Is it possible to encrypt an EBS snapshot of an unencrypted volume?

Or is encryption -- or lack of encryption -- a binary thing for volumes and their snapshots?

Example: Is this scenario possible?

  • Volume EBS0123 is NOT encrypted
  • Snapshot of EBS0123 is taken
  • The snapshot itself is encrypted on disk

I've searched and haven't found a definitive answer to this question, but it is true that all the docs I've read seem to imply this scenario is not possible.


A snapshot is not a copy of your volume. For example if you have 10GB volume and you create snapshot, the combined size of the data will be the same 10GB plus a small overhead. Essentially, snapshot references same data as volume and what you are asking is impossible.

However, you can create a new encrypted volume from the snapshot and delete the snapshot. This would be wasteful though since you will be creating an actual copy of your data every time. You will also be paying extra for storage.

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