[Answered] Does Stopped EC2 Instance Cost Money?

Stopped EC2 instances do not cost money. However, sometimes, a stopped EC2 instance may still have some Elastic IP addresses, EBS volumes, or other resources attached to it. In that case, you might get charged despite stopping your EC2 instance. But the cost should be a fraction of the running cost of the instance.

Or perhaps you had purchased a reserved instance that incurs charges until the contract expiration. These reasons and a few others may be responsible for continuous billing from AWS.

Does Stopped EC2 Instance Cost Money

What Happens When You Stop an EC2 Instance?

Stopping an EC2 instance means it will get shut down and release the associated virtual machine. Therefore, you will no longer have to pay charges for instance usage unless you have other EC2 instances running.

Besides, when you stop an EC2 instance, you lose the data on the RAM and instance store volumes. The IP address that got associated during the launch time also gets lost.

However, you can stop an EC2 instance only if you launch it using an EBS-based Amazon Machine Image (AMI). That means the root device data for the instance is on an EBS volume that is connected to the instance rather than being stored directly on the instance.

Why Is AWS Charging Me?

AWS does not charge instance usage costs for stopped instances. But if you still see charges in the Billing and Cost Management console, here are some probable reasons.

Previously Incurred Charges

If you stop or terminate an EC2 instance in the middle of a month, your bill may include charges incurred due to it running earlier that month.

Associated EC2 Resources

Your bill does not include EC2 instance charges only. Instead, it consists of costs from other EC2 resources like Elastic IPs and EBS volumes that usually run alongside the instances. You can expand the Elastic Compute Cloud cost from Bills to check if you are getting charged for such resources.

To solve the issue, you can disassociate the elastic IP address from the instance and detach or delete unused EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes.

elastic IP address
delete unused EBS volumes

Active Instances in Other Regions

Follow the steps below to check if there are instances running in other regions.

  1. Open your Billing and Cost Management console and select Bills from the menu.
  2. Expand the Elastic Compute Cloud from the Bill details by service segment and look for running instances.

If there are active EC2 instances that are contributing to the unexpected charges, terminate or delete unused resources from that particular region.

AWS Stop Instance vs Terminate

You can stop an instance if it is EBS-based. But remember that it will not get permanently deleted and remain in your account. You can restart and have the stopped EC2 instance running at any time.

However, there won’t be any charges regarding instance usage of the stopped instance. The only charges you may still have to pay are for the EBS storage and Elastic IP associated with the instance.

On the other hand, terminating an EC2 instance means its permanent deletion from your account. As a result, all the locally stored data and associated EBS volumes get released, requiring no further cost of running.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How do I stop billing on the EC2 instance?

If you want to stop billing on the EC2 instance, you need to stop or terminate the instance and delete unused EBS volumes and Elastic IP addresses.

Does turning off EC2 save money?

Turning off or stopping EC2 instances when unused will save money and prevent energy wastage. However, AWS charges for storage associated (if any) to that instance.

How do I know if my EC2 instance is stopped?

Select Event History from the navigation menu, choose Event name, and search for “StopInstances” to see if the event matches the time you stopped the instance.


Although a stopped EC2 instance does not cost money, you may still experience unwanted charges. An often overlooked reason is the purchase of Reserved Instances, which contribute to the monthly bill as long as the contract lasts. You can modify the Reserved Instances or even sell them on the marketplace to get rid of unnecessary costs.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *