AWS Billing and Cost Management
User Guide (Version 2.0)

Analyzing Your Costs with Cost Explorer

Cost Explorer is a free tool that you can use to view charts of your costs (also known as spend data). You can view data for up to the last 13 months, and forecast how much you are likely to spend for the next three months. You can use Cost Explorer to see patterns in how much you spend on AWS resources over time, identify areas that need further inquiry, and see trends that you can use to understand your costs. You also can specify time ranges for the data you want to see, and view time data by day or by month.

For example, you can use Cost Explorer to see which service you use the most, which Availability Zone (AZ) most of your traffic is in, which linked account uses AWS the most, and more.

With Cost Explorer, you can filter your view by a variety of filters:

  • API operation

  • Availability Zone (AZ)

  • AWS service

  • Custom cost allocation tags

  • Amazon EC2 instance type

  • Linked account

  • Platform

  • Purchase option

  • Region

  • Tenancy

  • Usage type

  • Usage type group


Each time you apply filters to your costs, Cost Explorer creates a new chart. You can, however, use your browser's bookmark feature to save configuration settings for repeated use. Forecasts are not saved, and the most recent forecast is displayed when you revisit your saved chart.

For more information about Cost Explorer filters, see Filtering the Data You Want to View. For more information about working with tags, see Applying User-Defined Cost Allocation Tags.

In addition, Cost Explorer provides preconfigured views that display at-a-glance information about your cost trends and give you a head start on customizing views that suit your needs.

Cost Explorer displays data from the last 13 months, the current month, and the forecasted costs for the next three months. When you first sign up for Cost Explorer, the current month's data is available for viewing in about 24 hours. The rest of your data takes a few days longer. Cost Explorer updates your data at least once every 24 hours.

Cost Explorer uses the same data set that is used to generate the AWS Cost and Usage reports and the detailed billing reports. For an exhaustive review of the data, you can download the figures in a comma-separated value (CSV) file.