Troubleshooting - AWS Control Tower


If you encounter issues while using AWS Control Tower, you can use the following information to resolve them according to our best practices. If the issues you encounter are outside the scope of the following information, or if they persist after you've tried to resolve them, contact AWS Support.

Landing Zone Launch Failed

Common causes of landing zone launch failure:

  • Lack of response to a confirmation email message.

  • AWS CloudFormation StackSet failure.

Confirmation email messages: If your management account is less than an hour old, you may encounter issues when the additional accounts are created.

Action to take

If you encounter this issue, check your email. You might have been sent confirmation email that is awaiting response. Alternatively, we recommend that you wait an hour, and then try again. If the issue persists, contact AWS Support.

Failed StackSets: Another possible cause of landing zone launch failure is AWS CloudFormation StackSet failure. AWS Security Token Service (STS) regions must be enabled in the management account for all AWS Regions that AWS Control Tower is governing, so that the provisioning can be successful; otherwise, stack sets will fail to launch.

Action to take

Be sure to enable all of your required AWS Security Token Service (STS) endpoint regions before you launch AWS Control Tower.

To view a list of AWS Regions that AWS Control Tower supports, see How AWS Regions Work With AWS Control Tower.

Landing zone not up to date error

If you have not updated your landing zone recently, you may receive an error when you try to regain access to AWS Control Tower. You may see an error message similar to this one:

Unable to access Control Tower

Your account has been inactive for too long. Due to inactivity, you must update your landing zone for access to AWS Control Tower.

However, your landing zone update may fail.

Steps to take

Sign in to the management account of your organization, and sign in as root user. Your IAM user or user in IAM Identity Center must have AWS Control Tower administrator permissions and be part of the AWSControlTowerAdmins group. Then try the update again.

New Account Provisioning Failed

If you encounter this issue, check for these common causes.

When you filled out the account provisioning form, you may have:
  • specified tagOptions,

  • enabled SNS notifications,

  • enabled provisioned product notifications.

Try again to provision your account, without specifying any of those options. For more information, see Provision accounts with AWS Service Catalog Account Factory .

Other common causes for failure:
  • If you created a provisioned product plan (to view resource changes), your account provisioning may remain in an In progress state indefinitely.

  • Creation of a new account in Account Factory will fail while other AWS Control Tower configuration changes are in progress. For example, while a process is running to add a control to an OU, Account Factory will display an error message if you try to provision an account.

To check the status of a previous action in AWS Control Tower
  • Navigate to AWS CloudFormation > StackSets

  • Check each stack set related to AWS Control Tower (prefix: "AWSControlTower")

  • Look for AWS CloudFormation StackSets operations that are still running.

If your account provisioning takes longer than one hour, it's best to terminate the provisioning process and try again.

Failed to Enroll an Existing Account

If you try once to enroll an existing AWS account and that enrollment fails, when you try a second time, the error message may tell you that the stack set exists. To continue, you must remove the provisioned product in Account Factory.

If the reason for the first enrollment failure was that you forgot to create the AWSControlTowerExecution role in the account in advance, the error message you'll receive correctly tells you to create the role. However, when you try to create the role, you are likely to receive another error message stating that AWS Control Tower could not create the role. This error occurs because the process has been partially completed.

In this case, you must take two recovery steps before you can proceed with enrolling your existing account. First, you must terminate the Account Factory provisioned product through the AWS Service Catalog console. Next, you must use the AWS Organizations console to manually move the account out of the OU and back to the root. After that is done, create the AWSControlTowerExecution role in the account, and then fill in the Enroll account form again.

Another possible cause of enrollment failure is that the account has existing AWS Config resources. In that case, see Enroll accounts that have existing AWS Config resources for instructions on how you can modify your existing resources.

Unable to Update an Account Factory Account

When an account is in an inconsistent state, it cannot be updated successfully from Account Factory or AWS Service Catalog.

Case 1: You may encounter an error message similar to this one:

AWS Control Tower could not baseline VPC in the managed account because of existing resource dependencies.

Common cause: AWS Control Tower always removes the AWS default VPC during initial provisioning. To have an AWS default VPC in an account, you must add it after account creation. AWS Control Tower has its own default VPC that replaces the AWS default VPC, unless you set up Account Factory the way the walkthrough shows you—-so that AWS Control Tower doesn’t provision a VPC at all. Then the account has no VPC. You’d have to re-add the AWS default VPC if you want to use that one.

However, AWS Control Tower doesn't support the AWS default VPC. Deploying one causes the account to enter a Tainted state. When it is in that state, you cannot update the account through AWS Service Catalog.

Action to take: You must delete the default VPC that you added, and then you will be able to update the account.


The Tainted state causes a follow-on issue: An account that is not updated may prevent enabling controls on the OU of which it is a part.

Case 2: You may see an error message similar to this one:

AWS Control Tower detects that your enrolled account has been moved to a new organizational unit.

Common cause: You attempted to move an account from one registered OU to another, but old AWS Config rules remain. The account is in an inconsistent state.

Action to take:

If the account move was intended:
  • Terminate the account in Service Catalog.

  • Enroll it again.

  • Context/impact: Deployed AWS Config rules don't match the configuration dictated by the destination OU.

  • AWS Config rules may remain from the previous OU, causing unintended spending.

  • Attempts to re-enroll or update the account will fail due to resource naming conflicts.

If the account move was unintended:
  • Return the account to its original OU.

  • Update the account from Service Catalog.

  • In the launch parameters, enter the OU that the account was originally in.

  • Context/impact: If the account is not returned to its original OU, its state will be inconsistent with the controls dictated by the new OU it's in.

  • Updating an account is not a valid remediation, because it does not delete the AWS Config rules associated with its previous OU.

Unable to Update Landing Zone

AWS Control Tower does not roll back to a previous landing zone version if an update fails. You may find your landing zone in an indeterminate state. If so, contact AWS support.

Landing zone updates may fail for several reasons.

  • Prerequisites not met

  • AWS Config resources exist in certain accounts

  • Closed accounts exist

Prerequisites not met

A landing zone update must meet the same prerequisites as a landing zone setup. Before you update, review the pre-launch checks.

AWS Config resources exist in Security OU accounts

Do not add AWS Config resources in your Audit and Log archive accounts. The landing zone update process cannot complete with these resources present. These restrictions are similar to those for enrolling an account or setting up a landing zone for the first time. For more information, see Enroll accounts that have existing AWS Config resources.

Closed accounts exist

When an account is in a Closed or Suspended state, you may encounter an issue when you try to update your landing zone. You must delete the provisioned product on every closed account before you perform an update to the landing zone.

On the AWS Service Catalog provisioned product page, you may see an error message similar to this one:

AWSControlTowerExecution role can't be assumed on the account.

Common cause: You have suspended an account without deleting the provisioned product.

Action to take: If you see this error, you have two options:

  1. Contact AWS Support and reopen the account, delete the provisioned product, then close the account again.

  2. Remove the resources from the StackSets that have been orphaned because of the account closure. (This option is available only if the StackSets have instances in Current state that you are not removing.)

To remove the resources from the StackSets, do this for each closed account:
  • Go into each of the AWS Control Tower StackSets and remove the StackInstances from every region, for the account that has been closed.

  • IMPORTANT: Choose the Retain Stack option so the StackSet removes only the stack instances. StackSet can't assume a role from the closed account, so it will fail if it tries to assume the AWSControlTowerExecution role, which leads to the error message you received.

Failure Error that Mentions AWS Config

If AWS Config is enabled in any AWS Region supported by AWS Control Tower, you may receive an error message because a pre-check has failed. The message might not seem to explain the problem adequately, due to some underlying behavior of AWS Config.

You may receive an error message, similar to one of these:
  • AWS Control Tower cannot create an AWS Config delivery channel because one already exists. To continue, delete the existing delivery channel and try again

  • AWS Control Tower cannot create an AWS Config configuration recorder because one already exists. To continue, delete the existing delivery channel and try again

Common cause: When the AWS Config service is enabled on an AWS account, it creates a configuration recorder and delivery channel with a default naming. If you disable the AWS Config service through the console, it does not delete the configuration recorder or the delivery channel. You must delete them through the CLI, or modify them for AWS Control Tower use. If the AWS Config service is enabled in any one of the Regions supported by AWS Control Tower, it can result in this failure.

If the account has existing AWS Config resources, see Enroll accounts that have existing AWS Config resources for instructions on how you can modify your existing resources.

Action to take: Delete the configuration recorder and delivery channel in all supported regions. Disabling AWS Config is not enough, the configuration recorder and delivery channel must be deleted by means of the CLI. After you’ve deleted the configuration recorder and delivery channel from the CLI, you can try again to launch AWS Control Tower and enroll the account.

If you are in the process of deploying a provisioned product, you must delete the provisioned product before you retry. Otherwise, you may see an error message similar to this one:

  • An error occurred (InvalidParametersException) when calling the ProvisionProduct operation: A stack named Stackname already exists.

In the message, Stackname specifies the name of the stack.

Here are some example AWS Config CLI commands you can use to determine the status of your configuration recorder and delivery channel.

View commands:

  • aws configservice describe-delivery-channels

  • aws configservice describe-delivery-channel-status

  • aws configservice describe-configuration-recorders

  • The normal response is something like "name": "default"

Delete commands:

  • aws configservice stop-configuration-recorder --configuration-recorder-name NAME-FROM-DESCRIBE-OUTPUT

  • aws configservice delete-delivery-channel --delivery-channel-name NAME-FROM-DESCRIBE-OUTPUT

  • aws configservice delete-configuration-recorder --configuration-recorder-name NAME-FROM-DESCRIBE-OUTPUT

For more information, see the AWS Config documentation

No Launch Paths Found Error

When you're trying to create a new account, you may see an error message similar to this one:

No launch paths found for resource: prod-dpqqfywxxxx

This error message is generated by AWS Service Catalog, which is the integrated service that helps provision accounts in AWS Control Tower.

Common Causes:

  • You may be logged in as root. AWS Control Tower does not support creating accounts when you're logged in as root user.

  • Your IAM Identity Center user has not been added to the appropriate permission group. You may need to add your IAM Identity Center user to one of these permission groups: AWSAccountFactory (for end-user access) or AWSServiceCatalogAdmins (for admin access).

  • If you are authenticated as an IAM user, you must add it to the AWS Service Catalog portfolio so that it has the correct permissions.

  • This issue also occurs if you have the correct permissions, but AWS Control Tower drift is detected, and a drift repair is necessary. To repair most types of drift, choose Reset on the Landing zone settings page.

Received an Insufficient Permissions Error

It's possible that your account may not have the necessary permissions to perform certain work in certain AWS Organizations. If you encounter the following type of error, check all the permissions areas, such as IAM or IAM Identity Center permissions, to make sure your permission is not being denied from those places:

You have insufficient permissions to perform AWS Organizations API actions.

If you believe your work requires the action you're attempting, and you can't locate any relevant restriction, contact your system administrator or AWS Support.

Detective controls are not taking effect on accounts

If you've recently expanded your AWS Control Tower deployment into a new AWS Region, newly-applied detective controls do not take effect on new accounts you create in any Region until the individual accounts within OUs governed by AWS Control Tower are updated. Existing detective controls on existing accounts are still in effect.

If you try to enable a detective control before updating your accounts, you may see an error message similar to this one:

AWS Control Tower can't enable the selected control on this OU. AWS Control Tower cannot apply the control on the OU ou-xxx-xxxxxxxx, because child accounts have dependencies that are missing. Update all child accounts under the OU, then try again.

Action to take: Update accounts.

To update your accounts from the AWS Control Tower console, see When to update AWS Control Tower OUs and accounts.

To update multiple individual accounts programmatically, you can use the APIs from AWS Service Catalog and the AWS CLI to automate the updates. For more information about how to approach the update process, see this Video Walkthrough.  You can substitute the UpdateProvisionedProduct API for the ProvisionProduct API shown in the video.

If you have further difficulties with enabling detective controls on your accounts, contact AWS Support.

Rate exceeded error returned by the AWS Organizations API

Possible cause

Your workload was running while AWS Control Tower was running a daily scan to check whether your SCPs have drifted.

Steps to follow

If you encounter an API throttling or rate exceeded error, try these steps:

  • Run your workloads at a different time. (Refer to the AWS Control Tower SCP invariance scan schedule by Region to find out when AWS Control Tower runs its audit scans.)

  • If you are calling the APIs directly through HTTP: Use the AWS SDK, which automatically retries failed actions

  • Request a limit increase through Service Quotas and AWS Support

An example of troubleshooting instructions for API throttling in Elastic Beanstalk can be found here:

Failure to move an Account Factory account directly from one AWS Control Tower landing zone to another AWS Control Tower landing zone


This practice does not meet the prerequisite for eligible account enrollment, because eligible accounts must be part of the same overall AWS Organization, and each organization may have only one landing zone. If you have tried to do this action and you find yourself receiving multiple error messages, here is some information that might be helpful.

To move an account that you’ve provisioned through Account Factory into another landing zone that’s managed by AWS Control Tower, under another management account, you must remove all of the IAM roles and the stacks associated with that account from the original OU. Remove these resources from every Region in which the account is deployed.


The best way to remove the resources is to deprovision the account in its original OU before you try to move it.

If you don’t remove the resources, enrollment into the new OU will fail, somewhat spectacularly. You may encounter one or more error messages, and you will keep receiving similar error messages until the remaining roles and stacks are removed from every Region in which the account was deployed.

Each time you receive an error message, you must remove the account from the new OU, delete the old resource that is the subject of the error message, and then attempt to move the account back into the new OU. This process of removing-and-deleting must be repeated for every remaining resource, for every Region in which the account was deployed, possibly 10 or 20 times. These repeated errors occur because the account was provisioned into an OU with an SCP that prevents IAM role deletion. You can make the recovery process shorter by deleting all the account's resources before you retry.

The examples below represent the types of failure messages you may receive if undeleted roles and stacks remain. You would most likely see one of these messages at a time, for each time you attempt to enroll the account, as long as old resources remain.

The values of the resource ID strings have been modified for the examples. Their values will not be the same in an error message you may receive. You may see a message similar to the following examples:

  • AWS Control Tower cannot create the IAM role aws-controltower-AdministratorExecutionRole because the role already exists. To continue, delete the existing IAM role and try again.

  • AWS Control Tower cannot create the IAM role aws-controltower-ConfigRecorderRole because the role already exists. To continue, delete the existing IAM role and try again.

  • AWS Control Tower cannot create the IAM role aws-controltower-ForwardSnsNotificationRole because the role already exists. To continue, delete the existing IAM role and try again.

Or you may see an error message about a stack set failure, similar to this one:

  "Error\":\"StackSetFailState\", \"Cause\":\"StackSetOperation on AWSControlTowerBP-BASELINE-CLOUDWATCH with id 8aXXXXf5-e0XX-4XXa-bc4XX-dXXXXXee31 has reached SUCCEEDED state but has 1 NON-CURRENT stack instances; here is the summary :{ StackSet Id: AWSControlTowerBP-BASELINE-CLOUDWATCH:40XXXbf2-Xead-46a1-XXXa-eXXXXecb2ee2, Stack instance Id: arn:aws:cloudformation:eu-west-1:1X23456789XX: stack/StackSet-AWSControlTowerBP-BASELINE-CLOUDWATCH-4feXXXXXX-ecXX-XXc6-bXXX-4ae678/4feXXXXXX-ecX-4ae123458, Status: OUTDATED, Status Reason: ResourceLogicalId:ForwardSnsNotification, ResourceType:AWS::Lambda::Function, ResourceStatusReason:aws-controltower-NotificationForwarder already exists in stack arn:aws:cloudformation:eu-west-1:1X23456789XX: stack/StackSet-AWSControlTowerBP-BASELINE-CLOUDWATCH-4feXXXXXX-ecXX-XXc6-bXXX-4ae678/4feXXXXXX-ecX-4ae123458.

After all of the remaining resources are removed from the first OU, you’ll be able to invite, provision, or enroll the account into the new OU successfully.

AWS Support

If you want to move your existing member accounts into a different support plan, you can sign in to each account with root account credentials, compare plans, and set the support level that you prefer.

We recommend that you update the MFA and account security contacts when you make changes to your support plan.