Launch an instance using the old launch instance wizard - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Launch an instance using the old launch instance wizard


You can't use the old launch instance wizard in AWS Regions that support the new launch instance wizard. Each Region either supports the new launch experience or the old launch experience, but not both.

You can launch an instance using the old launch instance wizard only if your Region supports the old launch experience. The launch instance wizard specifies all the launch parameters required for launching an instance. Where the launch instance wizard provides a default value, you can accept the default or specify your own value. You must specify an AMI and a key pair to launch an instance.

For the instructions to use the new launch instance wizard, see Launch an instance using the new launch instance wizard.

Before you launch your instance, be sure that you are set up. For more information, see Set up to use Amazon EC2.


When you launch an instance that's not within the AWS Free Tier, you are charged for the time that the instance is running, even if it remains idle.

Initiate instance launch

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. In the navigation bar at the top of the screen, the current Region is displayed (for example, US East (Ohio)). Select a Region for the instance that meets your needs. This choice is important because some Amazon EC2 resources can be shared between Regions, while others can't. For more information, see Resource locations.

  3. From the Amazon EC2 console dashboard, choose Launch instance.

Step 1: Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

When you launch an instance, you must select a configuration, known as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). An AMI contains the information required to create a new instance. For example, an AMI might contain the software required to act as a web server, such as Windows, Apache, and your website.

When you launch an instance, you can either select an AMI from the list, or you can select a Systems Manager parameter that points to an AMI ID. For more information, see Using a Systems Manager parameter to find an AMI .

On the Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) page, use one of two options to choose an AMI. Either search the list of AMIs, or search by Systems Manager parameter.

By searching the list of AMIs
  1. Select the type of AMI to use in the left pane:

    Quick Start

    A selection of popular AMIs to help you get started quickly. To select an AMI that is eligible for the free tier, choose Free tier only in the left pane. These AMIs are marked Free tier eligible.

    My AMIs

    The private AMIs that you own, or private AMIs that have been shared with you. To view AMIs that are shared with you, choose Shared with me in the left pane.

    AWS Marketplace

    An online store where you can buy software that runs on AWS, including AMIs. For more information about launching an instance from the AWS Marketplace, see Launch an AWS Marketplace instance.

    Community AMIs

    The AMIs that AWS community members have made available for others to use. To filter the list of AMIs by operating system, choose the appropriate check box under Operating system. You can also filter by architecture and root device type.

  2. Check the Virtualization type listed for each AMI. Notice which AMIs are the type that you need, either hvm or paravirtual. For example, some instance types require HVM.

  3. Check the Boot mode listed for each AMI. Notice which AMIs use the boot mode that you need, either legacy-bios or uefi. For more information, see Boot modes.

  4. Choose an AMI that meets your needs, and then choose Select.

By Systems Manager parameter
  1. Choose Search by Systems Manager parameter (at top right).

  2. For Systems Manager parameter, select a parameter. The corresponding AMI ID appears next to Currently resolves to.

  3. Choose Search. The AMIs that match the AMI ID appear in the list.

  4. Select the AMI from the list, and choose Select.

Step 2: Choose an Instance Type

On the Choose an Instance Type page, select the hardware configuration and size of the instance to launch. Larger instance types have more CPU and memory. For more information, see Instance types.

To remain eligible for the free tier, choose the t2.micro instance type (or the t3.micro instance type in Regions where t2.micro is unavailable). If an instance type is eligible under the Free Tier, it is labeled Free tier eligible. For more information about t2.micro and t3.micro, see Burstable performance instances.

By default, the wizard displays current generation instance types, and selects the first available instance type based on the AMI that you selected. To view previous generation instance types, choose All generations from the filter list.


To set up an instance quickly for testing purposes, choose Review and Launch to accept the default configuration settings, and launch your instance. Otherwise, to configure your instance further, choose Next: Configure Instance Details.

Step 3: Configure Instance Details

On the Configure Instance Details page, change the following settings as necessary (expand Advanced Details to see all the settings), and then choose Next: Add Storage:

  • Number of instances: Enter the number of instances to launch.


    To ensure faster instance launches, break up large requests into smaller batches. For example, create five separate launch requests for 100 instances each instead of one launch request for 500 instances.

  • (Optional) To help ensure that you maintain the correct number of instances to handle demand on your application, you can choose Launch into Auto Scaling Group to create a launch configuration and an Auto Scaling group. Auto Scaling scales the number of instances in the group according to your specifications. For more information, see the Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling User Guide.


    If Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling marks an instance that is in an Auto Scaling group as unhealthy, the instance is automatically scheduled for replacement where it is terminated and another is launched, and you lose your data on the original instance. An instance is marked as unhealthy if you stop or reboot the instance, or if another event marks the instance as unhealthy. For more information, see Health checks for Auto Scaling instances in the Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling User Guide.

  • Purchasing option: Choose Request Spot instances to launch a Spot Instance. This adds and removes options from this page. You can optionally set your maximum price (not recommended), and optionally change the request type, interruption behavior, and request validity. For more information, see Create a Spot Instance request.

  • Network: Select the VPC or to create a new VPC, choose Create new VPC to go the Amazon VPC console. When you have finished, return to the launch instance wizard and choose Refresh to load your VPC in the list.

  • Subnet: You can launch an instance in a subnet associated with an Availability Zone, Local Zone, Wavelength Zone or Outpost.

    To launch the instance in an Availability Zone, select the subnet into which to launch your instance. You can select No preference to let AWS choose a default subnet in any Availability Zone. To create a new subnet, choose Create new subnet to go to the Amazon VPC console. When you are done, return to the wizard and choose Refresh to load your subnet in the list.

    To launch the instance in a Local Zone, select a subnet that you created in the Local Zone.

    To launch an instance in an Outpost, select a subnet in a VPC that you associated with an Outpost.

  • Auto-assign Public IP: Specify whether your instance receives a public IPv4 address. By default, instances in a default subnet receive a public IPv4 address and instances in a nondefault subnet don't. You can select Enable or Disable to override the subnet's default setting. For more information, see Public IPv4 addresses.

  • Auto-assign IPv6 IP: Specify whether your instance receives an IPv6 address from the range of the subnet. Select Enable or Disable to override the subnet's default setting. This option is only available if you've associated an IPv6 CIDR block with your VPC and subnet. For more information, see Add an IPv6 CIDR block to your VPC in the Amazon VPC User Guide.

  • Hostname type: Select whether the guest OS hostname of the instance will include the resource name or the IP name. For more information, see Amazon EC2 instance hostname types.

  • DNS Hostname: Determines if the DNS queries to the resource name or the IP name (depending on what you selected for Hostname type) will respond with the IPv4 address (A record), IPv6 address (AAAA record), or both. For more information, see Amazon EC2 instance hostname types.

  • Domain join directory: Select the AWS Directory Service directory (domain) to which your Windows instance is joined after launch. If you select a domain, you must select an IAM role with the required permissions. For more information, see Seamlessly join a Windows EC2 instance.

  • Placement group: A placement group determines the placement strategy of your instances. Select an existing placement group, or create a new one. This option is only available if you've selected an instance type that supports placement groups. For more information, see Placement groups.

  • Capacity Reservation: Specify whether to launch the instance into shared capacity, any open Capacity Reservation, a specific Capacity Reservation, or a Capacity Reservation group. For more information, see Launch instances into an existing Capacity Reservation.

  • IAM role: Select an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role to associate with the instance. For more information, see IAM roles for Amazon EC2.

  • CPU options: Choose Specify CPU options to specify a custom number of vCPUs during launch. Set the number of CPU cores and threads per core. For more information, see Optimize CPU options.

  • Shutdown behavior: Select whether the instance should stop or terminate when shut down. For more information, see Change the instance initiated shutdown behavior.

  • Stop - Hibernate behavior: To enable hibernation, select this check box. This option is only available if your instance meets the hibernation prerequisites. For more information, see Hibernate your On-Demand Instance or Spot Instance.

  • Enable termination protection: To prevent accidental termination, select this check box. For more information, see Enable termination protection.

  • Enable stop protection: To prevent accidental stopping, select this check box. For more information, see Enable stop protection.

  • Monitoring: Select this check box to turn on detailed monitoring of your instance using Amazon CloudWatch. Additional charges apply. For more information, see Monitor your instances using CloudWatch.

  • EBS-optimized instance: An Amazon EBS-optimized instance uses an optimized configuration stack and provides additional, dedicated capacity for Amazon EBS I/O. If the instance type supports this feature, select this check box to enable it. Additional charges apply. For more information, see Amazon EBS–optimized instances.

  • Tenancy: If you are launching your instance into a VPC, you can choose to run your instance on isolated, dedicated hardware (Dedicated) or on a Dedicated Host (Dedicated host). Additional charges may apply. For more information, see Dedicated Instances and Dedicated Hosts.

  • T2/T3 Unlimited: Select this check box to enable applications to burst beyond the baseline for as long as needed. Additional charges may apply. For more information, see Burstable performance instances.

  • Network interfaces: If you selected a specific subnet, you can specify up to two network interfaces for your instance:

    • For Network Interface, select New network interface to let AWS create a new interface, or select an existing, available network interface.

    • For Primary IP, enter a private IPv4 address from the range of your subnet, or leave Auto-assign to let AWS choose a private IPv4 address for you.

    • For Secondary IP addresses, choose Add IP to assign more than one private IPv4 address to the selected network interface.

    • (IPv6-only) For IPv6 IPs, choose Add IP, and enter an IPv6 address from the range of the subnet, or leave Auto-assign to let AWS choose one for you.

    • Network Card Index: The index of the network card. The primary network interface must be assigned to network card index 0. Some instance types support multiple network cards.

    • Choose Add Device to add a secondary network interface. A secondary network interface can reside in a different subnet of the VPC, provided it's in the same Availability Zone as your instance.

    For more information, see Elastic network interfaces. If you specify more than one network interface, your instance cannot receive a public IPv4 address. Additionally, if you specify an existing network interface for eth0, you cannot override the subnet's public IPv4 setting using Auto-assign Public IP. For more information, see Assign a public IPv4 address during instance launch.

  • Kernel ID: (Only valid for paravirtual (PV) AMIs) Select Use default unless you want to use a specific kernel.

  • RAM disk ID: (Only valid for paravirtual (PV) AMIs) Select Use default unless you want to use a specific RAM disk. If you have selected a kernel, you may need to select a specific RAM disk with the drivers to support it.

  • Enclave: Select Enable to enable the instance for AWS Nitro Enclaves. For more information, see What is AWS Nitro Enclaves? in the AWS Nitro Enclaves User Guide.

  • Metadata accessible: You can enable or disable access to the Instance Metadata Service (IMDS). For more information, see Use IMDSv2.

  • Metadata transport: Enable the instance to reach the link local IMDSv2 IPv6 address (fd00:ec2::254) to retrieve instance metadata. This option is only available if you are launching Instances built on the Nitro System into an IPv6-only subnet. For more information about retrieving instance metadata, see Retrieve instance metadata.

  • Metadata version: If you enable access to the IMDS, you can choose to require the use of Instance Metadata Service Version 2 when requesting instance metadata. For more information, see Configure instance metadata options for new instances.

  • Metadata token response hop limit: If you enable the IMDS, you can set the allowable number of network hops for the metadata token. For more information, see Use IMDSv2.

  • User data: You can specify user data to configure an instance during launch, or to run a configuration script. To attach a file, select the As file option and browse for the file to attach.

Step 4: Add Storage

The AMI you selected includes one or more volumes of storage, including the root device volume. On the Add Storage page, you can specify additional volumes to attach to the instance by choosing Add New Volume. Configure each volume as follows, and then choose Next: Add Tags.

  • Type: Select instance store or Amazon EBS volumes to associate with your instance. The types of volume available in the list depend on the instance type you've chosen. For more information, see Amazon EC2 instance store and Amazon EBS volumes.

  • Device: Select from the list of available device names for the volume.

  • Snapshot: Enter the name or ID of the snapshot from which to restore a volume. You can also search for available shared and public snapshots by typing text into the Snapshot field. Snapshot descriptions are case-sensitive.

  • Size: For EBS volumes, you can specify a storage size. Even if you have selected an AMI and instance that are eligible for the free tier, to stay within the free tier, you must stay under 30 GiB of total storage. For more information, see Constraints on the size and configuration of an EBS volume.

  • Volume Type: For EBS volumes, select a volume type. For more information, see Amazon EBS volume types.

  • IOPS: If you have selected a Provisioned IOPS SSD volume type, then you can enter the number of I/O operations per second (IOPS) that the volume can support.

  • Delete on Termination: For Amazon EBS volumes, select this check box to delete the volume when the instance is terminated. For more information, see Preserve Amazon EBS volumes on instance termination.

  • Encrypted: If the instance type supports EBS encryption, you can specify the encryption state of the volume. If you have enabled encryption by default in this Region, the default customer managed key is selected for you. You can select a different key or disable encryption. For more information, see Amazon EBS encryption.

Step 5: Add Tags

On the Add Tags page, specify tags by providing key and value combinations. You can tag the instance, the volumes, or both. For Spot Instances, you can tag the Spot Instance request only. Choose Add another tag to add more than one tag to your resources. Choose Next: Configure Security Group when you are done.

Step 6: Configure Security Group

On the Configure Security Group page, use a security group to define firewall rules for your instance. These rules specify which incoming network traffic is delivered to your instance. All other traffic is ignored. (For more information about security groups, see Amazon EC2 security groups for Windows instances.) Select or create a security group as follows, and then choose Review and Launch.

  • To select an existing security group, choose Select an existing security group, and select your security group. You can't edit the rules of an existing security group, but you can copy them to a new group by choosing Copy to new. Then you can add rules as described in the next step.

  • To create a new security group, choose Create a new security group. The wizard automatically defines the launch-wizard-x security group and creates an inbound rule to allow you to connect to your instance over RDP (port 3389).

  • You can add rules to suit your needs. For example, if your instance is a web server, open ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS) to allow internet traffic.

    To add a rule, choose Add Rule, select the protocol to open to network traffic, and then specify the source. Choose My IP from the Source list to let the wizard add your computer's public IP address. However, if you are connecting through an ISP or from behind your firewall without a static IP address, you need to find out the range of IP addresses used by client computers.


    Rules that enable all IP addresses ( to access your instance over SSH or RDP are acceptable for this short exercise, but are unsafe for production environments. You should authorize only a specific IP address or range of addresses to access your instance.

Step 7: Review Instance Launch and Select Key Pair

On the Review Instance Launch page, check the details of your instance, and make any necessary changes by choosing the appropriate Edit link.

When you are ready, choose Launch.

In the Select an existing key pair or create a new key pair dialog box, you can choose an existing key pair, or create a new one. For example, choose Choose an existing key pair, then select the key pair you created when getting set up. For more information, see Amazon EC2 key pairs and Windows instances.


If you choose the Proceed without key pair option, you won't be able to connect to the instance unless you choose an AMI that is configured to allow users another way to log in.

To launch your instance, select the acknowledgment check box, then choose Launch Instances.

(Optional) You can create a status check alarm for the instance (additional fees may apply). On the confirmation screen, choose Create status check alarms and follow the directions. Status check alarms can also be created after you launch the instance. For more information, see Create and edit status check alarms.

If the instance fails to launch or the state immediately goes to terminated instead of running, see Troubleshoot instance launch issues.