I have running EC2 instances, but I don't remember launching them

Last updated: 2017-05-13

I checked the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) console, and I have instances running that I don't remember launching. Where might these instances have come from?

Short Description

To discover how EC2 instances on your account were launched, consider the following:


Delete or terminate instances launched by other services

The following services, among others, can be configured to launch EC2 instances:

  • AWS CloudFormation: You can configure a CloudFormation template to launch one or more instances on your behalf as part of a stack. For more information, see What is AWS CloudFormation? To terminate the stack and all its resources, see Terminating a Stack.
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Elastic Beanstalk environments include EC2 instances and Auto Scaling rules by default. An environment's Auto Scaling rules might launch EC2 instances, depending on how they were configured. For more information, see What Is Elastic Beanstalk? To terminate an environment and all its resources, see Terminate an Environment.
  • AWS OpsWorks: AWS OpsWorks stacks can launch groups of AWS resources according to the instructions in the stack's cookbook. If you launch an OpsWorks stack, the cookbook might be configured to launch EC2 instances as part of the stack. To terminate the resources associated with a stack, shut down the stack.
  • Amazon EMR: Amazon EMR allows you to launch clusters and nodes, which are essentially groups of EC2 instances. To terminate the instances associated with a cluster, terminate the Amazon EMR cluster.

You might need to complete additional steps before or after terminating resources. Check the documentation for the AWS service for additional information.

Check to see if someone else launched the instances

Another authorized user might have launched the instances as part of a project they were working on. Check with others in your company or on your team, and ask if they launched the instances.

You can use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to manage which users can launch instances or use AWS services.

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