Amazon CloudWatch
User Guide

Getting Set Up

To use Amazon CloudWatch you need an AWS account. Your AWS account allows you to use services (for example, Amazon EC2) to generate metrics that you can view in the CloudWatch console, a point-and-click web-based interface. In addition, you can install and configure the AWS command line interface (CLI).

Sign Up for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

When you create an AWS account, we automatically sign up your account for all AWS services. You pay only for the services that you use.

If you have an AWS account already, skip to the next step. If you don't have an AWS account, use the following procedure to create one.

To sign up for an AWS account

  1. Open, and then choose Create an AWS Account.


    This might be unavailable in your browser if you previously signed into the AWS Management Console. In that case, choose Sign in to a different account, and then choose Create a new AWS account.

  2. Follow the online instructions.

    Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a PIN using the phone keypad.

Sign in to the Amazon CloudWatch Console

To sign in to the Amazon CloudWatch console

  1. Open the CloudWatch console at

  2. If necessary, use the navigation bar to change the region to the region where you have your AWS resources.

  3. Even if this is the first time you are using the CloudWatch console, Your Metrics could already report metrics, because you have used a AWS product that automatically pushes metrics to Amazon CloudWatch for free. Other AWS products require that you enable metrics.

    If you do not have any alarms, the Your Alarms section will have a Create Alarm button.

Set Up the AWS CLI

You can use the AWS CLI or the Amazon CloudWatch CLI to perform CloudWatch commands. Note that the AWS CLI replaces the CloudWatch CLI; we include new CloudWatch features only in the AWS CLI.

For information about how to install and configure the AWS CLI, see Getting Set Up with the AWS Command Line Interface in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

For information about how to install and configure the Amazon CloudWatch CLI, see Set Up the Command Line Interface in the Amazon CloudWatch CLI Reference.