What is AWS Resource Explorer? - AWS Resource Explorer

What is AWS Resource Explorer?

AWS Resource Explorer is a resource search and discovery service. With Resource Explorer, you can explore your resources, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances, Amazon Kinesis streams, or Amazon DynamoDB tables, using an internet search engine-like experience. You can search for your resources using resource metadata like names, tags, and IDs. Resource Explorer works across AWS Regions in your account to simplify your cross-Region workloads.

Resource Explorer provides fast responses to your search queries by using indexes that are created and maintained by the AWS Resource Explorer service. Resource Explorer uses a variety of data sources to gather information about resources in your AWS account. Resource Explorer stores that information in the indexes for Resource Explorer to search.

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Our goal is to help you get everything you can from Resource Explorer. If this guide helps you to do that, then let us know. If the guide isn't helping you, then we want to hear from you so we can address the issue. Use the Feedback link that's in the upper-right corner of every page. That sends your comments directly to the writers of this guide. We review every submission, looking for opportunities to improve the documentation. Thank you in advance for your help!

Are you a first-time Resource Explorer user?

If you're a first-time user of Resource Explorer, we recommend that you begin by reading the following topics in the Getting started section:

Features of Resource Explorer

Resource Explorer provides the following features:

  • Users can search for resources in their AWS Region or across Regions in their AWS account.

  • Users can use keywords, search operators, and attributes like tags to filter the search results to only matching resources.

  • When users find a resource in the search results, they can immediately go to the resource's native console to work with that resource.

  • Administrators can create views that define which resources are available in search results. Administrators can create different views for different groups of users based on their tasks, and grant permissions to views to only those users who need them.

  • Resource Explorer, like many other AWS services, isĀ eventually consistent. Resource Explorer achieves high availability by replicating data across multiple servers within Amazon data centers around the world. If a request to change some data is successful, the change is committed and safely stored. However, then the change must be replicated across Resource Explorer, which can take some time. As an example, this includes Resource Explorer finding a resource in one Region, and replicating that to the Region that contains the aggregator index for the account.

The following are the other AWS services whose primary purpose is to help you manage your AWS resources:

AWS Resource Access Manager (AWS RAM)

Share the resources in one AWS account with other AWS accounts. If your account is managed by AWS Organizations, you can use AWS RAM to share resources with the accounts in an organizational unit, or all of the accounts in the organization. The shared resources work for users in those accounts just like they would if they were created in the local account.

AWS Resource Groups

Create groups for your AWS resources. Then, you can use and manage each group as a unit instead of having to reference every resource individually. Your groups can consist of resources that are part of the same AWS CloudFormation stack, or that are tagged with the same tags. Some resource types also support applying a configuration to a resource group to affect all relevant resources in that group.

Tag editor and the AWS Resource Groups Tagging API

Tags are customer-defined metadata that you can attach to your resources. You can categorize your resources for purposes like cost allocation and attribute-based access control.

Accessing Resource Explorer

You can interact with Resource Explorer in the following ways:

Resource Explorer console

Resource Explorer provides a web-based user interface, the Resource Explorer console. If you signed up for an AWS account, you can access the Resource Explorer console by signing into the AWS Management Console and choosing Resource Explorer from the console home page.

You can also navigate in your browser directly to the Resource Explorer dashboard page, or to the Resource search page. If you aren't already signed in, then you're asked to do so before the console appears.


The Resource Explorer console is a global console, meaning that you don't have to select an AWS Region to work in. However, when you use Resource Explorer to create an index or a view, you need to specify which Region the index or view is stored in. When you use Resource Explorer to search, you can choose any view you have access to. The results automatically come from the Region associated with the selected view. If the view is from the Region that contains the aggregator index, the results include resources from all Regions where you created Resource Explorer indexes.

AWS Management Console unified search

At the top of every page in the AWS Management Console, there is a search bar. You can configure Resource Explorer to participate in unified search. Then, your users can use Resource Explorer search query syntax in the unified search text box, and see matching resources in those search results. By turning this feature on, users can search for resources from the console of any AWS service without having to first switch to the Resource Explorer console.


Unified search always searches using the default view in the AWS Region that contains the aggregator index.

Resource Explorer commands in the AWS CLI and Tools for Windows PowerShell

The AWS CLI and Tools for PowerShell provide direct access to the Resource Explorer public API operations. These tools work on Windows, macOS, and Linux. For more information about getting started, see the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide, or the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell User Guide. For more information about the commands for Resource Explorer, see the AWS CLI Command Reference or the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell Cmdlet Reference.

Resource Explorer operations in the AWS SDKs

AWS provides API commands for a broad set of programming languages. For more information about getting started, see Using AWS Resource Explorer with an AWS SDK.

Query API

If you don't use one of the supported programming languages, the Resource Explorer HTTPS Query API gives you programmatic access to Resource Explorer. With the Resource Explorer API, you can issue HTTPS requests directly to the service. When you use the Resource Explorer API, you must include code that can digitally sign your requests using your AWS credentials. For more information, see the AWS Resource Explorer API Reference.


There are no charges to search for resources by using AWS Resource Explorer, including creating views, turning on Regions, or searching for resources. In the process of building your resource inventory, Resource Explorer calls APIs on your behalf that may result in charges. Interacting with the resources that you find in your search results can result in usage charges that vary depending on the resource type and its AWS service. For more information about how AWS bills for the normal use of a specific resource type, refer to the documentation for that resource type's owning service.