WWW-Authenticate

The HTTP WWW-Authenticate response header defines the authentication method that should be used to gain access to a resource.

The WWW-Authenticate header is sent along with a 401 Unauthorized response.

Header type Response header
Forbidden header name no

Syntax

WWW-Authenticate: <type> realm=<realm>[, charset="UTF-8"]

Directives

<type>
Authentication type. A common type is "Basic". IANA maintains a list of Authentication schemes.
realm=<realm>
A description of the protected area. If no realm is specified, clients often display a formatted hostname instead.
charset=<charset>
Tells the client the server's preferred encoding scheme when submitting a username and password. The only allowed value is the case insensitive string "UTF-8". This does not relate to the encoding of the realm string.

Examples

Typically, a server response contains a WWW-Authenticate header that looks like this:

WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="Access to the staging site", charset="UTF-8"

See also HTTP authentication for examples on how to configure Apache or nginx servers to password protect your site with HTTP basic authentication.

Specifications

Specification
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Authentication (HTTP/1.1)
# header.www-authenticate

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also