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

Continue Rolling Back an Update

A stack goes into the UPDATE_ROLLBACK_FAILED state when AWS CloudFormation cannot roll back all changes during an update. For example, you might have a stack that begins to roll back to an old database instance that was deleted outside of AWS CloudFormation. Because AWS CloudFormation doesn't know that the database was deleted, it assumes that the database instance still exists and attempts to roll back to it, causing the update rollback to fail.

When a stack is in the UPDATE_ROLLBACK_FAILED state, you can continue to roll it back to a working state (UPDATE_ROLLBACK_COMPLETE). You can't update a stack that is in the UPDATE_ROLLBACK_FAILED state. However, if you can continue to roll it back, you can return the stack to its original settings and then try to update it again.

In most cases, you must fix the error that causes the update rollback to fail before you can continue to roll back your stack. In other cases, you can continue to roll back the update without any changes, for example when a stack operation times out.


If you use nested stacks, rolling back the parent stack will attempt to roll back all the child stacks as well.

To continue rolling back an update (console)

  1. Open the AWS CloudFormation console at

  2. Select the stack that you want to update, choose Actions, and then choose Continue Update Rollback.

          The Continue Update Rollback option in the Actions menu.

    If none of the solutions in the troubleshooting guide worked, you can use the advanced option to skip the resources that AWS CloudFormation can't successfully roll back. You must look up and type the logical ID's of the resources that you want to skip. Specify only resources that are in the UPDATE_FAILED state because the rollback failed, not for other reasons, for example, because an update was canceled.


    AWS CloudFormation sets the status of the specified resources to UPDATE_COMPLETE and continues to roll back the stack. After the rollback is complete, the state of the skipped resources will be inconsistent with the state of the resources in the stack template. Before performing another stack update, you must update the stack or resources to be consistent with each other. If you don't, subsequent stack updates might fail, and the stack will become unrecoverable.

    Specify the minimum number of resources required to successfully roll back your stack. For example, a failed resource update might cause dependent resources to fail. In this case, it might not be necessary to skip the dependent resources.

    To specify resources in a nested stack, use the following format: NestedStackName.ResourceLogicalID. You can specify a nested stack resource (the logical ID of an AWS::CloudFormation::Stack resource) only if it's in one of the following states: DELETE_IN_PROGRESS, DELETE_COMPLETE, or DELETE_FAILED.

To continue rolling back an update (AWS CLI)