Delete orphaned snapshots


I have been reading some posts on the internet about how to delete orphaned snapshots. It seems that orphaned snapshots are snapshots that they are not linked to any AWS resource.

If I want to delete these snapshots, the procedure would be:

  1. Get the list of snapshots not linked to any volume
  2. Get the list of snapshots not linked to any AMI
  3. Delete the volumes that are on both lists (not linked to a volume nor to an AMI)

Is this correct? It seems that in the internet they don't mention the 3rd step, and seem to suggest that you should delete first the snapshots not linked to any volume, and then the ones not linked to any AMI.

1 Answer


Please, follow this blog post;

It contains all details that you need to do it: very complete and detailled with hands-on explanations.



profile pictureAWS
answered 19 days ago
  • Hi Didier,

    I had already seen the mentioned blog post. It defines orphaned snapshots as unreferenced snapshots, and it does not explain how to find and delete them (just how to find generic snapshots and delete them). I suppose they want you to buy the tool they are promoting in the article.

    I have found several blog posts that all say more or less the same. An example is the following: If the solution to deleting orphaned snapshots does not involve differentiating between AMI and volume snapshots then okay, but I would like to know why, and how to detect and delete them.

    Thanks in advance,


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