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Image & video API

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Public links

Learn how to create time-bound, password-protected public links for assets and media collections in the ImageKit media library.


Using public links, you can share assets and media collections with users who are not part of your ImageKit account. Public links allow limited view-only access to your assets and media collections; users accessing them via public links cannot edit or delete them. Moreover, you can password-protect and set expiration dates on public links.

When accessing an asset or media collection using a public link, a user can-

  • View file metadata like dimensions, size, and embedded metadata. However, they won't be able to see details like tags, AI tags, custom coordinates, custom metadata, ownership details, or comments on that file.
  • Download assets and media collections.
  • View private files. However, whether a file is private or not is not visible in this view.
  • View draft files inside shared folders and media collections, if exposed using the "Expose unpublished files" checkbox. However, whether a file is published or not is not visible in this view. This can only be done if you have the Draft assets feature enabled.
  • View only the current version of the file. Any non-current file version will not be accessible via the public link.

Note that when an asset or media collection is deleted or moved, its public link is also deleted.

Limits

  • A maximum of 5 public links can be created for a single asset or media collection.
  • Across all assets and media collections in an account, a maximum of 100 public links can be created. This limit is configurable.

Select the asset or media collection you want to share and right-click on it. From the menu, select the "Public links" option. Here you can create or manage any existing public link configurations.

You can configure the following options for a public link:

  • Validity timeframe: You can set the "Validity start" and/or "Validity end" dates for any public link. At any time that is either earlier than the "Validity start" time or later than the "Validity end" time, the link will not work. After a link has expired, it will be automatically deleted.
  • Password protection: If a password is set for a public link, any user trying to access the link will be prompted to enter that password before access is granted. This password can be changed at any time without affecting the URL of the public link.
  • Expose unpublished assets: When creating a public link for a folder or media collection, this setting defines whether any unpublished assets that fall under that folder or media collection can be accessed via the link or not. If a public link is created for a single file, it will be accessible via the link, regardless of its publication status. Note that this option is only available if you have this feature enabled.

You can view, edit, and delete public links for all assets and media collections in the Media Library settings page. Media library restricted users do not have access to this page.

For a logged-in ImageKit user, downloads triggered via a public link will appear on the downloads page with the "Via public link" field set to "Yes".

For users accessing a public link, the downloads page will only display downloads triggered by that public link for their currently active session.

Central audit logs

If Media Library audit log feature is included in your pricing plan, you can view logs of all create, update, and delete operations on public links.

Access control and permissions

A Media Library Restricted Access user needs at least "Manage" permission on an asset or media collection to view, create, edit, or delete its public links. Learn about actions that can be performed on media collections and assets by restricted access users here.