Restarting an Amazon EC2 Instance


If your AWS EC2 Instance is unresponsive from the browser and you aren’t able to SSH in from your terminal, you may need to restart it.

This can happen for a few different reasons, one of which (the one I ran into) being memory management. I was running both Bitbucket and Jira on an EC2 Instance that was just too small, and became unresponsive multiple times.

Sometimes a ‘reboot’ won’t do it and you actually need to stop and start the instance. The difference is that a reboot doesn’t actually clear out your memory and will keep anything that you’ve been doing in memory.

Restarting Your Amazon EC2 Instance

Assuming you have an AWS Instance already created:

  1. Log into your AWS EC2 Management Console.
  2. In the left hand menu select ‘Instances.’
  3. Right click on the Instance you want to restart and hover over ‘Instance State’ and choose either ‘Stop’ or ‘Reboot.’ In my case I needed to actually stop the server and then start it again. Try a reboot first, just in case, but if that doesn’t work then try stopping the server altogether.
  4. Once it completely stops, right click and choose ‘Start.’ then try to log in again and continue debugging why it crashed in the first place.

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