AWS Config
Developer Guide

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Deleting AWS Config Data

AWS Config allows you to delete your data by specifying a retention period for your ConfigurationItems. When you specify a retention period, AWS Config retains your ConfigurationItems for that specified period. You can choose a period between a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 7 years (2557 days). AWS Config deletes data older than your specified retention period. If you do not specify a retention period, AWS Config continues to store ConfigurationItems for the default period of 7 years (2557 days). When recording is switched on, the current state of the resource is when a ConfigurationItem is recorded and until the next change (a new ConfigurationItem) is recorded.

To understand the behavior of retention period, let's take a look at the timeline.

  • When recording is switched on, the current state of a resource always exists and can't be deleted irrespective of the date the ConfigurationItem is recorded.

  • When AWS Config records new ConfigurationItems, the previous ConfigurationItems are deleted depending on the specified retention period.

In the following timeline, AWS Config records ConfigurationItems at the following dates. For the purpose of this timeline, today is represented as May 24, 2018.

            AWS Config retention period example

The following table explains which ConfigurationItems are displayed on the AWS Config timeline based on selected retention period.

Retention Period Configuration Items displayed on timeline Explanation

30 days

December 12, 2017

The current state of the resource started from December 12, 2017 when the ConfigurationItem was recorded and is valid until today (May 24, 2018). When recording is turned on, the current state always exists.

365 days

December 12, 2017; November 12, 2017, and March 10, 2017

The retention period shows the current state December 12, 2017 and previous ConfigurationItems November 12, 2017 and March 10, 2017.

The ConfigurationItem for March 10, 2017 is displayed on the timeline because that configuration state represented the current state 365 days ago.

After you specify a retention period, AWS Config APIs no longer return ConfigurationItems that represent a state older than the specified retention period.


  • AWS Config cannot record your ConfigurationItems if recording is switched off.

  • AWS Config cannot record your ConfigurationItems if your IAM role is broken.

Setting Data Retention Period in AWS Management Console

In the AWS Management Console, if you do not select a data retention period, the default period is 7 years or 2557 days.

To set a custom data retention period for configuration items select the checkbox. You can select 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or a custom period. For a custom period, enter the number of days between 30 and 2557 days.

                AWS Config retention period example