Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Restoring an Amazon EBS Volume from a Snapshot

You can restore an Amazon EBS volume with data from a snapshot stored in Amazon S3. You need to know the ID of the snapshot you wish to restore your volume from and you need to have access permissions for the snapshot. For more information on snapshots, see Amazon EBS Snapshots.

New volumes created from existing EBS snapshots load lazily in the background. This means that after a volume is created from a snapshot, there is no need to wait for all of the data to transfer from Amazon S3 to your EBS volume before your attached instance can start accessing the volume and all its data. If your instance accesses data that hasn't yet been loaded, the volume immediately downloads the requested data from Amazon S3, and continues loading the rest of the data in the background.

EBS volumes that are restored from encrypted snapshots are automatically encrypted. Encrypted volumes can only be attached to selected instance types. For more information, see Supported Instance Types.

Because of security constraints, you cannot directly restore an EBS volume from a shared encrypted snapshot that you do not own. You must first create a copy of the snapshot, which you will own. You can then restore a volume from that copy. For more information, see Amazon EBS Encryption.

New EBS volumes receive their maximum performance the moment that they are available and do not require initialization (formerly known as pre-warming). However, storage blocks on volumes that were restored from snapshots must be initialized (pulled down from Amazon S3 and written to the volume) before you can access the block. This preliminary action takes time and can cause a significant increase in the latency of an I/O operation the first time each block is accessed. Performance is restored after the data is accessed once.

For most applications, amortizing the initialization cost over the lifetime of the volume is acceptable. If you need to ensure that your restored volume always functions at peak capacity in production, you can force the immediate initialization of the entire volume using dd or fio. For more information, see Initializing Amazon EBS Volumes.

To restore an EBS volume from a snapshot using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. From the navigation bar, select the region that your snapshot is located in. This choice is important because some Amazon EC2 resources can be shared between regions, while others can't. For more information, see Resource Locations. If you need to restore the snapshot to a volume in a different region, you can copy your snapshot to the new region and then restore it to a volume in that region. For more information, see Copying an Amazon EBS Snapshot.

            Launch instance start
  3. In the navigation pane, choose Volumes, Create Volume.

  4. In the Create Volume dialog box, for Volume Type, choose General Purpose SSD, Provisioned IOPS SSD, or Magnetic. For more information, see Amazon EBS Volume Types.


    Some AWS accounts created before 2012 might have access to Availability Zones in us-west-1 or ap-northeast-1 that do not support Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1) volumes. If you are unable to create an io1 volume (or launch an instance with an io1 volume in its block device mapping) in one of these regions, try a different Availability Zone in the region. You can verify that an Availability Zone supports io1 volumes by creating a 4 GiB io1 volume in that zone.

  5. For Snapshot, start typing the ID or description of the snapshot from which you are restoring the volume, and select it from the list of suggested options.

    Volumes that are restored from encrypted snapshots can only be attached to instances that support Amazon EBS encryption. For more information, see Supported Instance Types.

  6. For Size, enter the size of the volume in GiB, or verify that the default size of the snapshot is adequate.

    If you specify both a volume size and a snapshot ID, the size must be equal to or greater than the snapshot size. When you select a volume type and a snapshot ID, minimum and maximum sizes for the volume are shown next to the Size list. Any AWS Marketplace product codes from the snapshot are propagated to the volume.

  7. For io1 volumes, in the IOPS field, enter the maximum number of input/output operations per second (IOPS) that the volume can support.

  8. In the Availability Zone list, select the Availability Zone in which to create the volume. EBS volumes can only be attached to EC2 instances within the same Availability Zone.

  9. Choose Yes, Create.


    If you restored a snapshot to a larger volume than the default for that snapshot, you need to extend the file system on the volume to take advantage of the extra space. For more information, see Modifying the Size, IOPS, or Type of an EBS Volume on Linux.

After you've restored a volume from a snapshot, you can attach it to an instance to begin using it. For more information, see Attaching an Amazon EBS Volume to an Instance.

To restore an EBS volume using the command line

You can use one of the following commands. For more information about these command line interfaces, see Accessing Amazon EC2.