Why can't I find an Amazon EC2 instance that I launched on my account?

Last updated: 2020-09-21

I launched an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance, but I can't see it in the Amazon EC2 console.

Resolution

You can use the AWSSupport-ListEC2Resources AWS Systems Manager Automation document to list your active EC2 resources. This automation document returns information on EC2 instances and related resources, such as Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes, Elastic IP addresses, and Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling groups from the AWS Regions that you specify. By default, the information is gathered from all Regions and appears in the output. To run this automation, follow the instructions in Running a simple automation.

The following are some common reasons you might not be able to see an EC2 instance in the console:

  • The instance is running, but the console is set to a different Region: Each EC2 instance is launched in a specific Region, and you can view only one Region at a time in the console. Be sure that you select the correct Region based on the output of the automation document.
  • Another account user shut down or terminated the instance: If you don't see the EC2 instance in the output of the automation document, check with other users of your account to see if they've terminated the instance.
  • The instance is running on another AWS account: If you don't see the EC2 instance in the output of the automation document, run the automation on your other AWS accounts to find the instance.
  • The instance was running, but a process or service shut down the instance: If you don't see the EC2 instance in the output of the automation document, a process or service might have terminated the instance. Some AWS services, such as AWS Auto Scaling, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Elastic Load Balancing, or AWS Lambda, can be configured to start, stop, and terminate instances automatically. For more information, see the service documentation.
  • The instance was launched as a Spot Instance, and the current Spot price exceeds your bid: If you don't see your Spot Instance in the output of the automation document, it's possible that the Spot instance was terminated. Spot Instances terminate automatically when your bid price is lower than the current Spot price. For current Spot prices, see Amazon EC2 Spot Instances pricing.