Deleting a cluster

This page explains how to delete a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster.


When you delete a cluster, the following resources are deleted:

  • The control plane resources
  • All of the node instances in the cluster
  • Any Pods that are running on those instances
  • Any firewalls and routes created by GKE at the time of cluster creation
  • Data stored in host hostPath and emptyDir volumes

The following resources are not deleted:

Before you begin

Before you start, make sure you have performed the following tasks:

Set up default gcloud settings using one of the following methods:

  • Using gcloud init, if you want to be walked through setting defaults.
  • Using gcloud config, to individually set your project ID, zone, and region.

Using gcloud init

If you receive the error One of [--zone, --region] must be supplied: Please specify location, complete this section.

  1. Run gcloud init and follow the directions:

    gcloud init

    If you are using SSH on a remote server, use the --console-only flag to prevent the command from launching a browser:

    gcloud init --console-only
  2. Follow the instructions to authorize gcloud to use your Google Cloud account.
  3. Create a new configuration or select an existing one.
  4. Choose a Google Cloud project.
  5. Choose a default Compute Engine zone for zonal clusters or a region for regional or Autopilot clusters.

Using gcloud config

  • Set your default project ID:
    gcloud config set project PROJECT_ID
  • If you are working with zonal clusters, set your default compute zone:
    gcloud config set compute/zone COMPUTE_ZONE
  • If you are working with Autopilot or regional clusters, set your default compute region:
    gcloud config set compute/region COMPUTE_REGION
  • Update gcloud to the latest version:
    gcloud components update

Deleting a cluster


To delete a cluster using the gcloud command-line tool, run the following command:

gcloud container clusters delete [CLUSTER_NAME]

For more information, refer to the gcloud container clusters delete documentation.


To delete a cluster using the Cloud Console, perform the following steps:

  1. Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine menu in Cloud Console.

    Visit the Google Kubernetes Engine menu

  2. Next to the cluster you want to delete, click Actions, then click Delete.

  3. When prompted to confirm, click Delete again.

To delete multiple clusters at once, select them and click Delete. When prompted to confirm, click Delete again.

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