Amazon Simple Queue Service
API Reference (API Version 2012-11-05)
Did this page help you?  Yes | No |  Tell us about it...
« PreviousNext »
View the PDF for this guide.Go to the AWS Discussion Forum for this product.



Changes the visibility timeout of a specified message in a queue to a new value. The maximum allowed timeout value you can set the value to is 12 hours. This means you can't extend the timeout of a message in an existing queue to more than a total visibility timeout of 12 hours. (For more information visibility timeout, see Visibility Timeout in the Amazon SQS Developer Guide.)

For example, let's say you have a message and its default message visibility timeout is 5 minutes. After 3 minutes, you call ChangeMessageVisiblity with a timeout of 10 minutes. At that time, the timeout for the message would be extended by 10 minutes beyond the time of the ChangeMessageVisibility call. This results in a total visibility timeout of 13 minutes. You can continue to call ChangeMessageVisibility to extend the visibility timeout to a maximum of 12 hours. If you try to extend beyond 12 hours, the request will be rejected.


There is a 120,000 limit for the number of inflight messages per queue. Messages are inflight after they have been received from the queue by a consuming component, but have not yet been deleted from the queue. If you reach the 120,000 limit, you will receive an OverLimit error message from Amazon SQS. To help avoid reaching the limit, you should delete the messages from the queue after they have been processed. You can also increase the number of queues you use to process the messages.


If you attempt to set the VisibilityTimeout to an amount more than the maximum time left, Amazon SQS returns an error. It will not automatically recalculate and increase the timeout to the maximum time remaining.


Unlike with a queue, when you change the visibility timeout for a specific message, that timeout value is applied immediately but is not saved in memory for that message. If you don't delete a message after it is received, the visibility timeout for the message the next time it is received reverts to the original timeout value, not the value you set with the ChangeMessageVisibility action.

Request Parameters

For information about the common parameters that all actions use, see Common Parameters.


The URL of the Amazon SQS queue to take action on.

Type: String

Required: Yes


The receipt handle associated with the message whose visibility timeout should be changed. This parameter is returned by the ReceiveMessage action.

Type: String

Required: Yes


The new value (in seconds - from 0 to 43200 - maximum 12 hours) for the message's visibility timeout.

Type: Integer

Required: Yes


For information about the errors that are common to all actions, see Common Errors.


The message referred to is not in flight.

HTTP Status Code: 400


The receipt handle provided is not valid.

HTTP Status Code: 400


The following example Query request changes the visibility timeout for a message to 60 seconds. How you structure the AUTHPARAMS depends on how you are signing your API request. For information on AUTHPARAMS in Signature Version 4, go to Examples of Signed Signature Version 4 Requests.

Sample Request



Sample Response