Enabling and disabling keys - AWS Key Management Service

Enabling and disabling keys

You can disable and re-enable customer managed keys. When you create a KMS key, it is enabled by default. If you disable a KMS key, it cannot be used in any cryptographic operation until you re-enable it.

Because it's temporary and easily undone, disabling a KMS key is a safe alternative to deleting a KMS key, an action that is destructive and irreversible. If you are considering deleting a KMS key, disable it first and set a CloudWatch alarm or similar mechanism to be certain that you'll never need to use the key to decrypt encrypted data.

You cannot enable or disable AWS managed keys or AWS owned keys. AWS managed keys are permanently enabled for use by services that use AWS KMS. AWS owned keys are managed solely by the service that owns them.

Note

AWS KMS does not rotate the key material of customer managed keys while they are disabled. For more information, see How automatic key rotation works.

Enabling and disabling KMS keys (console)

You can use the AWS KMS console to enable and disable customer managed keys.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/kms.

  2. To change the AWS Region, use the Region selector in the upper-right corner of the page.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Customer managed keys.

  4. Select the check box for the KMS keys that you want to enable or disable.

  5. To enable a KMS key, choose Key actions, Enable. To disable a KMS key, choose Key actions, Disable.

Enabling and disabling KMS keys (AWS KMS API)

The EnableKey operation enables a disabled AWS KMS key. These examples use the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), but you can use any supported programming language. The key-id parameter is required.

This operation does not return any output. To see the key status, use the DescribeKey operation.

$ aws kms enable-key --key-id 1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab

The DisableKey operation disables an enabled KMS key. The key-id parameter is required.

$ aws kms disable-key --key-id 1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab

This operation does not return any output. To see the key status, use the DescribeKey operation, and see the Enabled field.

$ aws kms describe-key --key-id 1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab { "KeyMetadata": { "Origin": "AWS_KMS", "KeyId": "1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab", "Description": "", "KeyManager": "CUSTOMER", "MultiRegion": false, "Enabled": false, "KeyState": "Disabled", "KeyUsage": "ENCRYPT_DECRYPT", "CreationDate": 1502910355.475, "Arn": "arn:aws:kms:us-west-2:111122223333:key/1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab", "AWSAccountId": "111122223333" "KeySpec": "SYMMETRIC_DEFAULT", "CustomerMasterKeySpec": "SYMMETRIC_DEFAULT", "EncryptionAlgorithms": [ "SYMMETRIC_DEFAULT" ] } }