Registering a device for MFA - AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-On)

Registering a device for MFA

Use the following procedure within the AWS access portal to register your new device for multi-factor authentication (MFA).


We recommend that you first download the appropriate Authenticator app onto your device before starting the steps in this procedure. For a list of apps that you can use for MFA devices, see Authenticator apps.

To register your device for use with MFA

  1. Sign in to your AWS access portal. For more information, see Signing in to the AWS access portal.

  2. Near the top-right of the page, choose MFA devices.

  3. On the Multi-factor authentication (MFA) devices page, choose Register device.


    If the Register MFA device option is grayed out, you will need to contact your administrator for assistance with registering your device.

  4. On the Register MFA device page, select one of the following MFA device types, and follow the instructions:

    • Authenticator app

      1. On the Set up the authenticator app page, you might notice configuration information for the new MFA device, including a QR code graphic. The graphic is a representation of the secret key that is available for manual entry on devices that do not support QR codes.

      2. Using the physical MFA device, do the following:

        1. Open a compatible MFA authenticator app. For a list of tested apps that you can use with MFA devices, see Authenticator apps. If the MFA app supports multiple accounts (multiple MFA devices), choose the option to create a new account (a new MFA device).

        2. Determine whether the MFA app supports QR codes, and then do one of the following on the Set up the authenticator app page:

          1. Choose Show QR code, and then use the app to scan the QR code. For example, you might choose the camera icon or choose an option similar to Scan code. Then use the device's camera to scan the code.

          2. Choose show secret key, and then enter that secret key into your MFA app.


            When you configure an MFA device for IAM Identity Center, we recommend that you save a copy of the QR code or secret key in a secure place. This can help if you lose the phone or have to reinstall the MFA authenticator app. If either of those things happen, you can quickly reconfigure the app to use the same MFA configuration.

      3. On the Set up the authenticator app page, under Authenticator code, enter the one-time password that currently appears on the physical MFA device.


        Submit your request immediately after generating the code. If you generate the code and then wait too long to submit the request, the MFA device is successfully associated with your user account. But the MFA device is out of sync. This happens because time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) expire after a short period of time. If this happens, you can sync the device again.

      4. Choose Assign MFA. The MFA device can now start generating one-time passwords and is now ready for use with AWS.

    • Security key or Built-in authenticator

      1. On the Register your user's security key page, follow the instructions given to you by your browser or platform.


        The experience here will vary based on the different operating systems and browsers, so follow the instructions displayed by your browser or platform. After your device has been successfully registered, you will be given the option to associate a friendly display name to your newly enrolled device. If you want to change this, choose Rename, enter the new name, and then choose Save.