": "You do not have access to the required scopes. You provided a token which has the following scopes: ['email.read_only', 'email.send']. You would need a token with at least one of the following scopes: ['email.modify']",
    "type": "api_error"


Granular Scopes for IMAP

Using calendar and/or contact scopes without the email scope is only relevant for Google and Exchange accounts. IMAP accounts do not have actual calendars and contacts, but we parse iCalendar files and email participants to populate events and contacts when the email scope is included.

Updated 5 months ago

Authentication Scopes

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