AWS Key Management Service
Developer Guide

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Enabling and Disabling Keys

You can disable and reenable the customer master keys (CMKs) that you manage. You cannot enable or disable AWS managed CMKs.

When you create a CMK, it is enabled by default. If you disable a CMK, it cannot be used to encrypt or decrypt data until you re-enable it. AWS managed CMKs are permanently enabled for use by services that use AWS KMS. You cannot disable them.

You can also delete CMKs. For more information, see Deleting Customer Master Keys.


AWS KMS does not rotate the backing keys of customer managed CMKs while they are disabled. For more information, see How Automatic Key Rotation Works.

Enabling and Disabling CMKs (Console)

You can enable and disable customer managed CMKs from the IAM section of the AWS Management Console.

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) console at

  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 CMKs that you want to enable or disable.

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

Enabling and Disabling CMKs (KMS API)

The EnableKey operation enables a disabled AWS KMS customer master key (CMK). 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 CMK. 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", "Enabled": false, "KeyUsage": "ENCRYPT_DECRYPT", "KeyState": "Disabled", "CreationDate": 1502910355.475, "Arn": "arn:aws:kms:us-west-2:111122223333:key/1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab", "AWSAccountId": "111122223333" } }