Delete EC2 Instance

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EC2 instances may serve your purposes for long periods of time. However, eventually, you may have a need to retire and delete the EC2 instance. This article, “How To: AWS Delete an EC2 Instance” shows you the simple steps needed to permanently delete an EC2 instance.

Step One: Create a Snapshot of the Instance

In case you ever need to restore this instance to activity you should take a snapshot. In the AWS Console select the EC2 service.

Click the Instances option.

This will bring up a list of your running instances.

Select the instance you want to delete and click the Actions drop-down menu.

Select “Image > Create Image”

Enter a name and an optional description for the image and click the “Create Image” button.

You will receive a confirmation that the request to create your image is processing.

Wait for the image creation to complete before proceeding to the next step.

Step Two: Delete EC2 Instance by Terminating it

The actual step in AWS to delete an EC2 instance is not instantaneous. It requires the instance to shut down first.

On your instances screen select the instance you want to delete and click the Actions drop-down menu.

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Select “Instance State > Terminate”

Confirm that you do want to delete the EBS files related to this instance by clicking the “Yes, Terminate” button.

On your instances screen you will see that the instance is shutting down.

After the shutdown process is complete you will see that the instance is terminated.

The instance will remain on your Instances list for up to a few hours before it disappears entirely.


You've successfully completed the steps in AWS to delete an EC2 instance.

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