How to Delete AWS EC2 Instance

Deleting an AWS EC2 instance is crucial for managing your cloud resources effectively.

Whether you want to remove unused instances, terminate a specific instance, or clean up your EC2 environment, understanding the process is essential.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to delete an AWS EC2 instance. We will cover various methods and highlight important considerations along the way.

How to Delete AWS EC2 Instance

Understanding AWS EC2 Instances

Before deleting an EC2 instance, it’s crucial to understand what an EC2 instance is and how it fits into the AWS infrastructure.

EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) is a web service that provides scalable computing capacity in the cloud.

EC2 instances are virtual servers in the AWS cloud that allow you to run applications and services.

Terminating an EC2 Instance Using the EC2 Console

The EC2 Console is a web-based interface provided by AWS for managing EC2 instances. Follow these steps to delete an EC2 instance using the EC2 Console:

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console.
  2. Navigate to the EC2 service.
  3. Select “Instances” from the left-hand menu.
  4. Locate the EC2 instance you want to delete.
  5. Right-click on the instance and choose “Instance State” > “Terminate.”
  6. Confirm the termination when prompted.

Deleting Terminated EC2 Instances

Even after terminating an EC2 instance, it may take a few minutes to delete it entirely.

However, removing terminated instances from your list is essential to maintain clarity. Here’s how you can delete terminated EC2 instances:

  1. Go to the EC2 Console.
  2. Select “Instances” from the left-hand menu.
  3. Click on the “Instances” drop-down menu and choose “Terminated.”
  4. Select the terminated instances you want to delete.
  5. Click on “Actions” > “Instance State” > “Delete.”

Removing Unused EC2 Instances

To optimize your AWS environment and reduce costs, it’s essential to identify and remove unused EC2 instances. Follow these steps to delete unused EC2 instances:

  1. Access the EC2 Console.
  2. Select “Instances” from the left-hand menu.
  3. Identify the instances that have been unused for a significant period.
  4. Select the unused instances you want to delete.
  5. Click on “Actions” > “Instance State” > “Terminate.”
  6. Confirm the termination when prompted.

Terminating an EC2 Instance Using AWS CLI

AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) provides a powerful way to manage AWS services through commands. To delete an EC2 instance using AWS CLI, follow these steps:

  1. Open the AWS CLI or use the AWS CLI in the AWS Management Console.
  2. Use the following command to terminate the instance: aws ec2 terminate-instances –instance-ids
  3. Replace <instance-id> with the ID of the EC2 instance, you want to delete.
  4. Execute the command and wait for the instance termination.

Best Practices for EC2 Instance Deletion

When deleting EC2 instances, following best practices to avoid unintended consequences is crucial. Consider the following guidelines:

  • Double-check the instance you delete
  • to ensure you are targeting the correct one.
  • Take backups or snapshots of important data before deleting an instance.
  • Ensure that any associated resources, such as Elastic IP addresses or EBS volumes, are properly disassociated or deleted.
  • Review and update security groups and IAM roles in removing unnecessary access or permissions.
  • Monitor and adjust your EC2 instance usage regularly to promptly identify and remove unused instances.
  • Consider using automation tools like AWS Lambda or AWS CloudFormation to streamline the instance deletion process.


Deleting AWS EC2 instances is fundamental for maintaining an optimized and cost-effective cloud environment.

This article provided a comprehensive guide on deleting an EC2 instance using various methods, including the EC2 Console and AWS CLI.

We also discussed best practices to ensure a smooth and secure deletion process. Following these steps and considering the critical factors outlined in this guide, you can confidently manage and delete your AWS EC2 instances.

Regularly reviewing your EC2 environment and removing unused or unnecessary instances will help optimize costs and enhance the overall performance and scalability of your cloud infrastructure.

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