I enabled TTL for items in my DynamoDB table, but DynamoDB didn't delete them

Last updated: 2020-05-21

I enabled Time to Live (TTL) on an Amazon DynamoDB table. The items expired, but DynamoDB didn’t delete them.


If you enable TTL on a DynamoDB table, but DynamoDB doesn’t delete the items when they expire, confirm the following:

  • Be sure that you set a TTL attribute. For more information, see Enabling Time to Live (TTL).
  • TTL attributes must use the number data type. Other data types, such as string, aren't supported.
  • TTL attributes must use the epoch time format. For example, the epoch timestamp for May 5, 2020 16:52:32 UTC is 1588697552. You can use a free online converter, such as EpochConverter, to get the correct value.
    Note: Be sure that the timestamp is in seconds, not milliseconds (for example, use 1572268323 instead of 1572268323000).
  • Wait at least for 48 hours for DynamoDB to delete the item. DynamoDB deletes expired items on a best-effort basis to be sure that there's enough throughput for other data operations. Processing takes place automatically, in the background, and doesn't affect read or write traffic to the table.
  • Be sure that the expiration date isn't more than five years in the past. DynamoDB doesn't delete items with expiration dates more than five years in the past.

For more TTL best practices, see Before You Begin Using Time to Live.

Did this article help you?

Anything we could improve?

Need more help?