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Amazon Glacier – Error Deleting Vault – Vault not empty.

First off, I was getting charged almost $15USD per month from AWS Glacier backup. Glacier is supposed to be a very cheap backup. So, I started digging.

Amazon Glacier Vault listing

I stopped the backup on the NAS and was hoping to delete this archive, waited over a month. Still no luck to delete the files. Then after poking around I found out that my default was set to US East (N.Virginia). The vault on US East(Virginia) contained 2.3GB of data which did not make sense that I was being charged that $15USD for that. After digging around, I found two other archives setup on US East(Ohio) were equal to 3.6TB of usage.

AWS Amazon S3 Glacier Vaults

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to just DELETE the vaults. When clicking on the Delete Vault button, an error pops up.”Error deleting vault”.

Error Deleting vault - AWS Amazon Glacier

Here is where it gets a little complicated. To access the contents easily, we must download and install a 3rd party app called CloudBerry. (there are others, but this one is FREE and works great.) Here’s how I did it.

Steps to delete the contents of your Glacier Vault

  1. Before opening CloudBerry, we need to create some Credentials to login to Amazon Glacier. From your AWS Console https://aws.amazon.com/console/)
Access your  Amazon Glacier Vault

2. Go to My Security Credentials – Under the Username Menu.

Create new credentials for your Glacier vault
Go to My Security Credentials

3. Expand Access Keys – and click the ‘Create New Access Key’ Button.
You can then Copy and Paste your Access Key & Security Key to a notepad for CloudBerry.

Create a new Access Key for your Glacier Vault
Then Expand Access keys – and Create New Access Key

4. Then Click on Source Drop Down and Select. and New Storage Account

Open the app Cloudberry

5. Pick Amazon Glacier

CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3 - Amazon Glacier
Open CloudBerry and select Amazon Glacier

6. Enter the Access key & Secret Key from your notepad information obtained earlier.

Enter your Access an Secret key that you created in AWS.
Set your display name and plugin the Access Key and Secret Key

7. Now you should be able to see the content of your AWS Account. Pick your Glacier Backup and you can see your Vaults. (Unfortunately you still can’t just delete them from there). That would be too easy.

Pick your Glacier Backup to show the Vaults

8. Select the Vault you would like to work with, Right Click and Get Inventory.

Run the Get Inventory Command on selected Vault
This process take several hours.

9. Once the Inventory has been completed you will then be able to see the contents of the Vault and delete them. (names are encrypted, but since I will restart the backup, I will delete all of them.) NOTE: Do not try to Select All – Your system will likely lock up like mine if there are alot of files in there.

Once Get Inventory is completed, you can highlight and delete the contents


10. Select a group of files at a time to delete and delete them. (Use Shift + Page Down to select pages of files and press the DELETE key).

See the queue of deleting items

I will be honest, this took a while to to. In the span of hours, luckily the connection stayed, I was able to login to my PC and highlight a large group and delete them then go back.

I will be setting this all up again, but making sure that only the backup files are actually backed up to the Cloud Drive and that the purging of old backups is actually working.

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