Enabling and disabling keys - Amazon Key Management 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 (PDF).

Enabling and disabling keys

You can disable and re-enable customer managed keys. When you create a KMS key, it is enabled by default. If you disable a KMS key, it cannot be used in any cryptographic operation until you re-enable it.

Because it's temporary and easily undone, disabling a KMS key is a safe alternative to deleting a KMS key, an action that is destructive and irreversible. If you are considering deleting a KMS key, disable it first and set a CloudWatch alarm or similar mechanism to be certain that you'll never need to use the key to decrypt encrypted data.

When you disable a KMS key, it becomes unusable right away (subject to eventual consistency). However, resources encrypted with data keys protected by the KMS key are not affected until the the KMS key is used again, such as to decrypt the data key. This issue affects Amazon Web Services, many of which use data keys to protect your resources. For details, see How unusable KMS keys affect data keys.

You cannot enable or disable Amazon managed keys or Amazon owned keys. Amazon managed keys are permanently enabled for use by services that use Amazon KMS. Amazon owned keys are managed solely by the service that owns them.


Amazon KMS does not rotate the key material of customer managed keys while they are disabled. For more information, see How automatic key rotation works.

Enabling and disabling KMS keys (console)

You can use the Amazon KMS console to enable and disable customer managed keys.

  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the Amazon Key Management Service (Amazon KMS) console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/kms.

  2. To change the Amazon Web Services Region, use the Region selector in the upper-right corner of the page.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Customer managed keys.

  4. Choose the check box for the KMS keys that you want to enable or disable.

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

Enabling and disabling KMS keys (Amazon KMS API)

The EnableKey operation enables a disabled Amazon KMS key. These examples use the Amazon Command Line Interface (Amazon 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 KMS key. 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", "MultiRegion": false, "Enabled": false, "KeyState": "Disabled", "KeyUsage": "ENCRYPT_DECRYPT", "CreationDate": 1502910355.475, "Arn": "arn:aws:kms:us-west-2:111122223333:key/1234abcd-12ab-34cd-56ef-1234567890ab", "AWSAccountId": "111122223333" "KeySpec": "SYMMETRIC_DEFAULT", "CustomerMasterKeySpec": "SYMMETRIC_DEFAULT", "EncryptionAlgorithms": [ "SYMMETRIC_DEFAULT" ] } }