I was using a tool on Mac OS X called Arq to backup my data, but i found it so hard to upload all my stuff since I don't and can't have an internet connection that is fast enough for it.

So I decided to delete all my backups, but whenever I try from the software itself it does nothing.

I also tried FastGlacier on my other windows machine, it hangs up and takes too much resources.

I was wondering if there is an easy way to do this.

P.S. My glacier has ~450 GB in 341907 archives

  • Note to Arq users - see the answer from Arq developer Stefan Reitshamer below. Avoid the headache of setting up mtglacier, and just use the tool built into Arq! – joewiz Nov 22 '16 at 4:58

The purge-vault from this project works nicely: https://github.com/vsespb/mt-aws-glacier

Install, then run these commands (replace vault-name with the name of your vault):

mtglacier retrieve-inventory --config glacier.cfg --vault vault-name

wait for about 2 hours, and then

mtglacier download-inventory --config glacier.cfg --vault vault-name --new-journal vault-name.log
mtglacier purge-vault --config glacier.cfg --vault vault-name --journal vault-name.log
  • Thank you very much for this, but sadly I don't have any glacier storages to test with it, so please if anyone tests it let me know to mark it the correct answer. – Shereef Marzouk Mar 18 '14 at 11:37
  • Thanks for the feedback @CamiloNova I have chosen this as best answer based on your feedback ^_^ – Shereef Marzouk May 21 '14 at 8:14
  • I had to wait closer to 4 hours to be able to download-inventory – Parag Nov 29 '15 at 3:49
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    This method seems to be much faster compared to glacier-vault-remove. This method was able to remove 350GB of data in a few hours, while glacier-vault-remove was removing only about 30GB of data every 12 hours. – gbmhunter Nov 7 '16 at 7:30
  • I realize this answer is marked as the confirmed solution, but for Arq users like the original poster, Stefan Reitshamer's answer below is the best, hands down. Arq has a built-in tool for deleting Glacier Vaults. No need to mess around with mtglacier. Just read that answer, and you're done. – joewiz Nov 22 '16 at 4:54

https://github.com/leeroybrun/glacier-vault-remove was created for this exact purpose.

To remove a vault, first install the dependencies:

$ git clone https://github.com/leeroybrun/glacier-vault-remove.git
$ cd glacier-vault-remove
$ python setup.py install

Then create a credentials file, credentials.json in the same directory:


Then run the script like this

$ python removeVault.py REGION-NAME VAULT-NAME

Example :

$ python removeVault.py us-east-1 my_vault
  • 1
    This script is much slower than mt-aws-glacier at the current time – Dan Poltawski Sep 22 '15 at 12:18
  • Also, it eats a lot of RAM. I’m trying to delete roughly 120.000 archives—at 1142 of 125413 it already uses more than 1 GB of memory (and it’s increasing with each archive). – aaronk6 Jan 6 '17 at 9:02

If you remove a Glacier-backed folder in Arq it goes into Arq's trash. If you select it in Arq's trash and click "Delete Permanently", Arq will delete all the Glacier archives and attempt to delete the Glacier vault. The vault delete might fail because Amazon has to update its "inventory", which it does once/day. The next day, browse under "Other Backup Sets" in Arq, find that vault, select it and click "Delete" to delete it.

If you have a vault that's not associated with any Arq backups, pick "Legacy Glacier Vaults" from Arq's menu, select the vault, and click the button to delete.

  • Thanks, Stefan! I struggled for days to figure out how to delete my Arq vaults—failing to install mtglacier on my Mac, creating a dropcloud ubuntu instance to run mtglacier—and this whole time, the solution was right there in Arq. – joewiz Nov 22 '16 at 4:57

You can use a freeware product like CloudBerry Explorer http://www.cloudberrylab.com/free

Note, Glacier data doesn't become available immediately. you need to wait 24 hours for the global inventory to occur on the Amazon side, then you should click Get Inventory button and wait another 5 hours to get the inventory for your account.


  • I had nothing but glacier on that account, so i just deleted my aws account, will mark it as the correct answer since, i think it would have worked out if i had tried it. – Shereef Marzouk Dec 16 '13 at 11:10
  • Not really a good answer because this product doesn't run on OSX. – user3353 Apr 28 '14 at 1:08

I know this question has been answered a while ago, but I think this might help some people since deleting Glacier data is still extremely cumbersome.

I didn't see this suggested anywhere... but if you're only using AWS for Glacier (which I assume must be the case for many), you might consider simply closing your AWS account! That's what I did after days of mind-bendingly ineffective tries at deleting the data with various tools.

When you close your account, Amazon deletes your data (supposedly; they should eventually reclaim the disk space at least) and you get a final receipt for the month in progress. Goodbye Amazon!

  • I was using many other amazon services and didn't want to lose them, and i guess many use amazon for buying stuff, but it's good to have this written somewhere for people that never used amazon for something else – Shereef Marzouk Aug 22 '16 at 22:59
  • @ShereefMarzouk Well, when you close your account in the AWS control panel, it's actually your AWS account you're closing, not your Amazon account that you're using to make purchases. So you'll still be able to use the other Amazon services (as long as they're not part of AWS) as usual. – Form Aug 24 '16 at 0:23

On Mac you could try using ForkLift app (free for evaluation) which can connect to Amazon S3.

  • I connected to Amazon S3 but it doesn't show me anything. Do I have to specify a server other than s3.amazonaws.com to access glacier? – Kevin Jul 25 '14 at 17:55
  • Sorry it was a while ago for me now... I can't quite recall how I eventually fixed it... I think it might have been via these command-line tools listed in one of these other posts. – Marius Sep 21 '14 at 17:50
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    Glacier is not S3. They're both part of Amazon Web Services and they're both used to store files, but they have different use-cases, payment structures, restrictions and APIs. Because of this, S3 tools don't work with Glacier and Glacier tools don't work with S3 (though that's not to say there aren't tools out there that are both S3- and Glacier-compatible, written with distinct network handlers and app logic for each service). – Slipp D. Thompson Aug 17 '15 at 4:00

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