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Root User

Has complete access to all AWS services and resources, including billing information. Is the most privileged user, and its permissions cannot be restricted.

Logs in using the email.

AWS account root user -

We strongly recommend that you do not use the root user for your everyday tasks, even the administrative ones. Instead, adhere to the best practice of using the root user only to create your first IAM user. (...) For a tutorial on how to set up an administrator for daily use, see Creating your first IAM admin user and user group.

Best practices to protect your account's root user -

We strongly recommend that you use the root user only for two things:

You can transfer the root account - see

If you're the owner account, what's the point of using iam instead of root? -

Never use Root, only use it to create an IAM admin, that's it. Root can close the account, subscribe to Enterprise Support (costing you $$$$) and delete anything (even if it's denied by an IAM policy)

Resetting a lost or forgotten root user password

The root user has an associated email address that can be used to reset (ie change) the password, even it you have enabled MFA. Note that you can change the password, but MFA will still be required to login after changing the password, if it was enabled.


  • Choose 'Root user' and set the email at the field 'Root user email address'.
  • Click 'Forgot password?'.
  • At the email you'll receive, click the reset password link.
  • At the page that opens, set the new password at the fields 'New password' and 'Confirm new password'. Click 'Reset password'.
  • You'll receive an email saying 'Your Amazon Web Services Password Has Been Updated'.
  • A new password is set. Now you need to log in. If MFA was enabled, it will be required when logging in with the new password.

Note that this process was done with MFA enabled, and after changing the password MFA was still there.

If you loose access to the MFA you need to have access to the email and the primary contact phone as explained at Recovering a root user MFA device. See steps at


AWS Management Console sign-in events - Monitor root user activity with AWS CloudTrail at no additional cost -

How can I create an EventBridge event rule to notify me that my AWS root user account was used? -

Tasks that require root user credentials

Don't use the root user for everyday tasks

We strongly recommend that you do not use the root user for your everyday tasks. Safeguard your root user credentials and use them to perform the tasks that only the root user can perform. source

Don't generate access keys for the root user

We don't recommend generating access keys for your root user, because they allow full access to all your resources for all AWS services. source

One of the best ways to protect your account is to not have access keys for your AWS account root user. Unless you must have root user access keys (which is rare), it is best not to generate them. source

If you do have an access key for your root user, delete it. source

Deleting access keys for the root user

At the navigation bar, click your name and then 'Security credentials'. At the section 'Access keys (access key ID and secret access key)' there should not be any item.

Note that at the top of the IAM dashboard there is a 'Security recommendations' section that tells you if the Root user has MFA and access keys.



Tip: For Root user email address, use a corporate email distribution list (for example, or email box if your account is a professional AWS account. Avoid using an individual's corporate email address (for example, With this practice, your company can retain access to the AWS account even when an employee changes positions or leaves the company. The email address can be used to reset account credentials. Be sure that you protect access to these distribution lists.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

It's a best practice to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on the root account to secure your AWS resources. source

How to:

  • At the top right menu, go to 'Security credentials'. You'll see a warning 'You don't have MFA assigned'. Click 'Assign MFA'.
  • Alternatively, go to the IAM Dashboard and you'll see a warning 'Add MFA for root user' (and 'Add MFA for yourself' if you are not root) on the 'Security recommendations' box. Click 'Add MFA'.


Recovering a root user MFA device - - See steps at