This topic describes how to copy a custom image from one region to another within your Alibaba Cloud account. This feature can be used to create identical ECS instances and back up data of instances across regions.

Background information

The following table lists a variety of scenarios in which custom images are copied.
Scenario Procedure API operation
Copy images across different regions within the same account
  1. Create a custom image from an instance
  2. Copy images to a different region
  1. CreateImage
  2. CopyImage
Copy images across regions and accounts
  1. Create a custom image from an instance
  2. Copy images to a different region
  3. Share or unshare images
  1. CreateImage
  2. CopyImage
  3. ModifyImageSharePermission
Share images in the same region across accounts You can share images without the need to copy the images. For more information, see Share or unshare custom images ModifyImageSharePermission
Change the encryption status of a custom image, encrypt a system disk, or encrypt operating system data Select Encrypt when you copy a custom image. The encryption feature is in public preview. CopyImage
Before you copy a custom image, take note of the following items:
  • You may be charged the following fees:
    • Fees for use of storage capacity occupied by snapshot copies. For more information, see Billing overview.
      Note When an image is copied, one or more corresponding snapshots are generated in the destination region. Then, a custom image is generated in the destination region based on these snapshots. The new snapshots are permanently retained, regardless of the retention period of the snapshots of the source image.
    • Fees for data traffic across regions. No fees are generated for this data traffic. For the latest billing details, see the official Alibaba Cloud website for announcements.
  • The time it takes to copy an image depends on the image size, network transmission speed, and the number of concurrent tasks in the queue.
    Note To copy a large image such as an image larger than 2 TiB in size across regions, you can first copy the associated snapshots to the destination region and then create a custom image from these snapshots in the destination region. For more information, see Copy a snapshot and Create a custom image from a snapshot.
  • The role authorization information, service authorization information, and instance user data of the source image is not copied to the destination image.


  1. Log on to the ECS console.
  2. In the left-side navigation pane, choose Instances & Images > Images.
  3. In the top navigation bar, select a region.
  4. On the Images page, click the Custom Image tab.
  5. Find the custom image that you want to copy and click Copy Image in the Actions column.
  6. In the Copy Image dialog box, specify parameters.
    1. Confirm the ID of the custom image that you want to copy.
    2. Select a region from the Destination Region drop-down list. The selected region must be different from the current region.
    3. In the Custom Image Name field, enter an image name to display in the destination region.
    4. Optional:In the Custom Image Description field, enter an image description to display in the destination region.
    5. Optional:Select Encrypt and then select Default Service CMK from the drop-down list.

      Default Service CMK: The default key generated by Key Management Service (KMS).

    6. Click OK.
  7. Query the results and manage the tasks.
    1. In the upper-left corner of the top navigation bar, select the destination region from the drop-down list and view the copy progress of the custom image.
      When the progress reaches 100%, the image enters the Available state. This indicates that the copy task is complete. An image is created in the destination region and has a unique image ID.
    2. Optional:If the progress has not reached 100% and the status is Creating, you can cancel the copy task at any time by clicking Cancel Copy.

What to do next

You can use the image copy to create an instance or replace a system disk: