Pre authentication Lambda trigger - Amazon Cognito
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Pre authentication Lambda trigger

Amazon Cognito invokes this trigger when a user attempts to sign in so that you can create custom validation that performs preparatory actions. For example, you can deny the authentication request or record session data to an external system.


This Lambda trigger doesn't activate when a user doesn't exist, or already has an existing session in your user pool. If the PreventUserExistenceErrors setting of a user pool app client is set to ENABLED, then the Lambda trigger will activate.

Authentication flow overview

Pre authentication Lambda trigger - client flow

The request includes client validation data from the ClientMetadata values that your app passes to the user pool InitiateAuth and AdminInitiateAuth API operations.

For more information, see User pool authentication flow.

Pre authentication Lambda trigger parameters

The request that Amazon Cognito passes to this Lambda function is a combination of the parameters below and the common parameters that Amazon Cognito adds to all requests.

{ "request": { "userAttributes": { "string": "string", . . . }, "validationData": { "string": "string", . . . }, "userNotFound": boolean }, "response": {} }

Pre authentication request parameters


One or more name-value pairs that represent user attributes.


When you set PreventUserExistenceErrors to ENABLED for your user pool client, Amazon Cognito populates this Boolean.


One or more key-value pairs that contain the validation data in the user's sign-in request. To pass this data to your Lambda function, use the ClientMetadata parameter in the InitiateAuth and AdminInitiateAuth API actions.

Pre authentication response parameters

Amazon Cognito does not expect any additional return information in the response. Your function can return an error to reject the sign-in attempt, or use API operations to query and modify your resources.

Pre authentication example

This example function prevents users from signing in to your user pool with a specific app client. Because the pre authentication Lambda function doesn't invoke when your user has an existing session, this function only prevents new sessions with the app client ID that you want to block.

const handler = async (event) => { if ( event.callerContext.clientId === "user-pool-app-client-id-to-be-blocked" ) { throw new Error("Cannot authenticate users from this user pool app client"); } return event; }; export { handler };
def lambda_handler(event, context): if event['callerContext']['clientId'] == "<user pool app client id to be blocked>": raise Exception("Cannot authenticate users from this user pool app client") # Return to Amazon Cognito return event

Amazon Cognito passes event information to your Lambda function. The function then returns the same event object to Amazon Cognito, with any changes in the response. In the Lambda console, you can set up a test event with data that is relevant to your Lambda trigger. The following is a test event for this code sample:

{ "callerContext": { "clientId": "<user pool app client id to be blocked>" }, "response": {} }