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[ aws . cognito-idp ]



Initiates the authentication flow, as an administrator.


This action might generate an SMS text message. Starting June 1, 2021, US telecom carriers require you to register an origination phone number before you can send SMS messages to US phone numbers. If you use SMS text messages in Amazon Cognito, you must register a phone number with Amazon Pinpoint . Amazon Cognito uses the registered number automatically. Otherwise, Amazon Cognito users who must receive SMS messages might not be able to sign up, activate their accounts, or sign in.

If you have never used SMS text messages with Amazon Cognito or any other Amazon Web Service, Amazon Simple Notification Service might place your account in the SMS sandbox. In * sandbox mode * , you can send messages only to verified phone numbers. After you test your app while in the sandbox environment, you can move out of the sandbox and into production. For more information, see SMS message settings for Amazon Cognito user pools in the Amazon Cognito Developer Guide .


Amazon Cognito evaluates Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies in requests for this API operation. For this operation, you must use IAM credentials to authorize requests, and you must grant yourself the corresponding IAM permission in a policy.

Learn more

See also: AWS API Documentation


--user-pool-id <value>
--client-id <value>
--auth-flow <value>
[--auth-parameters <value>]
[--client-metadata <value>]
[--analytics-metadata <value>]
[--context-data <value>]
[--cli-input-json <value>]
[--generate-cli-skeleton <value>]
[--endpoint-url <value>]
[--output <value>]
[--query <value>]
[--profile <value>]
[--region <value>]
[--version <value>]
[--color <value>]
[--ca-bundle <value>]
[--cli-read-timeout <value>]
[--cli-connect-timeout <value>]


--user-pool-id (string)

The ID of the Amazon Cognito user pool.

--client-id (string)

The app client ID.

--auth-flow (string)

The authentication flow for this call to run. The API action will depend on this value. For example:

  • REFRESH_TOKEN_AUTH will take in a valid refresh token and return new tokens.
  • USER_SRP_AUTH will take in USERNAME and SRP_A and return the Secure Remote Password (SRP) protocol variables to be used for next challenge execution.
  • ADMIN_USER_PASSWORD_AUTH will take in USERNAME and PASSWORD and return the next challenge or tokens.

Valid values include:

  • USER_SRP_AUTH : Authentication flow for the Secure Remote Password (SRP) protocol.
  • REFRESH_TOKEN_AUTH /REFRESH_TOKEN : Authentication flow for refreshing the access token and ID token by supplying a valid refresh token.
  • CUSTOM_AUTH : Custom authentication flow.
  • ADMIN_NO_SRP_AUTH : Non-SRP authentication flow; you can pass in the USERNAME and PASSWORD directly if the flow is enabled for calling the app client.
  • ADMIN_USER_PASSWORD_AUTH : Admin-based user password authentication. This replaces the ADMIN_NO_SRP_AUTH authentication flow. In this flow, Amazon Cognito receives the password in the request instead of using the SRP process to verify passwords.

Possible values:


--auth-parameters (map)

The authentication parameters. These are inputs corresponding to the AuthFlow that you're invoking. The required values depend on the value of AuthFlow :

  • For USER_SRP_AUTH : USERNAME (required), SRP_A (required), SECRET_HASH (required if the app client is configured with a client secret), DEVICE_KEY .
  • For ADMIN_USER_PASSWORD_AUTH : USERNAME (required), PASSWORD (required), SECRET_HASH (required if the app client is configured with a client secret), DEVICE_KEY .
  • For REFRESH_TOKEN_AUTH/REFRESH_TOKEN : REFRESH_TOKEN (required), SECRET_HASH (required if the app client is configured with a client secret), DEVICE_KEY .
  • For CUSTOM_AUTH : USERNAME (required), SECRET_HASH (if app client is configured with client secret), DEVICE_KEY . To start the authentication flow with password verification, include ChallengeName: SRP_A and SRP_A: (The SRP_A Value) .

For more information about SECRET_HASH , see Computing secret hash values . For information about DEVICE_KEY , see Working with user devices in your user pool .

key -> (string)

value -> (string)

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

{"string": "string"

--client-metadata (map)

A map of custom key-value pairs that you can provide as input for certain custom workflows that this action triggers.

You create custom workflows by assigning Lambda functions to user pool triggers. When you use the AdminInitiateAuth API action, Amazon Cognito invokes the Lambda functions that are specified for various triggers. The ClientMetadata value is passed as input to the functions for only the following triggers:

  • Pre signup
  • Pre authentication
  • User migration

When Amazon Cognito invokes the functions for these triggers, it passes a JSON payload, which the function receives as input. This payload contains a validationData attribute, which provides the data that you assigned to the ClientMetadata parameter in your AdminInitiateAuth request. In your function code in Lambda, you can process the validationData value to enhance your workflow for your specific needs.

When you use the AdminInitiateAuth API action, Amazon Cognito also invokes the functions for the following triggers, but it doesn't provide the ClientMetadata value as input:

  • Post authentication
  • Custom message
  • Pre token generation
  • Create auth challenge
  • Define auth challenge

For more information, see Customizing user pool Workflows with Lambda Triggers in the Amazon Cognito Developer Guide .


When you use the ClientMetadata parameter, remember that Amazon Cognito won't do the following:

  • Store the ClientMetadata value. This data is available only to Lambda triggers that are assigned to a user pool to support custom workflows. If your user pool configuration doesn't include triggers, the ClientMetadata parameter serves no purpose.
  • Validate the ClientMetadata value.
  • Encrypt the ClientMetadata value. Don't use Amazon Cognito to provide sensitive information.

key -> (string)

value -> (string)

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

{"string": "string"

--analytics-metadata (structure)

The analytics metadata for collecting Amazon Pinpoint metrics for AdminInitiateAuth calls.

AnalyticsEndpointId -> (string)

The endpoint ID.

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

  "AnalyticsEndpointId": "string"

--context-data (structure)

Contextual data about your user session, such as the device fingerprint, IP address, or location. Amazon Cognito advanced security evaluates the risk of an authentication event based on the context that your app generates and passes to Amazon Cognito when it makes API requests.

IpAddress -> (string)

The source IP address of your user's device.

ServerName -> (string)

Your server endpoint where this API is invoked.

ServerPath -> (string)

Your server path where this API is invoked.

HttpHeaders -> (list)

HttpHeaders received on your server in same order.


The HTTP header.

headerName -> (string)

The header name.

headerValue -> (string)

The header value.

EncodedData -> (string)

Encoded device-fingerprint details that your app collected with the Amazon Cognito context data collection library. For more information, see Adding user device and session data to API requests .

Shorthand Syntax:


JSON Syntax:

  "IpAddress": "string",
  "ServerName": "string",
  "ServerPath": "string",
  "HttpHeaders": [
      "headerName": "string",
      "headerValue": "string"
  "EncodedData": "string"

--cli-input-json (string) Performs service operation based on the JSON string provided. The JSON string follows the format provided by --generate-cli-skeleton. If other arguments are provided on the command line, the CLI values will override the JSON-provided values. It is not possible to pass arbitrary binary values using a JSON-provided value as the string will be taken literally.

--generate-cli-skeleton (string) Prints a JSON skeleton to standard output without sending an API request. If provided with no value or the value input, prints a sample input JSON that can be used as an argument for --cli-input-json. If provided with the value output, it validates the command inputs and returns a sample output JSON for that command.

Global Options

--debug (boolean)

Turn on debug logging.

--endpoint-url (string)

Override command's default URL with the given URL.

--no-verify-ssl (boolean)

By default, the AWS CLI uses SSL when communicating with AWS services. For each SSL connection, the AWS CLI will verify SSL certificates. This option overrides the default behavior of verifying SSL certificates.

--no-paginate (boolean)

Disable automatic pagination.

--output (string)

The formatting style for command output.

  • json
  • text
  • table

--query (string)

A JMESPath query to use in filtering the response data.

--profile (string)

Use a specific profile from your credential file.

--region (string)

The region to use. Overrides config/env settings.

--version (string)

Display the version of this tool.

--color (string)

Turn on/off color output.

  • on
  • off
  • auto

--no-sign-request (boolean)

Do not sign requests. Credentials will not be loaded if this argument is provided.

--ca-bundle (string)

The CA certificate bundle to use when verifying SSL certificates. Overrides config/env settings.

--cli-read-timeout (int)

The maximum socket read time in seconds. If the value is set to 0, the socket read will be blocking and not timeout. The default value is 60 seconds.

--cli-connect-timeout (int)

The maximum socket connect time in seconds. If the value is set to 0, the socket connect will be blocking and not timeout. The default value is 60 seconds.



To use the following examples, you must have the AWS CLI installed and configured. See the Getting started guide in the AWS CLI User Guide for more information.

Unless otherwise stated, all examples have unix-like quotation rules. These examples will need to be adapted to your terminal's quoting rules. See Using quotation marks with strings in the AWS CLI User Guide .

To initiate authorization

This example initiates authorization using the ADMIN_NO_SRP_AUTH flow for username

The client must have sign-in API for server-based authentication (ADMIN_NO_SRP_AUTH) enabled.

Use the session information in the return value to call admin-respond-to-auth-challenge.


aws cognito-idp admin-initiate-auth --user-pool-id us-west-2_aaaaaaaaa --client-id 3n4b5urk1ft4fl3mg5e62d9ado --auth-flow ADMIN_NO_SRP_AUTH --auth-parameters,PASSWORD=password


  "ChallengeName": "NEW_PASSWORD_REQUIRED",
  "Session": "SESSION",
  "ChallengeParameters": {
      "USER_ID_FOR_SRP": "84514837-dcbc-4af1-abff-f3c109334894",
      "requiredAttributes": "[]",
      "userAttributes": "{\"email_verified\":\"true\",\"phone_number_verified\":\"true\",\"phone_number\":\"+01xxx5550100\",\"email\":\"\"}"


ChallengeName -> (string)

The name of the challenge that you're responding to with this call. This is returned in the AdminInitiateAuth response if you must pass another challenge.

  • MFA_SETUP : If MFA is required, users who don't have at least one of the MFA methods set up are presented with an MFA_SETUP challenge. The user must set up at least one MFA type to continue to authenticate.
  • SELECT_MFA_TYPE : Selects the MFA type. Valid MFA options are SMS_MFA for text SMS MFA, and SOFTWARE_TOKEN_MFA for time-based one-time password (TOTP) software token MFA.
  • SMS_MFA : Next challenge is to supply an SMS_MFA_CODE , delivered via SMS.
  • PASSWORD_VERIFIER : Next challenge is to supply PASSWORD_CLAIM_SIGNATURE , PASSWORD_CLAIM_SECRET_BLOCK , and TIMESTAMP after the client-side SRP calculations.
  • CUSTOM_CHALLENGE : This is returned if your custom authentication flow determines that the user should pass another challenge before tokens are issued.
  • DEVICE_SRP_AUTH : If device tracking was activated in your user pool and the previous challenges were passed, this challenge is returned so that Amazon Cognito can start tracking this device.
  • DEVICE_PASSWORD_VERIFIER : Similar to PASSWORD_VERIFIER , but for devices only.
  • ADMIN_NO_SRP_AUTH : This is returned if you must authenticate with USERNAME and PASSWORD directly. An app client must be enabled to use this flow.
  • NEW_PASSWORD_REQUIRED : For users who are required to change their passwords after successful first login. Respond to this challenge with NEW_PASSWORD and any required attributes that Amazon Cognito returned in the requiredAttributes parameter. You can also set values for attributes that aren't required by your user pool and that your app client can write. For more information, see AdminRespondToAuthChallenge .


In a NEW_PASSWORD_REQUIRED challenge response, you can't modify a required attribute that already has a value. In AdminRespondToAuthChallenge , set a value for any keys that Amazon Cognito returned in the requiredAttributes parameter, then use the AdminUpdateUserAttributes API operation to modify the value of any additional attributes.
  • MFA_SETUP : For users who are required to set up an MFA factor before they can sign in. The MFA types activated for the user pool will be listed in the challenge parameters MFAS_CAN_SETUP value. To set up software token MFA, use the session returned here from InitiateAuth as an input to AssociateSoftwareToken , and use the session returned by VerifySoftwareToken as an input to RespondToAuthChallenge with challenge name MFA_SETUP to complete sign-in. To set up SMS MFA, users will need help from an administrator to add a phone number to their account and then call InitiateAuth again to restart sign-in.

Session -> (string)

The session that should be passed both ways in challenge-response calls to the service. If AdminInitiateAuth or AdminRespondToAuthChallenge API call determines that the caller must pass another challenge, they return a session with other challenge parameters. This session should be passed as it is to the next AdminRespondToAuthChallenge API call.

ChallengeParameters -> (map)

The challenge parameters. These are returned to you in the AdminInitiateAuth response if you must pass another challenge. The responses in this parameter should be used to compute inputs to the next call (AdminRespondToAuthChallenge ).

All challenges require USERNAME and SECRET_HASH (if applicable).

The value of the USER_ID_FOR_SRP attribute is the user's actual username, not an alias (such as email address or phone number), even if you specified an alias in your call to AdminInitiateAuth . This happens because, in the AdminRespondToAuthChallenge API ChallengeResponses , the USERNAME attribute can't be an alias.

key -> (string)

value -> (string)

AuthenticationResult -> (structure)

The result of the authentication response. This is only returned if the caller doesn't need to pass another challenge. If the caller does need to pass another challenge before it gets tokens, ChallengeName , ChallengeParameters , and Session are returned.

AccessToken -> (string)

A valid access token that Amazon Cognito issued to the user who you want to authenticate.

ExpiresIn -> (integer)

The expiration period of the authentication result in seconds.

TokenType -> (string)

The token type.

RefreshToken -> (string)

The refresh token.

IdToken -> (string)

The ID token.

NewDeviceMetadata -> (structure)

The new device metadata from an authentication result.

DeviceKey -> (string)

The device key.

DeviceGroupKey -> (string)

The device group key.