How to Allocate or Release an AWS Elastic IP (EIP)

Elastic IP addresses are static IP addresses designed for Amazon cloud. An Elastic IP address belongs to the user’s AWS account and is not bound to a particular instance. The user can control the elastic IP address until the user explicitly releases it. However, unlike traditional static IP addresses, Elastic IP addresses help the user to achieve high availability as it allows to script the usage of an IP address and reallocate it in a glance to other instance in the same region when the instance or availability zone fails. An AWS account can have a maximum of 5 elastic IPs per region. If you like extend this limit you can apply for more Elastic IP address here.

This guide demonstrates how to allocate or release an Elastic IP for an AWS account.


1. Go to the AWS Console through and enter the EC2 Service. It will list the AWS dashboard. It lists the current running instances, snapshots and elastic IPs. Click on the “Elastic IPs” link.



2. In the Elastic IP dashboard, all the available elastic IPs are listed.  Click on the “Allocate New Address” button to add the elastic IP for that region.



3. Select whether the user wants to have the elastic IP for the EC2 or VPC services. Select “EC2” and click on “Yes, Allocate”.



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4. AWS will provide an elastic IP address to the user’s account for that region.



5. A user can add a maximum of 5 addresses by default for a region. If the user tries adding more than 5 IP addresses, AWS will display an error, as shown below. Click on the “Cancel” button.



6. If the user wants to get more than 5 elastic IPs, apply here.

7. An Elastic IP address will cost the user when it is not assigned to any instance. To release the Elastic IP address, select the IP and click on the “Release Address” button. AWS will confirm the action before releasing the address. Click on “Yes, Release”.



8. AWS will release the address from that region. The user has to be careful while releasing the Elastic IP address as the same IP cannot be obtained again once it is released.



9. To run the above mentioned steps through the command line interface, first setup AWS EC2 CLI to launch an instance with the command line option, as explained here.

10. Run the following command to allocate an elastic IP:

ec2-allocate-address --region us-west-2

To list all the elastic IP addresses of that region:

ec2-describe-addresses --region us-west-2

To release the specified elastic IP:

ec2-release-address --region us-west-2 <IP Address>

11. The actual output is shown below:



[Newvem analytics tracks your AWS cloud utilization:

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