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Amazon Cognito Passwordless Auth

AWS Solution to implement Passwordless authenticaton with Amazon Cognito

Passwordless authentication improves security, reduces friction and provides better user experience for end-users of customer facing applications. Amazon Cognito provides features to implement custom authentication flows, which can be used to expand authentication factors for your application. This solution demonstrates several patterns to support passwordless authentication and provides reference implementations for these methods:

The reference implementation of each of these auth methods uses several AWS resources. This solution contains both CDK code (TypeScript) for the back-end, as well as front-end code (TypeScript) to use in Web, React and React Native to help developers understand the building blocks needed and expand/adjust the solution as necessary.

IMPORTANT: This AWS Solution is for demonstration purposes and uses several AWS resources, it is intended for developers with moderate to advanced AWS knowledge. If you plan to use these methods in production, you need to review, adjust and extend the sample code as necessary for your requirements.

Sign in with passkey, without needing to type in your username:

Passwordless Sign In

Sign in with non-discoverable FIDO2 credential, or Magic Link:

Passwordless Sign In

Video Introduction

Here's a short (11m41s) video that explains and demonstrates the solution:

Solution Intro on YouTube

Table of Contents


We've wrapped the sample code in a NPM package for convenient installation and use:

npm install amazon-cognito-passwordless-auth

Getting Started

Follow the self-paced workshop (duration: 60 minutes) to understand how to use this solution to implement sign-in with FIDO2 (WebAuthn) and Magic Links. The workshop will walk you through all the steps to set up and use this solution: Implement Passwordless authentication with Amazon Cognito and WebAuthn

Alternatively, you can deploy the end-to-end example into your own AWS account. You can run the accompanying front end locally, and sign-in with magic links and FIDO2 (WebAuthn), and try SMS OTP Step Up authentication.

Basic Usage

Create a CDK stack, instantiate the Passwordless CDK construct, and deploy. This will deploy all necessary AWS components, such as AWS Lambda triggers that implement custom authentication flows.

import * as cdk from "aws-cdk-lib";
import { Construct } from "constructs";
import { Passwordless } from "amazon-cognito-passwordless-auth/cdk";

class SampleTestStack extends cdk.Stack {
  constructor(scope?: Construct, id?: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);

    const passwordless = new Passwordless(this, "Passwordless", {
      userPool: yourUserPool, // optional, if not provided an Amazon Cognito User Pool will be created for you
      allowedOrigins: [
        "http://localhost:5173", // Mention all URLs you're exposing the web app on
      magicLink: {
        sesFromAddress: "", // must be a verified domain or identity in Amazon SES
      fido2: {
        allowedRelyingPartyIds: [
          "localhost", // Domain names that you wish to use as Relying Party ID
      smsOtpStepUp: {}, // leave this out to disable SMS OTP Step Up Auth. Likewise for magicLink and fido2

    new cdk.CfnOutput(this, "ClientId", {
      value: passwordless.userPoolClients!.at(0)!.userPoolClientId,
    new cdk.CfnOutput(this, "Fido2Url", {
      value: passwordless.fido2Api!.url!,

Then, with your CDK stack deployed, you're ready to wire up the frontend, see below for React, React Native and (plain) Web.

Notable Features

This library includes:

  • A CDK construct that deploys an Amazon Cognito User Pool with Custom Authorization configured to support the passwordless authentication flows (includes other AWS Services needed, notably DynamoDB and HTTP API).
  • Web functions to use in your Web Apps, to help implement the corresponding front-end.
  • React and React Native hooks, to make it even easier to use passwordless authentication in React and React Native.
  • React prebuilt components that you can drop into your webapp to get started with something that works quickly, as a basis for further development.

Other noteworthy features:

  • This library is built from the ground up in plain TypeScript and has very few dependencies besides aws-sdk and aws-cdk-lib. Most batteries are included:
    • The Magic Link back-end implementation has no dependencies
    • The FIDO2 back-end implementation only depends on cbor
    • The SMS Step-Up Auth back-end implementation only depends on aws-jwt-verify
    • The (plain) Web client implementation has no dependencies
    • The React Web client implementation only has a peer dependency on react itself
    • The React Native client implementation only depends on react-native-passkey
  • This library is fully compatible with AWS Amplify (JS library, aws-amplify), however it does not require AWS Amplify. If you just need Auth, this library should be all you need, but you can use AWS Amplify at the same time for any other features (and even for Auth too, as they can co-operate). See Usage with AWS Amplify.
  • The custom authentication implementations are also exported as separate functions, so you can reuse the code, configure them and tailor them in your own Custom Auth Functions. For example, you can use a custom JavaScript function to generate the HTML and Text contents of the e-mail with the Magic Links.


See CONTRIBUTING for more information.

Keep Dependencies Up-to-date

This sample solution defines several peer dependencies that you must install yourself (e.g. AWS CDK, React). You must make sure to keep these dependencies updated, to account for any security issues that may be found (and solved) for these dependencies.

Token (JWT) Storage

By default, localStorage is used to store tokens (JWTs). This is similar to how e.g. AmplifyJS does it, and is subject to the same concerns. You may want to store tokens elsewhere, perhaps in memory only. You can do so by configuring a custom storage class, e.g.:

import { Passwordless } from "amazon-cognito-passwordless-auth";

class MemoryStorage {
  constructor() {
    this.memory = new Map();
  getItem(key) {
    return this.memory.get(key);
  setItem(key, value) {
    this.memory.set(key, value);
  removeItem(key) {

  ..., // other config
  storage: new MemoryStorage(),

Other Security Best Practices

This sample solution is secure by default. However, you should consider matching the security posture to your requirements, that might be stricter than the defaults:

Usage with AWS Amplify

This library by default uses the same token storage as Amplify uses by default, and thus is able to co-exist and co-operate with Amplify. That means that you can use this library to manage authentication, and use Amplify for other operations (e.g. Storage, PubSub).

After the user signed-in with this library, Amplify will recognize that sign-in as if it had managed the sign-in itself.

If you're using Amplify and this library together, you can use the following convenience methods to configure this library from Amplify configuration:

import { Passwordless } from "amazon-cognito-passwordless-auth";
import { Amplify } from "aws-amplify";

// Configure Amplify:

// Next, configure Passwordless from Amplify:

// Or, to be able able to provide additional Passwordless configuration, do:
  fido2: {
    baseUrl: "...",

Usage in (plain) Web


Usage in React


Usage in React Native


Usage in JavaScript environments other than Web


Customizing Auth

If you want to do customization of this solution that goes beyond the parameters of the Passwordless construct, e.g. to use your own e-mail content for magic links, see

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Who created this library?

The AWS Industries Prototyping team. We created this library initially to use in our own prototypes, that we build for customers. We thought it would benefit many customers, so we decided to spend the effort to open-source it.

Since we use this library ourselves, we'll probably keep it up-to-date and evolve it further. That being said, we consider this sample code: if you use it, be prepared to own your own fork of it.

Why is this on aws-samples, and not awslabs?

Having this repository be on aws-samples communicates most clearly that it is sample code. Users may run it as-is, but should be prepared to "own" it themselves.

We are considering to move it to awslabs in the future (which is why we released this under Apache-2.0 license, instead of MIT-0 which is common on aws-samples).

How have you tested the security posture of this solution?

If you use this solution, YOU must review it and be your own judge of its security posture.

Having said that, you should know that this solution was written by Amazon Cognito experts from AWS. We have run it through multiple internal reviews. We've used it for several of our projects. Amazon's application security team has reviewed and pentested it.

Can you also support other Infrastructure as Code tools than CDK?

This is currently out of scope, to keep maintenance effort manageable. However we'd like to track such requests: leave us a GitHub issue.

Can you also support other Client technologies such as VueJS, Angular, Ionic, etc?

This is currently out of scope, to keep maintenance effort manageable. However we'd like to track such requests: leave us a GitHub issue.

Can you also support other languages than JavaScript / TypeScript?

This is currently out of scope, to keep maintenance effort manageable. However we'd like to track such requests: leave us a GitHub issue.


This project is licensed under the Apache-2.0 License.