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Serverless Authentication with AWS Cognito and React: A Comprehensive Guide

The majority of current applications need authentication as a core component. However, if you're unfamiliar with serverless technologies, integrating authentication can seem like an overwhelming effort. Thanks to AWS Cognito, your serverless application can be effortlessly linked with an easy-to-use, fully managed user authentication service. This post will demonstrate how to use AWS Cognito and React to achieve serverless authentication.


You will require the following in order to follow along with this guide:

  • An AWS account
  • A React application
  • Node.js and NPM installed on your local machine
  • Basic knowledge of React and AWS

Getting started

Let's start by creating a fresh AWS Cognito user pool before delving into the implementation specifics. Access the AWS Cognito dashboard by logging into your AWS account. Click the "Manage User Pools" and then the "Create a User Pool" buttons from there. Make sure to write down the "Pool Id" and "App client id" values before following the instructions to create a new user pool.

Let's now start a fresh React application. Run the following command after opening your terminal:

npx create-react-app my-app

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After the installation is finished, open your favourite code editor and navigate to the newly formed my-app directory.

Installing AWS Amplify

We'll be utilising the AWS Amplify package to make the integration of AWS Cognito with our React application more straightforward. Run the following command in your terminal to install AWS Amplify

npm install aws-amplify

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Let's next set up AWS Amplify to utilise our AWS Cognito user pool. Add the following code to your index.js file to accomplish this:

import Amplify from 'aws-amplify';
import config from './aws-exports';


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And create a new aws-exports.js file with the following code

const awsConfig = {
  Auth: {
    region: 'us-east-1',
    userPoolId: 'YOUR_USER_POOL_ID',
    userPoolWebClientId: 'YOUR_APP_CLIENT_ID',

export default awsConfig;

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Make sure to replace the YOUR_USER_POOL_ID and YOUR_APP_CLIENT_ID values with the corresponding values from your AWS Cognito user pool.

Implementing Authentication

After setting up AWS Amplify, we can begin adding authentication to our React application. We'll use AWS Amplify's withAuthenticator higher-order component to accomplish this. The sign-up, sign-in, and password reset logic will all be handled by this component for us.

Wrap your component in the withAuthenticator component by importing it into your main App.js file as follows.

import React from 'react';
import { withAuthenticator } from 'aws-amplify-react';
import './App.css';

function App() {
  return (
    <div className="App">
      <h1>Welcome to My App!</h1>

export default withAuthenticator(App, { includeGreetings: true });

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When a user accesses the application for the first time using this code, the withAuthenticator component will automatically render a sign-up/sign-in form. The component will display the App component and provide a greeting with the user's name once the user has signed in.


We've shown how simple it is to use AWS Cognito and React to achieve serverless authentication. We were able to streamline the entire authentication process and make it incredibly user-friendly by utilising the strong capabilities of AWS Amplify. AWS Cognito and React make it simple to deploy secure, scalable authentication in a serverless environment, regardless of whether you're developing a new application or adding authentication to an existing one. We sincerely hope that this article has been useful, and we strongly advise you to investigate the many other strong features of AWS Cognito and AWS Amplify. Coding is fun!

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