AWS CloudFormation
User Guide (API Version 2010-05-15)

Delete Stack Instances

You can delete stack instances from a stack set in either the AWS Management Console, or by using AWS CloudFormation commands in the AWS CLI. In this procedure, we will delete all stacks.

To delete stack instances by using the AWS Management Console

  1. Open the AWS CloudFormation console at

  2. At the top of the page, choose StackSets. On the StackSets home page, select the stack set that you created in Create a New Stack Set. In this walkthrough, we created a stack set named my-awsconfig-stackset.

                        Select stack set
  3. With the stack set selected, choose Manage stacks in stack set from the Actions menu.

  4. Choose Delete stacks, and then choose Next.

                        Manage stacks in stack set, Delete stacks selected
  5. On the Set deployment options page, in the Accounts area, choose Delete stacks from account.

                        Delete stacks from all accounts
  6. In the Delete stacks from account text box, paste all target account IDs that you used to create your stack set in Create a New Stack Set.

  7. In the Regions area, choose all regions (hold down Ctrl while selecting regions to select multiple regions), and then choose Add to add all stack set regions to the list. You are instructing AWS CloudFormation to delete all stacks, in all target accounts across all regions.

  8. In the Preferences area, leave the default value of 1 and By number for Maximum concurrent accounts, and change the value of Failure tolerance to 1. Be sure Failure tolerance is also set to By number.

  9. In the Retain stacks area, keep the default setting, No.

    When you are deleting stacks from a stack set, the Retain stacks option lets you choose to remove the stack instances from your stack set, but save the stacks and their associated resources. When you save stacks from a stack set by choosing the Retain stacks option, the stack's resources stay in their current state, but the stack is no longer part of the stack set. You cannot reassociate a retained stack, or add an existing, saved stack to a new stack set. The stack is permanently independent of a stack set. In this procedure, we are deleting all stacks in preparation for deleting the entire stack set, so we are not retaining stacks.

  10. Choose Next.

  11. On the Review page, review your choices. Choose Edit in the upper right corner of each section to go back and make any changes, if necessary. When you are ready to delete your stacks, choose Delete stacks.

  12. After stack deletion is finished, you can verify that stack instances were deleted from your stack set in the StackSets management console, on the home page.

To delete stack instances by using the AWS CLI

When you are ready to delete stack instances, run the delete-stack-instances AWS CLI command.

  • Run the following command, and replace account_ID with the accounts you used to create your stack set in Create a New Stack Set. For stack set name, specify the stack set name my-awsconfig-stackset.

    Set the failure tolerance and maximum concurrent accounts by setting FailureToleranceCount to 0, and MaxConcurrentCount to 1 in the --operation-preferences parameter, as shown in the following example. To apply percentages instead, use FailureTolerancePercentage or MaxConcurrentPercentage. For the purposes of this walkthrough, we are using count, not percentage.

    Because --retain-stacks is a required parameter of delete-stack-instances, if you do not want to retain (save) stacks, add --no-retain-stacks. In this walkthrough, we add the --no-retain-stacks parameter, because we are not retaining any stacks.

    aws cloudformation delete-stack-instances --stack-set-name my-awsconfig-stackset --accounts '["account_ID_1","account_ID_2"]' --regions '["region_1","region_2"]' --operation-preferences FailureToleranceCount=0,MaxConcurrentCount=1 --no-retain-stacks

    After stack deletion is finished, you can verify that stack instances were deleted from your stack set by running the describe-stack-set-operation command to show the status and results of the delete stacks operation. For --operation-id, use the operation ID that was returned by your delete-stack-instances command.

    aws cloudformation describe-stack-set-operation --operation-id operation_ID