Deleting RDS Automated Snapshots

We recently encountered a situation where we needed to delete the automated RDS snapshots. Our RDS data size was hundreds of gigabytes, but our snapshot sizes ballooned to 11 terabytes per snapshot. That’s a story for another day.

Our retention policy is set to 30 days, and unlike manual snapshots, you can’t delete them directly.

The solution? Modify your RDS backup retention period to discard your unwanted snapshots.

For example, we had 30 days’ worth of backups and wanted to eliminate them, so we set our backup retention period to zero days.

We then waited for AWS to clean up the snapshots, which should be relatively quick but not instant.

Finally, we set the retention policy back to its original 30 days.

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