How do I capture a screenshot of an unreachable Amazon EC2 Windows instance for troubleshooting?

Last updated: 2020-10-12

I’m unable to connect to my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Windows instance using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). How can I capture a screenshot of the EC2 instance to check its status?

Short description

An Amazon EC2 Windows instance might be unreachable for various reasons including network configuration, permissions, or high CPU use. The status of an instance can be unreachable even though the instance is running and otherwise appears healthy. Use the Get Instance Screenshot feature to help identify why the connection attempt fails or times out.

Resolution

Note: If you receive errors when running AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) commands, make sure that you’re using the most recent version of the AWS CLI.

You can get a screenshot of an unreachable instance using the Amazon EC2 console or the AWS CLI. The Get Instance Screenshot feature returns an image of the Windows desktop as if you were directly connected to the instance with a display monitor.

For examples of screenshots, and troubleshooting steps to resolve the issues that you identify from the screenshots, see Common screenshots.