Why do I get the error "The snapshot is currently in use by an AMI" when I try to delete my Amazon EBS snapshot?

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When I delete an Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) snapshot, I receive the error: "snap-xxxxxxxx: The snapshot snap-xxxxxxxx is currently in use by ami-xxxxxxxx".


Note: If you receive errors when you run AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) commands, then see Troubleshoot AWS CLI errors. Also, make sure that you're using the most recent AWS CLI version.

Amazon EBS-backed Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) include EBS snapshots. If you try to delete an EBS snapshot that's associated with an active AMI, then you receive this error.

Note: You can't delete public snapshots. If you try to delete a public snapshot, then you receive an "unknown error occurred" message.

If you no longer need the EBS snapshot or its associated AMI, then use the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) console to deregister the AMI. After you deregister the AMI, use the Amazon EC2 console or AWS CLI to delete the EBS snapshot.

Complete the following steps:

  1. Note the AMI ID in the error message.
  2. Open the Amazon EC2 console, and then in the navigation pane, choose AMIs.
  3. Choose the AMI, and then on the Actions menu, choose Deregister AMI
    Note: If you don't see the AMI, then check the other AWS Regions that you use. Also, if the AMI is deactivated, then it doesn't appear in the default view. For more information, see Describe disabled AMIs.
  4. Delete the EBS snapshot.

Related information

Deregister your AMI

AWS OFFICIALUpdated 4 months ago

Helped me. Thanks.

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replied 9 months ago

Failed to delete snapshot. snap-029b12198046d004c: The snapshot snap-029b12198046d004c is currently in use by ami-06f03ed7286ffff49 ami is already deregister and there is no ami attached to that snapshot. Region selected is also correct. Still got error and I cannot delete snapshot. Please help me.

replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your comment. We'll review and update the Knowledge Center article as needed.

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replied 7 months ago

Same problem.

**Failed to delete snapshot. *

snap-059ed0affc2369507: The snapshot snap-059ed0affc2369507 is currently in use by ami-030da7a9262e83c04**

But I don't have active AMI's in any region!!! I have deleted them all.

replied 5 months ago

The AMI could be disabled. Disabled AMIs don't show up in the console or the DescribeImages API by default. There are instructions here for how to find them: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/disable-an-ami.html#describe-disabled-ami

replied 5 months ago