Copy EC2 Instance Actions
Matt Houser avatar
Written by Matt Houser
Updated over a week ago


The Copy EC2 Instance action can be used to move or copy an EC2 instance from one availability zone to another within the same region. This action creates an AMI image of the specified EC2 instance and launches a new copy from that AMI image. Since an EC2 instance cannot actually be moved, a move is simulated by duplicating the instance, then terminating the original.

The following instance attributes will be copied to the new instance:

  • User Data

  • Tags

  • Terminate Protection

  • Security Group

  • Shutdown Behaviour

  • Kernel ID

  • Subnet ID

  • Ramdisk ID

  • Monitoring Type

  • Security Key Name

  • Instance Type

Note, this action will not copy an EC2 instance from one region to another (for example from the US to Europe).


Please see Common Action Settings for a description of settings common to all action types.

Instance ID

Indicate the instance id of your EC2 instance. This value usually looks like "i-84a3dc7b". This instance must reside in the region specified.

Availability Zone

Specify the desired availability zone of the newly created instance. Possible values are "Same Availability Zone", "Any Availability Zone", or any valid availability zones for the specified region.


Indicate whether the instance should be moved or copied.

Launch Credentials

Optional. The new EC2 instance can be launched using alternate credentials. This allows you to copy the EC2 instance from one AWS account to another.

Instance Type Override

Specify a new instance type for the EC2 instance copy. The new instance will be created as this type, otherwise it will be created as the same type as the original EC2 instance.

Security Group Override

Optional. Specify the name of a security group if the new EC2 instance should have a different security group assigned from the original.

VPC Subnet ID

Optional. Specify a new VPC subnet if you are moving or copying the instance between VPCs or from EC2-Classic into a VPC. When overriding the VPC Subnet, be aware of the following:

  • Elastic IP addresses cannot be moved from EC2-Classic to a VPC.

  • Ensure that the Availability Zone is compatible with the new subnet. Select "Any Availability Zone" to be safe.

Stop the Instance to Create AMI Image

Specify whether the instance should be stopped when creating the AMI image. It is recommended to stop the instance to ensure file system consistency. This setting is used only when copying an instance.

Assign Elastic IP to New Instance

Indicate whether the Elastic IP address assigned to the original instance should be moved to the new instance. This setting is used only when copying an instance.

Delete Temporary AMI Image

Specify whether the temporary AMI image should be deleted when the action completes.

Amazon Commands Used

The following Amazon AWS commands are used. The access key should have permission to execute all of them.

  • ec2:AssociateAddress

  • ec2:CreateImage

  • ec2:CreateTags

  • ec2:DeleteSnapshot

  • ec2:DeregisterImage

  • ec2:DescribeAddresses

  • ec2:DescribeImages

  • ec2:DescribeInstanceAttribute

  • ec2:DescribeInstances

  • ec2:DescribeInstanceStatus

  • ec2:DescribeTags

  • ec2:ModifyInstanceAttribute

  • ec2:RunInstances

  • ec2:StopInstances

  • ec2:TerminateInstances

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