Paperless makes use of the Django REST Framework standard API interface. It provides a browsable API for most of its endpoints, which you can inspect at http://<paperless-host>:<port>/api/. This also documents most of the available filters and ordering fields.

The API provides 5 main endpoints:

  • /api/correspondents/: Full CRUD support.

  • /api/document_types/: Full CRUD support.

  • /api/documents/: Full CRUD support, except POSTing new documents. See below.

  • /api/logs/: Read-Only.

  • /api/tags/: Full CRUD support.

All of these endpoints except for the logging endpoint allow you to fetch, edit and delete individual objects by appending their primary key to the path, for example /api/documents/454/.

In addition to that, the document endpoint offers these additional actions on individual documents:

  • /api/documents/<pk>/download/: Download the original document.

  • /api/documents/<pk>/thumb/: Download the PNG thumbnail of a document.

  • /api/documents/<pk>/preview/: Display the original document inline, without downloading it.


Paperless used to provide these functionality at /fetch/<pk>/preview, /fetch/<pk>/thumb and /fetch/<pk>/doc. Redirects to the new URLs are in place. However, if you use these old URLs to access documents, you should update your app or script to use the new URLs.


The document endpoint provides tags, document types and correspondents as ids in their corresponding fields. These are writeable. Paperless also offers read-only objects for assigned tags, types and correspondents, however, these might be removed in the future. As for now, the front end requires them.


The REST api provides three different forms of authentication.

  1. Basic authentication

    Authorize by providing a HTTP header in the form

    Authorization: Basic <credentials>

    where credentials is a base64-encoded string of <username>:<password>

  2. Session authentication

    When you’re logged into paperless in your browser, you’re automatically logged into the API as well and don’t need to provide any authorization headers.

  3. Token authentication

    Paperless also offers an endpoint to acquire authentication tokens.

    POST a username and password as a form or json string to /api/token/ and paperless will respond with a token, if the login data is correct. This token can be used to authenticate other requests with the following HTTP header:

    Authorization: Token <token>

    Tokens can be managed and revoked in the paperless admin.

Searching for documents

Paperless-ng offers API endpoints for full text search. These are as follows:


Get auto completions for a partial search term.

Query parameters:

  • term: The incomplete term.

  • limit: Amount of results. Defaults to 10.

Results returned by the endpoint are ordered by importance of the term in the document index. The first result is the term that has the highest Tf/Idf score in the index.


POSTing documents

The API provides a special endpoint for file uploads:


POST a multipart form to this endpoint, where the form field document contains the document that you want to upload to paperless. The filename is sanitized and then used to store the document in a temporary directory, and the consumer will be instructed to consume the document from there.

The endpoint supports the following optional form fields:

  • title: Specify a title that the consumer should use for the document.

  • correspondent: Specify the ID of a correspondent that the consumer should use for the document.

  • document_type: Similar to correspondent.

  • tags: Similar to correspondent. Specify this multiple times to have multiple tags added to the document.

The endpoint will immediately return “OK” if the document consumption process was started successfully. No additional status information about the consumption process itself is available, since that happens in a different process.