The general guideline is that we should sanitize all user input before using them.

Now my questions is whether this applies to nonce or not.

Which one is correct?

wp_verify_nonce( sanitize_text_field( $_GET['some_nonce'] ), 'some_nonce' );


wp_verify_nonce( _GET['some_nonce'], 'some_nonce' );

  • 2
    Relevant issue at github/WordPress/WordPress-Coding-Standards. TLDR: It's not necessary as explained by Fayaz below; but if your environment is throwing warnings because of the unsanitized $_REQUEST then use sanitize_key()
    – brasofilo
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


Sanitizing is required when you are inserting user input into Database or outputting it in HTML etc. Here, you are simply doing a String comparison.

wp_verify_nonce function checks $nonce value like this:

if ( hash_equals( $expected, $nonce ) ) {
    return 1;

For this you don't need sanitizing. So the following is fine:

wp_verify_nonce( $_GET['some_nonce'], 'some_nonce' );

Note: If it generates any warning for Plugin development or any other code standard, use the sanitize_key function to avoid the warning, but technically it shouldn't be needed for security:

wp_verify_nonce( sanitize_key( $_GET['some_nonce'] ), 'some_nonce' );

  • 2
    Note that this should check isset( $_GET['some_nonce'] ) first to avoid an error if the query string arg is not there.
    – butlerblog
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 13:23
  • If you're building a WP plugin, you will be asked to sanitze any and all POST/GET/REQUEST - not just what goes into the database
    – Philip
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 21:59
  • @butlerblog of course, that's a given. But I didn't include that in the answer because the question was specific to nonce sanitization.
    – Fayaz
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 2:00
  • @Philip I was referring to the original reasoning behind Sanitizing, not what is expected in any code standard. Code standards change over time, original logic doesn't. You'll find a more detailed related discussion here: github.com/WordPress/WordPress-Coding-Standards/issues/869
    – Fayaz
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 2:25
  • 1
    @Philip Also, you can see here that the core itself doesn't do nonce sanitization: github.com/WordPress/wordpress-develop/blob/6.2/src/wp-includes/…
    – Fayaz
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 2:46

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