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Delete all archives in an AWS Vault

AWS Glacier: Delete vault

Follow these steps to remove all archives from an AWS vault. After this is finished, you will be able to delete the vault itself through the browser console.

Step 1 / Retrive inventory

This will create a job that collects required information about the vault.

$ aws glacier initiate-job --job-parameters '{"Type": "inventory-retrieval"}' --account-id YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID --region YOUR_REGION --vault-name YOUR_VAULT_NAME 

This can take hours or even days, depending on the size of the vault. Use the following command to check if it is ready:

aws glacier list-jobs --account-id YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID --region YOUR_REGION --vault-name YOUR_VAULT_NAME 

Copy the JobId (including the quotes) for the next step.

Step 2 / Get the ArchivesIds

The following command will result in a file listing all archive IDs, required for step 3.

$ aws glacier get-job-output --account-id YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID --region YOUR_REGION --vault-name YOUR_VAULT_NAME --job-id YOUR_JOB_ID ./output.json

Step 3 / Delete archives

Set the following parameters through environment variables:


Create a file with the following content and run it:



if [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]] || [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]] || [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]]; then
	echo "Please set the following environment variables: "
	echo "AWS_REGION"
	exit 1

archive_ids=$(jq .ArchiveList[].ArchiveId < $file)

for archive_id in ${archive_ids}; do
    echo "Deleting Archive: ${archive_id}"
    aws glacier delete-archive --archive-id=${archive_id} --vault-name ${AWS_VAULT_NAME} --account-id ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} --region ${AWS_REGION}

echo "Finished deleting archives"


This tutorial is based on this one:


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joel1di1 commented Feb 5, 2018

if [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]] || [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]] || [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]]; then

Should be :
if [[ -z ${AWS_ACCOUNT_ID} ]] || [[ -z ${AWS_REGION} ]] || [[ -z ${AWS_VAULT_NAME} ]]; then


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jfreeman commented Mar 29, 2018

I'm getting an error from this line in the script: archive_ids=$(jq .ArchiveList[].ArchiveId < $file)

The error is: 'jq: command not found' .. any thoughts on what I need to change in the script in order to repair this situation? I really need to delete some glacier vaults asap. Thanks!



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RafaelRuales commented May 30, 2018

@jfreeman, follow these steps:
to download jq

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