When an IAM user logs in to the AWS Management Console, a 12-digit account ID is required to link the user to their organization’s resources.
As you could imagine, this 12-digit code is easily forgotten. At that point it becomes an ongoing annoyance for AWS admins to deal with users who have forgotten the code. Fortunately, AWS provides a simple but effective feature that makes the account ID a little bit easier to remember.
AWS Account alias creation
If your users have trouble remembering their 12-digit code, you can create an account alias in the AWS Management Console. This alias can be any 63-character combination of digits, lower-case letters and dashes. Think up a memorable AWS alias for your team to remember, and you’ll no longer waste time reminding users of their account ID.
AWS account alias creation steps
To create an AWS account alias, follow these steps:
- Log in with either the AWS root account or as an administrative user
- Navigate to the Identity and Access Management (IAM) dashboard
- Find the account ID on the right-hand side and click Create or Change under the AWS account alias
- Provide a unique name for the account alias
- Save your changes and distribute the new alias to your users
The same basic steps apply to change or rename an AWS account alias.
After you create the AWS account alias, users can provide the new, easy-to-remember name instead of the 12-digit code. The old 12-digit account ID will still work, so those who don’t want to use the alias will not be forced to change their login habits.
Globally unique AWS aliases
Keep in mind that the AWS account alias must be unique across all Amazon Web Services products. This can make the selection of a unique and memorable name a tad more difficult, as many clever names are already been taken. Instead, achieve uniqueness through a combination of your company’s domain and the name of the project you’re working on.
Finding a unique alias certainly isn’t as hard as coming up with an available and memorable Twitter handle. Still, you should be prepared with a backup name or two if the first AWS account alias you submit is rejected.