Working with CloudTrail Event history - AWS CloudTrail

Working with CloudTrail Event history

CloudTrail is enabled by default for your AWS account and you automatically have access to the CloudTrail Event history. The Event history provides a viewable, searchable, downloadable, and immutable record of the past 90 days of management events in an AWS Region. These events capture activity made through the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, and AWS SDKs and APIs. The Event history records events in the AWS Region where the event happened. There are no CloudTrail charges for viewing the Event history.

You can look up events related to the creation, modification, or deletion of resources (such as IAM users or Amazon EC2 instances) in your AWS account on a by-Region basis in the CloudTrail console by viewing the Event history page. You can also look up these events by running the aws cloudtrail lookup-events command or by using the LookupEvents API.

You can use the Event history page in the CloudTrail console to view, search, download, archive, analyze, and respond to account activity across your AWS infrastructure. You can customize the view of the Event history in the console by selecting how many events to display on each page and which columns to display or hide. You can also compare the details of events in Event history side-by-side. You can programmatically look up events by using the AWS SDKs or AWS Command Line Interface.


Over time, AWS services might add additional events. CloudTrail records these events in Event history, but a full 90-day record of activity that includes added events won't be available until 90 days after it adds the events.

The Event history is separate from any trails or event data stores that you create for your account. Changes you make to your event data stores or trails do not affect the Event history.

The sections which follow describe how to look up recent management events by using the CloudTrail console and the AWS CLI, and describe how to download a file of events. For information about using the LookupEvents API to retrieve information from CloudTrail events, see LookupEvents in the AWS CloudTrail API Reference.


Limitations of Event history

The following limitations apply to the Event history.

  • The Event history page on the CloudTrail console only shows management events. It does not show data events or Insights events.

  • The Event history is limited to the past 90 days of events. For an ongoing record of events in your AWS account, create an event data store or a trail.

  • When you download events from the Event history page on the CloudTrail console, you can download up to 200,000 events in a single file. If you reach the 200,000 event limit, the CloudTrail console will provide the option to download additional files.

  • The Event history doesn't provide organization level event aggregation. To record events across your organization, create an organization event data store or trail.

  • An Event history search is limited to a single AWS account, only returns events from a single AWS Region, and cannot query multiple attributes. You can only apply one attribute filter and a time range filter.

    You can create a CloudTrail Lake event data store to query across multiple attributes and AWS Regions. You can also query across multiple AWS accounts in an AWS Organizations organization. In CloudTrail Lake, you can query multiple event types, including management events, data events, Insights events, AWS Config configuration items, Audit Manager evidence, and non-AWS events. CloudTrail Lake queries offer a deeper and more customizable view of events than simple key and value lookups in Event history, or running LookupEvents. For more information, see Working with AWS CloudTrail Lake and Create an event data store for CloudTrail events with the console.

  • You cannot exclude AWS KMS or Amazon RDS Data API events from Event history; settings that you apply to a trail or event data store do not apply to Event history.