You can stop an instance temporarily so you can come back to it at a later time. A stopped instance does not incur charges, but all of the resources that are attached to the instance will still be charged. Alternatively, if you are done using an instance, delete the instance and its resources to stop incurring charges.
Before you begin
- Read the VM instances documentation.
- If you want to use the command-line examples in this guide:
- If you want to use the API examples in this guide, set up API access.
Stopping an instance
Stopping an instance causes Compute Engine to send the
ACPI Power Off
signal to the instance. Modern guest operating systems are configured to perform
a clean shutdown before powering off in response to the power off signal.
Compute Engine waits a short time for the guest to finish shutting
down and then transitions the instance to the
A stopped instance does not incur charges, but all of the resources that are attached to the instance will still be charged. For example, you are charged for persistent disks and external IP addresses according to the price sheet, even if an instance is stopped. To stop being charged for attached resources, you can reconfigure a stopped instance to not use those resources, and then delete the resources.
If your instance has a local SSD attached, you can stop the instance but
you will not be able to restart the instance. The instance remains in the
TERMINATED state until you delete it. Compute Engine does not prevent
you from shutting down an instance with a local SSD from inside the guest, so
take extra precautions if you stop instances from the guest. The
Cloud Platform Console,
gcloud compute tool, and the API methods will return
an error and prevent you from deleting instances with local SSDs.
- Go to the VM instances page in the Cloud Platform Console.
- Select one or more instances that you want to stop.
- At the top of the VM instances page, click Stop.
gcloud compute, use the
instances stop command and specify
one or more instances that you want to stop.
gcloud compute instances stop example-instance-1 example-instance-2
In the API, construct a
POST request to stop an instance.
TERMINATED instance still exists with its configuration settings and
instance metadata but loses its in-memory data and virtual machine state. Any
resources that are still attached to the terminated instance will remain
attached until you manually detach those resources or delete the instance.
After the instance is in the
TERMINATED state, you can
restart the instance
or delete it. You can also
leave an instance in a terminated state indefinitely. However, if you do not plan to
restart the instance, delete it instead.
Stopping an instance through the operating system
Optionally, you can stop an instance through the guest operating system using
sudo shutdown -h now or
sudo poweroff commands. Execute one of these
commands while you are logged into the virtual machine:
me@example-instance:~$ sudo shutdown -h now
me@example-instance:~$ sudo poweroff
Billing for stopped instances
Instances that are in a
TERMINATED state are not charged for per-minute
running virtual machine usage and do not count towards your regional CPU quota,
so you can choose to stop instances that you are not using, saving you from
being charged for instances that aren't active. Once you are ready, you can
come back and start the same instances again, with the same instance
properties, metadata, and resources.
Your instances are not charged for per-minute usage charges in
state but any resources attached to the virtual machine will be charged
until they are deleted, such as static IPs and persistent disks.
State of resources for stopped instances
When you stop an instance, it has the following effects on the instance and on resources related to the instance:
Persistent disks are maintained when an instance is stopped, even persistent disks that are marked for auto-delete.
You will continue to be charged for persistent disks associated with stopped virtual machines, just like you would a persistent disk that is not associated with any virtual machines.
|RAM and virtual machine state||
Reset to power-on state, no data is saved.
|External ephemeral IPs||
Ephemeral IPs are released when an instance is stopped, but a new ephemeral IP address is acquired when the instance is restarted.
|External static IPs||
Static external IPs are maintained.
Static IPs assigned to stopped instances are charged as if they are not attached to any instance. See pricing page for details.
|Internal IPs / MAC address||
Internal IPs and MAC addresses are maintained.
Stopped instances are not billed, but when a stopped instance is restarted, the 10 minute minimum billing duration will be enforced.
When an instance is stopped, you can still perform actions that can affect the stopped instance, such as:
- Changing the machine type
- Adding or removing attached disks
- Updating a disk’s auto-delete setting
- Modifying instance tags
- Modifying custom instance metadata
- Modifying project-wide metadata
- Removing or setting a new static IP
- Modifying the instance’s scheduling options
However, you cannot change an instance’s image.
Deleting an instance
You can permanently delete an instance to remove the instance and the associated resources from your project. If the instance is part of an instance group, the group might try to recreate the instance to maintain a certain group size. Resize the instance group or reconfigure the autoscaler instead.
- Go to the VM Instances page in the Cloud Platform Console.
- Check the instances you want to delete.
- Click the Delete button.
gcloud compute instances delete
command. When you delete an instance in this way, the instance shuts down
and is removed from the list of instances, and all resources attached to
the instance are released, such as persistent disks and any static IP
To delete an instance, use the following command:
gcloud compute instances delete example-instance [example-instance-2 example-instance-3..]
When you shut down or delete an instance, Compute Engine sends the ACPI Power Off signal to the instance and waits a short period of time for your instance to shut down cleanly. If your instance is still running after this grace period, Compute Engine forcefully terminates it even if your shutdown script is still running.
The length of the shutdown period depends on the type of your instance.
- Normal instances have a shutdown period that usually lasts at least 90 seconds, but could be longer.
- Preemptible instances have a shutdown period that lasts 30 seconds, which is the same length as the shutdown period that happens during the preemption process.
If you choose to run a shutdown script during this period, your shutdown script must finish running within this time period so that the operating system has time to complete its shutdown and flush buffers to disk.