AWS Backup - Vault cannot be deleted? Use this script!

Michael Wittig – 11 Mar 2021

With AWS Backup, it is simple to create snapshots of EBS, EFS, and more. A retention period defines the number of recovery points stored within a backup vault. When removing a backup vault, you need to delete all recovery points first. Doing so is a cumbersome process. Read on to learn how to automate that task.

Vault cannot be deleted? Use this script!

Tried to delete a backup vault and got the following error message?

Backup vault cannot be deleted (contains 99 recovery points).

Check out the following script to avoid deleting recovery points manually.

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Make sure that to install the AWS CLI on your machine before you proceed.

The following script asks for the vault name you want to empty, fetches a list with the recovery points belonging to the backup vault, and deletes the recovery points.


set -e

echo "Enter the name of the vault where all backups should be deleted."

for ARN in $(aws backup list-recovery-points-by-backup-vault --backup-vault-name "${VAULT_NAME}" --query 'RecoveryPoints[].RecoveryPointArn' --output text); do
echo "deleting ${ARN} ..."
aws backup delete-recovery-point --backup-vault-name "${VAULT_NAME}" --recovery-point-arn "${ARN}"

The script saved me hundreds of manual steps. I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Michael Wittig

Michael Wittig

I launched in 2015 with my brother Andreas. Since then, we have published hundreds of articles, podcast episodes, and videos. It’s all free and means a lot of work in our spare time. We enjoy sharing our AWS knowledge with you.
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