Troubleshooting AWS Secrets Manager - AWS Secrets Manager

Troubleshooting AWS Secrets Manager

Use the information here to help you diagnose and fix issues that you might encounter when you're working with Secrets Manager.

For issues related to rotation, see Troubleshoot AWS Secrets Manager rotation.

"Access denied" messages

When you make an API call such as GetSecretValue or CreateSecret to Secrets Manager, you must have IAM permissions to make that call. When you use the console, the console makes the same API calls on your behalf, so you must also have IAM permissions. An administrator can grant permissions by attaching an IAM policy to your IAM user, or to a group that you're a member of. If the policy statements that grant those permissions include any conditions, such as time-of-day or IP address restrictions, you also must meet those requirements when you send the request. For information about viewing or modifying policies for an IAM user, group, or role, see Working with Policies in the IAM User Guide. For information about permissions required for Secrets Manager, see Authentication and access control for AWS Secrets Manager.

If you're signing API requests manually, without using the AWS SDKs, verify you correctly signed the request.

"Access denied" for temporary security credentials

Verify the IAM user or role you're using to make the request has the correct permissions. Permissions for temporary security credentials derive from an IAM user or role. This means the permissions are limited to those granted to the IAM user or role. For more information about how permissions for temporary security credentials are determined, see Controlling Permissions for Temporary Security Credentials in the IAM User Guide.

Verify that your requests are signed correctly and that the request is well-formed. For details, see the toolkit documentation for your chosen SDK, or Using Temporary Security Credentials to Request Access to AWS Resources in the IAM User Guide.

Verify that your temporary security credentials haven't expired. For more information, see Requesting Temporary Security Credentials in the IAM User Guide.

For information about permissions required for Secrets Manager, see Authentication and access control for AWS Secrets Manager.

Changes I make aren't always immediately visible.

Secrets Manager uses a distributed computing model called eventual consistency. Any change that you make in Secrets Manager (or other AWS services) takes time to become visible from all possible endpoints. Some of the delay results from the time it takes to send the data from server to server, from replication zone to replication zone, and from region to region around the world. Secrets Manager also uses caching to improve performance, but in some cases this can add time. The change might not be visible until the previously cached data times out.

Design your global applications to account for these potential delays. Also, ensure that they work as expected, even when a change made in one location isn't instantly visible at another.

For more information about how some other AWS services are affected by eventual consistency, see:

“Cannot generate a data key with an asymmetric KMS key” when creating a secret

Secrets Manager uses a symmetric encryption KMS key associated with a secret to generate a data key for each secret value. You can't use an asymmetric KMS key. Verify you are using a symmetric encryption KMS key instead of an asymmetric KMS key. For instructions, see Identifying asymmetric KMS keys.

An AWS CLI or AWS SDK operation can't find my secret from a partial ARN

In many cases, Secrets Manager can find your secret from part of an ARN rather than the full ARN. However, if your secret's name ends in a hyphen followed by six characters, Secrets Manager might not be able to find the secret from only part of an ARN. Instead, we recommend that you use the complete ARN or the name of the secret.

More details

Secrets Manager includes six random characters at the end of the secret name to help ensure that the secret ARN is unique. If the original secret is deleted, and then a new secret is created with the same name, the two secrets have different ARNs because of these characters. Users with access to the old secret don't automatically get access to the new secret because the ARNs are different.

Secrets Manager constructs an ARN for a secret with Region, account, secret name, and then a hyphen and six more characters, as follows:


If your secret name ends with a hyphen and six characters, using only part of the ARN can appear to Secrets Manager as though you are specifying a full ARN. For example, you might have a secret named MySecret-abcdef with the ARN


If you call the following operation, which only uses part of the secret ARN, then Secrets Manager might not find the secret.

$ aws secretsmanager describe-secret --secret-id arn:aws:secretsmanager:us-east-2:111122223333:secret:MySecret-abcdef

This secret is managed by an AWS service, and you must use that service to update it.

If you encounter this message while trying to modify a secret, the secret can only be updated by using the managing service listed in the message. For more information, see AWS Secrets Manager secrets managed by other AWS services.

To determine who manages a secret, you can review the secret name. Secrets managed by other services are prefixed with the ID of that service. Or, in the AWS CLI, call describe-secret, and then review the field OwningService.