Deciding to cancel your AWS subscription is a significant move that requires careful consideration and a clear understanding of the process. Whether you're looking to declutter your digital life or shift away from AWS services, our step-by-step guide is designed to assist you in navigating the complexities of account closure. From understanding the implications of losing access to AWS services to troubleshooting common issues, we provide a comprehensive roadmap to ensure a smooth transition away from Amazon Web Services.

Key Takeaways

  • Before closing your AWS account, review the services and data you will lose to ensure you're making an informed decision.
  • Always sign in as the root user and back up necessary data before initiating the account closure process.
  • Follow the specific steps to navigate to the account closure page, confirm your identity, and select a reason for closure.
  • Be aware of common closure issues such as not seeing the close account button, email confirmation issues, and specific error messages.
  • After closing your account, confirm the closure, understand the deactivation timeline, and adjust to life without AWS services.

Understanding the Implications of Account Closure

Understanding the Implications of Account Closure

Reviewing the Services You Will Lose

Before proceeding with the closure of your AWS account, it's crucial to understand the full extent of what you're relinquishing. Closing your account means more than just losing access to AWS; it's a farewell to a multitude of interconnected services. For instance, you'll lose any configurations and data stored in your EC2 instances, S3 buckets, and RDS databases. Additionally, services like Amazon Route 53, which may be managing your domain's DNS records, will cease to function, potentially affecting your online presence.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) encompasses a wide range of offerings that cater to various aspects of online operations. Here's a brief overview of what you'll be parting with:

  • Compute power (EC2, Lambda)
  • Storage solutions (S3, Glacier)
  • Database services (RDS, DynamoDB)
  • Networking (VPC, Route 53)
  • Developer tools (CodeCommit, CodeBuild)
  • Management services (CloudWatch, IAM)

Be cautious with AWS billing to avoid unexpected charges. Use tools like Billgist for daily spending snapshots and monitor usage to prevent costly mistakes.

Remember, once your account is closed, retrieving any lost data or services will be impossible. Therefore, it's advisable to back up necessary information and consider if there are alternatives to account deletion that could better suit your needs.

Considering Alternatives to Account Deletion

Before making the irreversible decision to delete your AWS account, it's crucial to consider the alternatives. Is account deletion the only solution to your needs? Perhaps you're looking to reduce costs or simplify your cloud infrastructure. In such cases, tools like Resoto and AWS Nuke offer functionalities to manage your AWS resources more effectively. These tools can help you delete resources, list resources marked for deletion, and even protect individual resources from accidental deletion.

  • Resoto: Offers a comprehensive approach to resource management, including the ability to protect specific resources.
  • AWS Nuke: Focuses on the mass deletion of resources, which can be useful for a complete overhaul of your AWS environment.

Remember, once your AWS account is closed, it cannot be reopened. All data and services associated with the account will be permanently lost. Therefore, it's worth exploring whether adjusting your resource usage could address your concerns without the need for account closure.

What Happens to Your Data After Closure?

When you decide to close your AWS account, it's crucial to understand the fate of your data. All data associated with your account will be permanently deleted after the account closure process is completed. This includes all configurations, logs, and backups. It's important to manually download any critical data before proceeding, as AWS does not provide a bulk download feature.

Data retention policies vary for different AWS services, so you should review these policies to know exactly when your data will be erased. For instance, some services may retain data for a set period after account closure for compliance reasons.

Remember, once your account is closed, you cannot access or recover any data that was stored in AWS services.

If you have a management account within an organization, you must address all member accounts before closure. The management account can only be closed after all member accounts are either closed or removed from the organization.

Preparing for Account Closure

Preparing for Account Closure

Ensuring You Are the Root User

Before proceeding with the closure of your AWS account, it is crucial to ensure that you are logged in as the root user. The root user has full access to all aspects of the AWS account, including the ability to close it. If you are not the root user, you will not see the option to close the account in the AWS Management Console.

  • To verify that you are the root user, check for the following indicators:
    • The email address associated with the root user is the one you used to create the AWS account.
    • You have access to the account's billing information.
    • You can view and manage all AWS services and resources without restrictions.

Ensure that you have the root user credentials at hand before initiating the account closure process. This will prevent any unnecessary delays or complications.

If you encounter difficulties signing in as the root user or if you do not have the root user credentials, refer to the AWS documentation or seek assistance through the AWS Knowledge Center. Remember, only the root user can receive the confirmation email regarding the successful closure of the account, so this step is essential.

Backing Up Necessary Data

Before proceeding with the closure of your AWS account, it is crucial to ensure that all necessary data is securely backed up. Data loss can be irreversible, and having a backup allows you to retain access to your valuable information even after the account is closed. Consider the various AWS services you've been using and identify the data that needs to be preserved.

For instance, if you've been utilizing Amazon RDS, remember that while your DB instance is stopped, you are charged for provisioned storage, including Provisioned IOPS, and backup storage. This includes both manual snapshots and automated backups within your specified retention window. Here are some use cases where stopping your DB instance might be relevant:

  • Daily development – Start and stop the DB instance as needed for development work.
  • Testing – Use a temporary DB instance for testing various procedures or upgrades, stopping it when not in use.

It's important to note that any storage volumes remain attached to the DB instance, and their data is kept. However, RDS deletes any data stored in the RAM of the DB instance.

When dealing with Amazon FSx for ONTAP, be aware that user-initiated backups can only be deleted through the Amazon FSx console, API, or CLI. These backups are never automatically deleted by Amazon FSx, ensuring that you have full control over your backup data.

Resolving Outstanding Charges and Services

Before proceeding with the closure of your AWS account, it is crucial to resolve any outstanding charges and services. This ensures that you will not face any unexpected fees or complications after the account has been closed. Start by reviewing your recent billing statements for any pending charges that need to be settled.

  • Review recent billing statements
  • Pay off any outstanding balances
  • Cancel any active subscriptions or services

Additionally, make sure to cancel any active subscriptions or services that may incur further charges. This includes services such as EC2 instances, RDS databases, and S3 storage buckets. Failure to cancel these services might lead to continued billing even after the account closure request.

It is important to remember that once the account is closed, you will not have access to AWS services or your data. Therefore, ensure that all necessary data is backed up and that you have a clear understanding of the implications of account closure.

If you encounter issues or need assistance with resolving charges and services, AWS provides resources and support to guide you through the process. Addressing these financial and service-related matters is a critical step in the account closure process.

The Account Closure Process

The Account Closure Process

Navigating to the Account Closure Page

To initiate the closure of your AWS account, you must first navigate to the account closure page. This is a critical step in the process and should be approached with caution. Ensure that you have resolved any outstanding AWS billing issues before proceeding, as this could affect the closure process. Amazon's customer support is available to address any unexpected charges and provide assistance.

Once you're ready to move forward, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console.
  2. Go to the 'Account Settings' section.
  3. Locate and click on the 'Close Account' option.

Remember, closing your management account will have significant implications, including the suspension of all associated member accounts. It's important to verify successful closure by checking the status in the AWS Organizations console.

Signing In and Confirming Your Identity

To ensure the security of your AWS account closure, you will be required to sign in with your root user credentials. This step is crucial as it prevents unauthorized users from closing your account. After entering your username and password, you'll receive a confirmation email sent only to the root user's email address.

Confirming your identity may involve additional verification steps, such as entering a code sent to your registered phone number. Once you've successfully verified your identity, you'll be ready to proceed to the next step of the account closure process.

Remember, if you do not receive the confirmation email within a few hours, sign back into the AWS Management Console as the root user to check the status of your account closure.

Selecting a Reason for Closure

Once you've navigated to the account closure page and confirmed your identity, you will be prompted to select a reason for closing your AWS account. This step is crucial as it helps AWS understand why users are leaving and what improvements could be made. Choose the reason that most closely aligns with your situation from the dropdown menu.

AWS provides a variety of predefined reasons, but you also have the option to provide a custom explanation. Here are some common reasons users might select:

  • Cost management challenges
  • Switching to a different service provider
  • Project completion or business closure
  • Consolidation of multiple AWS accounts

Remember, once you select a reason and proceed, you are moving closer to permanently closing your account. It's important to ensure that you have backed up all necessary data and resolved any outstanding charges.

If you're closing your account due to cost concerns, consider exploring AWS's cost control features before making a final decision. Monitor AWS costs with AWS budgets, set notifications, customize usage, use pricing calculator, shut down unused instances, use monitoring services, and sign up for AWS Free Tier for cost control.

Confirming Your Decision to Close the Account

After selecting a reason for closure, you will need to confirm your decision to proceed. This is a critical step, as it signifies your intent to permanently close your AWS account. Make sure you understand the consequences of this action, as it will result in the loss of access to all AWS services and data associated with your account.

Confirmation is typically done by checking a box or clicking a button that clearly states your intent to close the account. Once you have confirmed, you will receive an email to the address associated with your AWS account. This email serves as an additional security measure to ensure that the closure request is intentional and authorized.

It is essential to follow through by clicking the link in the confirmation email to finalize the account closure process.

If you are closing a management account, verify the successful closure by checking if the closed account is labeled as SUSPENDED in the AWS Organizations console. For member accounts, refer to the AWS Organizations User Guide for details on closure verification.

Troubleshooting Common Closure Issues

Troubleshooting Common Closure Issues

What to Do If You Don't See the Close Account Button

If you're attempting to close your AWS account but can't find the Close Account button, this usually indicates that you are not logged in as the root user. AWS requires that you sign in with root user credentials to proceed with account closure to ensure security and prevent unauthorized deletions.

Ensure you are the root user by checking your account settings or attempting to sign in again. If you're already signed in as the root user and still can't see the button, consider the following steps:

  • Sign out and then sign back in to refresh your session.
  • Clear your browser's cache and cookies, then try accessing the account settings again.
  • Use a different web browser or a private/incognito window to eliminate any session-specific issues.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, AWS provides a comprehensive troubleshooting guide for account closure issues. Refer to their official documentation for further assistance.

Remember, closing your AWS account is irreversible and will result in the loss of access to all AWS services. Before proceeding, review the implications and ensure that you have backed up all necessary data.

Handling Email Confirmation Issues

If you've closed your AWS account but haven't received an email confirmation, it's important to verify that you are checking the root user email address associated with the account. Confirmation emails are exclusively sent to this address. Ensure that your email service is not blocking or filtering out emails from AWS, which could prevent the confirmation from reaching your inbox.

  • Check your spam or junk folder for the confirmation email.
  • Confirm that your email service (e.g., Microsoft Exchange) is not blocking emails from Amazon SES.
  • If you suspect JavaScript issues, ensure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser to access AWS documentation and support.

If you do not receive the confirmation email within a few hours, sign in to the AWS Management Console as the root user. If your account closure was successful, you will be greeted with a message confirming that your account is closed.

Resolving 'ConstraintViolationException' Errors

Encountering a ConstraintViolationException error can be a roadblock when attempting to close your AWS account. This error typically indicates that you are trying to close a management account through the AWS Organizations console, which is not supported. To resolve this issue, sign in as the root user of the management account and proceed to close it from the Accounts page.

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth resolution:

  1. Verify that you are the root user of the account.
  2. Navigate to the Accounts page within the AWS Management Console.
  3. Attempt to close the account again, ensuring you are not using the AWS Organizations console.

Remember, closing your account is an irreversible action. Ensure that all necessary data is backed up and that you understand the implications of this action before proceeding.

If you continue to experience issues, consider reviewing your account for any outstanding resources or services that may be causing the error. Regularly clean up resources and monitor your account to avoid unexpected errors and charges.


Encountering a 'CLOSE_ACCOUNT_QUOTA_EXCEEDED' error can be frustrating when you're trying to close your AWS account. This error typically indicates that you have exceeded the number of accounts you're allowed to close within a certain time frame. AWS imposes these limits to prevent abuse and ensure the stability of their services.

To resolve this issue, you should first verify the number of accounts you have closed recently. If you have reached the quota, you will need to wait until the quota resets before attempting to close more accounts. The quota reset period is not publicly documented, so you may need to contact AWS Support for specific details.

Quota limits are an important consideration when managing multiple AWS accounts. If you frequently need to close accounts, plan your account closures in advance to avoid hitting the quota. Here's a simple checklist to help you manage your account closures effectively:

  • Confirm the number of accounts closed in the given period
  • Contact AWS Support if you are unsure about the quota limits
  • Plan account closures ahead of time to prevent hitting the quota

Remember, patience is key when dealing with quota limits. If you're unable to close an account due to a quota error, take this time to ensure that all data and resources have been properly backed up or migrated.

After Account Closure

After Account Closure

Confirming the Closure of Your Account

Once you've initiated the closure of your AWS account, it's crucial to ensure that the process has been completed successfully. Check your email inbox for a confirmation message from Amazon Web Services. This email is a critical piece of evidence that your account closure request has been acknowledged and processed.

If you've closed a member account, you can verify its status by navigating to the AWS Organizations console. Here, a successfully closed account will be marked as SUSPENDED. This label is an important indicator that the account is no longer active within your organization.

Remember, receiving an email confirmation is not immediate and may take some time. Patience is key during this period.

In the event that you do not receive an email confirmation, or if you encounter any errors such as 'CLOSE_ACCOUNT_QUOTA_EXCEEDED', it's essential to revisit the account closure steps or consult the AWS documentation for troubleshooting guidance.

Understanding the Timeline for Account Deactivation

After you've confirmed the closure of your AWS account, it's important to understand the deactivation timeline. Your account does not shut down immediately; instead, AWS initiates a process that can take some time to complete. During this period, AWS retains certain information as outlined in their Privacy Notice, including the possibility to reopen your account if you change your mind.

Deactivation is a phased process, and AWS provides a clear timeline for when services will be fully terminated. Here's what you can expect:

  • Immediately after closure: Your access to AWS services is suspended.
  • Within 12 hours: AWS begins the process of removing your resources.
  • Up to 90 days: AWS retains certain information for billing and administrative purposes. After this period, your data is scheduled for deletion.

Remember, during the deactivation period, you may still incur charges for any active services not yet terminated. It's crucial to ensure all services are resolved before initiating closure to avoid unexpected fees.

Adjusting to Life Without AWS Services

Once you've closed your AWS account, you'll need to transition to alternative solutions to fill the void left by AWS services. This may involve migrating to different cloud providers or adjusting your infrastructure to on-premises solutions. Adapting to new platforms requires careful planning and execution to ensure that your applications and services continue to operate smoothly.

Alternatives to AWS might offer different features, pricing models, or performance benefits that could better suit your needs. For example, you might consider options like Kamatera for its affordable cloud services and great server coverage worldwide, or Liquid Web for a completely managed cloud experience with a variety of add-on services.

It's important to evaluate the long-term implications of your chosen alternative, including the potential for scalability, support, and compatibility with your existing workflows.

Here's a list of some alternatives to consider:

  • Kamatera
  • Liquid Web
  • Cloudways

Remember, the transition period is critical, and you should expect a learning curve as you familiarize yourself with the new environment.


In this guide, we've walked you through the comprehensive steps to cancel your AWS subscription. From understanding what you'll lose upon account closure to navigating the AWS Management Console and troubleshooting common issues, we've covered all the bases to ensure a smooth and informed exit from AWS services. Remember to double-check all the services and data you might be leaving behind, and confirm your decision through the email verification process. With this knowledge, you can now confidently close your AWS account, knowing you've taken all the necessary precautions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my AWS services and data after I close my account?

Once you close your AWS account, you will lose access to all AWS services and your data will be scheduled for deletion. This includes your order history, saved payment methods, and any AWS memberships or subscriptions.

Can I cancel my AWS subscription instead of deleting my account?

If you're looking to reduce costs or usage without fully deleting your account, you can cancel individual subscriptions or services within AWS without closing your entire account.

How do I ensure that I am the root user before closing my AWS account?

To close your AWS account, you must sign in as the root user. If you do not see the 'Close Account' button on the Accounts page, it's likely you're not signed in as the root user. Make sure to log in with the root user credentials to proceed with account closure.

What should I do if I don't receive an email confirmation after closing my account?

If you don't receive an email confirmation after attempting to close your account, check your email's spam or junk folders. If you still can't find the confirmation, contact AWS support for assistance.

How do I resolve a 'ConstraintViolationException' error during account closure?

A 'ConstraintViolationException' error may occur if there are dependencies or outstanding issues with your account. Ensure that all services are terminated, and all charges are paid. If the problem persists, contact AWS support for help.

What does the 'CLOSE_ACCOUNT_QUOTA_EXCEEDED' error mean?

The 'CLOSE_ACCOUNT_QUOTA_EXCEEDED' error indicates that you have reached the limit of closing member accounts within your AWS organization. You may need to wait before closing additional accounts, or consider consolidating your usage into fewer accounts.