Email Only Sign Up With AWS Amplify

March 14, 2019 • ☕️ 2 min read

In this post you are going to learn how to add email authentication to your Amplify app without requiring an username.

Note: This article assumes a basic understanding of AWS Amplify. Check out this great course by Nader Dabit if you want to learn the basics.

I recently started using the AWS Amplify CLI. The default authentication when using AWS Amplify is username, email and phone number. I didn’t want to use a username. After googling and filing an issue I found out that this feature is currently not supported. Bummer 🙄

But, there is a way to do it semi-manually! 👏🏻

It requires one step (two if you are using React and want to use Amplify’s UI components).

Configure the Auth Settings

Run amplify add auth.¹ Next, in your generated <weird-number>-cloudformation-template.yml in the directory amplify/backend/auth/<weird-number>/ add the following code:

✋🏻 Manual labor 🔨

This will configure the Cognito user pool to use the email as the username attribute.

For a full list of possible values you can find the AWS Cognito docs here.

(Optional) Configure the UI Components

If you are using the withAuthenticator HOC, add the following code:

const signUpConfig = {
  hiddenDefaults: ['username'],
  signUpFields: [
      label: 'Email',
      key: 'username', // ❗️❗️❗️
      required: true,
      displayOrder: 1,
      type: 'string',
      custom: false,
      label: 'Password',
      key: 'password',
      required: true,
      displayOrder: 2,
      type: 'password',
      custom: false,
      label: 'Phone Number',
      key: 'phone_number',
      required: true,
      displayOrder: 3,
      type: 'tel',
      custom: false,

export default withAuthenticator(App, { signUpConfig });

This will tell Amplify to omit the username field and render an email field instead. Check out the docs for more info - for example if you want to use the <Authenticator /> component with custom components.

Unfortunately, the sign in component still displays the username and an <input type="name"/> instead of type="email". But it will correctly sign up using the email. This could confuse users. The only way to fix this is by using a custom component.


  1. I did this with a brand new project. I don’t know if it works with an existing user-pool. You could try modifying your existing .yml file and running amplify update auth and amplify push. Otherwise you will have to delete it (and loose all existing users at your awn risk) by using amplify remove auth and amplify push) 🤷🏻‍♂️