Checking stopped tasks for errors - Amazon Elastic Container Service
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China.

Checking stopped tasks for errors

If you have trouble starting a task, your task might be stopping because of an error. For example, you run the task and the task displays a PENDING status and then disappears. You can view stopped task errors like this in the Amazon ECS console by viewing the stopped task and inspecting it for error messages.


Amazon ECS also sends task state change events to EventBridge, which you can view if your stopped task has expired from view in the Amazon ECS console. For more information, see Task state change events.

For information about how to investigate a task that was stopped more than 1 hour, see ECS Stopped Tasks in CloudWatch Logs on the GitHub website.

New console

New Amazon Web Services Management Console

The following steps can be used to set a container instance to draining using the new Amazon Web Services Management Console.

  1. Open the Amazon ECS console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Clusters.

  3. On the Clusters page, choose the cluster.

  4. On the Cluster : name page, choose the Tasks tab.

  5. Choose the stopped task to inspect.

  6. In the Status section, inspect the Stopped reason field to see the reason that the task was stopped.

Classic console
  1. Open the Amazon ECS console at

  2. On the Clusters page, select the cluster where your stopped task resides.

  3. On the Cluster : clustername page, choose Tasks.

  4. In the Desired task status table header, choose Stopped, and then select the stopped task to inspect. The most recent stopped tasks are listed first.

  5. In the Details section, inspect the Stopped reason field to see the reason that the task was stopped.

                                    Stopped task reason

    Some possible reasons and their explanations are listed below:

    Task failed ELB health checks in (elb elb-name)

    The current task failed the Elastic Load Balancing health check for the load balancer that's associated with the task's service. For more information, see Troubleshooting service load balancers.

    Scaling activity initiated by (deployment deployment-id)

    When you reduce the desired count of a stable service, some tasks must be stopped to reach the desired number. Tasks that are stopped by downscaling services have this stopped reason.

    Host EC2 (instance id) stopped/terminated

    If you stop or terminate a container instance with running tasks, then the tasks are given this stopped reason.

    Container instance deregistration forced by user

    If you force the deregistration of a container instance with running tasks, then the tasks are given this stopped reason.

    Essential container in task exited

    If a container marked as essential in task definitions exits or dies, that can cause a task to stop. When an essential container exiting is the cause of a stopped task, the Step 6 can provide more diagnostic information about why the container stopped.

  6. If you have a container that has stopped, expand the container and inspect the Status reason row to see what caused the task state to change.

                                    Stopped container error

    In the previous example, the container image name can't be found. This can happen if you misspell the image name.

    If this inspection doesn't provide enough information, you can connect to the container instance with SSH and inspect the Docker container locally. For more information, see Inspect Docker Containers.

Amazon CLI
  1. List the stopped tasks in a cluster. The output contains the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of the task, which you need to describe the task.

    aws ecs list-tasks \ --cluster cluster_name \ --desired-status STOPPED \ --region us-west-2
  2. Describe the stopped task to retrieve the stoppedReason in the response.

    aws ecs describe-tasks \ --cluster cluster_name \ --tasks arn:aws:ecs:us-west-2:account_id:task/cluster_name/task_ID \ --region us-west-2

Additional resources

The following pages provide additional information about error codes: