Exercise: AWS Management Console Tour

Natasha Ong
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4 min read

Exercise Overview:

WOOHOOO! Welcome to your AWS Management Console 👋

By signing up for an account, you've taken a huge step towards understanding AWS beyond theory. You're also going to be doing some (very) cool stuff every time you're here.

So let's get straight into it and find out what you can see and do in the Console!

We definitely recommend starting by clicking around and getting a feel of the portal for 10 minutes just to see where you end up.

So pause this and head straight to your Console now - here's the link 🏃💨

Come back in 10 minutes, or whenever you're ready for a mini treasure hunt!


By the end of this exercise, you should be able to learn:

  • The different sections of the Console Home
  • How to access your account information
  • How to work with widgets on the Console Home


  • An AWS Account


Challenge yourself to this treasure hunt - can you find all of these gems scattered around your Console?

  • Your Account ID
  • Your Billing Dashboard
  • Your AWS Region
  • The Amazon EC2 service
  • AWS Cloud Shell (this one is harder to find!)
  • Dark mode
  • Dashboard widgets

If you get stuck in this treasure hunt, here's a guided tour:

💁 Navigate to AWS Account Information by clicking the username at the upper right corner of the console.

  1. Account ID – a unique 12-digit number assigned to your AWS account. This ID distinguishes your AWS account from others and is useful in various AWS operations and API calls.
  2. IAM user – an IAM user is an identity with specific permissions that determine what the identity can and cannot do in AWS. It represents an individual, system, or application accessing AWS resources.
  3. Account – an account is the details about your account including the address, contact information, billing settings, and more.
  4. Organisation – an AWS Organisations is an account management service that enables you to consolidate multiple AWS accounts into an organization that you create and centrally manage.
  5. Service Quotas – also known as limits in AWS services, are the maximum values for the resources, actions, and items in your AWS account.
  6. Billing Dashboard – you can use the dashboard page of the AWS Billing console to gain a general view of your AWS spending.
  7. Security Credentials – this link will take you to your AWS IAM user’s page in the IAM console where you can change your password, add multi-factor authentication, and more.

🌎 To the left of the AWS Account Information, there’s the AWS Regions. The menu will display the currently selected Region, or ‘Global’ (we will see this moving forward on the course) when you have selected a global service. Let’s break down what’s in the AWS Regions in details.

  1. The text consists of the Region group, such as "US East"; region name, such as "N. Virginia"; and the Region string used by the AWS CLI, SDK, and other services, such as "us-east-1".
  2. When you click on the currently selected Region, a dropdown will appear with all the available Regions, and you can switch the console to a different Region by clicking on one in the list.

🍱 On the upper right corner, next to the right of AWS logo, there’s the AWS Service Selector.

  1. You can use this to navigate between services grouped by top-level categories, such as Compute, which includes Amazon EC2, along with other services like AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Amazon Lightsail.
  2. This is a great way to explore the various services by category, especially if you are new to AWS.
  3. You can also mark services as favourites by selecting the star next to their names, which will pin them to the navigation bar.

🔍 The fourth component is the AWS Search (this is next to the right of AWS Service Selector).

  1. Search is a quick way to find and navigate to services and resources that you are looking for.  
  2. If the search engine is unable to find a match within one of these sections, the section will not be included in the list.  
  3. You can add services to the navigation bar by selecting the star to favourite them.  

🐚 The fifth component is the AWS CloudShell.

  1. Fun fact: the panel that pops up is called a command-line interface. No worries if you haven't seen one before! We'll be showing you what that means later in the course ;)

Here's the icon for it! Cloud Shell is the one highlighted in orange:

⚙️ On to number six! Let's open the Settings panel to toggle between light and dark mode.

  1. This is the gear icon next to your Region.

🎨 Finally, the last component is the AWS Dashboard Widgets.

  1. This is the orange "add widgets" button right below the black toolbar you've been working with.
  2. These widgets aim to give users a clear, at-a-glance understanding of their environment.
  3. Customise your dashboard by dragging and dropping widgets from the right hand side of your screen!

Congratulations! You have finished the AWS Management Console Tour.

Feeling curious about what you see? Give yourself the time to keep exploring and clicking around before heading back to your course.