Developer Guide

Create an AWS Account and Credentials

To use the AWS SDK for .NET to access AWS, you need an AWS account and AWS credentials. To increase the security of your AWS account, we recommend that you use an IAM user to provide access credentials instead of using your root account credentials.


For an overview of IAM users and why they are important for the security of your account, see Overview of Identity Management: Users in the IAM User Guide.

Signing Up for an AWS Account

To sign up for an AWS account

  1. Open and click Sign Up.

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions. Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a PIN using your phone keypad.

Next, create an IAM user and download (or copy) its secret access key. To use the AWS SDK for .NET, you must have a set of valid AWS credentials, which consist of an access key and a secret key. These keys are used to sign programmatic web service requests and enable AWS to verify that the request comes from an authorized source. You can obtain a set of account credentials when you create your account. However, we recommend that you do not use these credentials with AWS SDK for .NET. Instead, create one or more IAM users, and use those credentials. For applications that run on Amazon EC2 instances, you can use IAM roles to provide temporary credentials.

Creating an IAM User

To create an IAM user

  1. Go to the IAM console (you may need to sign in to AWS first).

  2. Click Users in the sidebar to view your IAM users.

  3. If you don't have any IAM users set up, click Create New Users to create one.

  4. Select the IAM user in the list that you'll use to access AWS.

  5. Open the Security Credentials tab, and click Create Access Key.


    You can have a maximum of two active access keys for any given IAM user. If your IAM user has two access keys already, then you'll need to delete one of them before creating a new key.

  6. In the resulting dialog box, choose Download Credentials to download the credential file to your computer, or click Show User Security Credentials to view the IAM user's access key ID and secret access key (which you can copy and paste).


    There is no way to obtain the secret access key once you close the dialog. You can, however, delete its associated access key ID and create a new one.

Next, you set your credentials in the AWS shared credentials file or in the environment.

The preferred approach for handling credentials is to create a profile for each set of credentials in the SDK Store. You can create and manage profiles with the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio, PowerShell cmdlets, or programmatically with the AWS SDK for .NET. These credentials are encrypted and stored separately from any project. You then reference the profile by name in your application, and the credentials are inserted at build time. This approach ensures that your credentials are not unintentionally exposed with your project on a public site. For more information, see Setting Up the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio and Configuring AWS Credentials.

For more information about managing your credentials, see Best Practices for Managing AWS Access Keys.

To view your current account activity and manage your account at any time, go to and choose My Account/Console.