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Why is it important to remove root access key?

Principle of least privileges


Recently I was unable to launch EC2 instances using my own account. The error message I got was:

Launch Failed
This account is currently blocked and not recognized as a valid account. Please contact > if you have questions.

Upon checking Stackoverflow, I came across this article.

The resolution suggested that I use 3 specific regions as per the welcome email. However this still didn't resolve my issue.

I then went to IAM console and noticed a security recommendation:


IAM Before

Navigate to My Account > Security Credentials and then inactivate / remove the root access keys.


IAM After


  • I raised a case using Support > Support Center at the top right of the AWS console.
  • They informed me that AWS support had put a temporary restriction which would be in place until I improved the security of my account.
  • Since I had completed the steps above and the security of my account was no longer an issue, they proceeded to unlock my account right away.
  • The resolution was prompt and I was very impressed with the support I received!


  • AWS are constantly monitoring and alerting users to keep their accounts safe.
  • As AWS recommends, one of the best practices is to use the "Principle of least privileges".

Top comments (0)

Regex for lazy developers

regex for lazy devs

You know who you are. Sorry for the callout 😆