Posted On: Oct 13, 2023

Starting today, customers can disable their unused or obsolete Amazon Machine Images (AMIs; pronounced ah-mee). Disabling an AMI changes its state to disabled, makes the AMI private if it was previously shared, and prevents any new EC2 instance launches from that disabled AMI. Customers creating, managing, and consuming AMIs at-scale can now simplify and streamline their workflows with this new capability.

Prior to today, customers looking to clean up unused and obsolete AMIs had to de-register these AMIs, which was not always feasible due to regulatory, compliance, IT governance, or internal policy reasons. These constraints led to growing number of active AMIs that increased management overhead, impacted discoverability, and risked safety and security for new instance launched. Now by disabling AMI, customers can continue retaining old and obsolete AMIs while preventing new instance launches from these AMIs that may have vulnerable or non-compliant software. Disabled AMIs are not visible by default in DescribeImages API call, thereby simplifying discoverability by decluttering the AMI catalog. If an AMI is disabled by accident or a prior disabled AMI is required to launch new instances, customers can easily re-enable that AMI with a simple API call.

This feature is now available in all AWS Regions, including the AWS GovCloud (US) Regions and Amazon Web Services China Regions.

To learn more about disabling AMIs, refer to AMI documentation here.