Manage IAM access keys using an AWS SDK - AWS SDK Code Examples

There are more AWS SDK examples available in the AWS Doc SDK Examples GitHub repo.

Manage IAM access keys using an AWS SDK

The following code example shows how to manage access keys.


To avoid security risks, don't use IAM users for authentication when developing purpose-built software or working with real data. Instead, use federation with an identity provider such as AWS IAM Identity Center.

  • Create and list access keys.

  • Find out when and how an access key was last used.

  • Update and delete access keys.

SDK for Python (Boto3)

There's more on GitHub. Find the complete example and learn how to set up and run in the AWS Code Examples Repository.

Create functions that wrap IAM access key actions.

import logging import boto3 from botocore.exceptions import ClientError logger = logging.getLogger(__name__) iam = boto3.resource("iam") def list_keys(user_name): """ Lists the keys owned by the specified user. :param user_name: The name of the user. :return: The list of keys owned by the user. """ try: keys = list(iam.User(user_name).access_keys.all())"Got %s access keys for %s.", len(keys), user_name) except ClientError: logger.exception("Couldn't get access keys for %s.", user_name) raise else: return keys def create_key(user_name): """ Creates an access key for the specified user. Each user can have a maximum of two keys. :param user_name: The name of the user. :return: The created access key. """ try: key_pair = iam.User(user_name).create_access_key_pair() "Created access key pair for %s. Key ID is %s.", key_pair.user_name,, ) except ClientError: logger.exception("Couldn't create access key pair for %s.", user_name) raise else: return key_pair def get_last_use(key_id): """ Gets information about when and how a key was last used. :param key_id: The ID of the key to look up. :return: Information about the key's last use. """ try: response = iam.meta.client.get_access_key_last_used(AccessKeyId=key_id) last_used_date = response["AccessKeyLastUsed"].get("LastUsedDate", None) last_service = response["AccessKeyLastUsed"].get("ServiceName", None) "Key %s was last used by %s on %s to access %s.", key_id, response["UserName"], last_used_date, last_service, ) except ClientError: logger.exception("Couldn't get last use of key %s.", key_id) raise else: return response def update_key(user_name, key_id, activate): """ Updates the status of a key. :param user_name: The user that owns the key. :param key_id: The ID of the key to update. :param activate: When True, the key is activated. Otherwise, the key is deactivated. """ try: key = iam.User(user_name).AccessKey(key_id) if activate: key.activate() else: key.deactivate()"%s key %s.", "Activated" if activate else "Deactivated", key_id) except ClientError: logger.exception( "Couldn't %s key %s.", "Activate" if activate else "Deactivate", key_id ) raise def delete_key(user_name, key_id): """ Deletes a user's access key. :param user_name: The user that owns the key. :param key_id: The ID of the key to delete. """ try: key = iam.AccessKey(user_name, key_id) key.delete()"Deleted access key %s for %s.",, key.user_name) except ClientError: logger.exception("Couldn't delete key %s for %s", key_id, user_name) raise

Use the wrapper functions to perform access key actions for the current user.

def usage_demo(): """Shows how to create and manage access keys.""" def print_keys(): """Gets and prints the current keys for a user.""" current_keys = list_keys(current_user_name) print("The current user's keys are now:") print(*[f"{}: {key.status}" for key in current_keys], sep="\n") logging.basicConfig(level=logging.INFO, format="%(levelname)s: %(message)s") print("-" * 88) print("Welcome to the AWS Identity and Account Management access key demo.") print("-" * 88) current_user_name = iam.CurrentUser().user_name print( f"This demo creates an access key for the current user " f"({current_user_name}), manipulates the key in a few ways, and then " f"deletes it." ) all_keys = list_keys(current_user_name) if len(all_keys) == 2: print( "The current user already has the maximum of 2 access keys. To run " "this demo, either delete one of the access keys or use a user " "that has only 1 access key." ) else: new_key = create_key(current_user_name) print(f"Created a new key with id {} and secret {new_key.secret}.") print_keys() existing_key = next(key for key in all_keys if key != new_key) last_use = get_last_use(["AccessKeyLastUsed"] print( f"Key {all_keys[0].id} was last used to access {last_use['ServiceName']} " f"on {last_use['LastUsedDate']}" ) update_key(current_user_name,, False) print(f"Key {} is now deactivated.") print_keys() delete_key(current_user_name, print_keys() print("Thanks for watching!")