AWS Secrets Manager API Reference
API Reference (API Version 2017-10-17)


AWS Secrets Manager is a web service that enables you to store, manage, and retrieve, secrets.

This guide provides descriptions of the Secrets Manager API. For more information about using this service, see the AWS Secrets Manager User Guide.

API Version

This version of the Secrets Manager API Reference documents the Secrets Manager API version 2017-10-17.


As an alternative to using the API directly, you can use one of the AWS SDKs, which consist of libraries and sample code for various programming languages and platforms (such as Java, Ruby, .NET, iOS, and Android). The SDKs provide a convenient way to create programmatic access to AWS Secrets Manager. For example, the SDKs take care of cryptographically signing requests, managing errors, and retrying requests automatically. For more information about the AWS SDKs, including how to download and install them, see Tools for Amazon Web Services.

We recommend that you use the AWS SDKs to make programmatic API calls to Secrets Manager. However, you also can use the Secrets Manager HTTP Query API to make direct calls to the Secrets Manager web service. To learn more about the Secrets Manager HTTP Query API, see Making Query Requests in the AWS Secrets Manager User Guide.

Secrets Manager supports GET and POST requests for all actions. That is, the API doesn't require you to use GET for some actions and POST for others. However, GET requests are subject to the limitation size of a URL. Therefore, for operations that require larger sizes, use a POST request.

Signing Requests

When you send HTTP requests to AWS, you must sign the requests so that AWS can identify who sent them. You sign requests with your AWS access key, which consists of an access key ID and a secret access key. We strongly recommend that you don't create an access key for your root account. Anyone who has the access key for your root account has unrestricted access to all the resources in your account. Instead, create an access key for an IAM user account that has the permissions required for the task at hand. As another option, use AWS Security Token Service to generate temporary security credentials, and use those credentials to sign requests.

To sign requests, you must use Signature Version 4. If you have an existing application that uses Signature Version 2, you must update it to use Signature Version 4.

When you use the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or one of the AWS SDKs to make requests to AWS, these tools automatically sign the requests for you with the access key that you specify when you configure the tools.

Support and Feedback for AWS Secrets Manager

We welcome your feedback. Send your comments to, or post your feedback and questions in the AWS Secrets Manager Discussion Forum. For more information about the AWS Discussion Forums, see Forums Help.

How examples are presented

The JSON that AWS Secrets Manager expects as your request parameters and that the service returns as a response to HTTP query requests are single, long strings without line breaks or white space formatting. The JSON shown in the examples is formatted with both line breaks and white space to improve readability. When example input parameters would also result in long strings that extend beyond the screen, we insert line breaks to enhance readability. You should always submit the input as a single JSON text string.

Logging API Requests

AWS Secrets Manager supports AWS CloudTrail, a service that records AWS API calls for your AWS account and delivers log files to an Amazon S3 bucket. By using information that's collected by AWS CloudTrail, you can determine which requests were successfully made to Secrets Manager, who made the request, when it was made, and so on. For more about AWS Secrets Manager and its support for AWS CloudTrail, see Logging AWS Secrets Manager Events with AWS CloudTrail in the AWS Secrets Manager User Guide. To learn more about CloudTrail, including how to turn it on and find your log files, see the AWS CloudTrail User Guide.

This document was last published on July 16, 2019.