In Key Management Service (KMS), each Customer Master Key (CMK) has three states: Enabled, Disabled, and PendingDeletion. If the key is an external key (when its Origin is EXTERNAL in KeyMetaData), it may also be in the PendingImport state.

A new CMK is usually in the Enabled state by default. When creating a new external key, however, it is in the PendingImport state.

Only CMKs in the Enabled state can be used for encryption or decryption. Other APIs may return different responses depending on the key state.

CMKs in the PendingDeletion state are permanently deleted once the pre-deletion time runs out.

he following table shows key states and the expected responses of API calls.
Expected responses HttpStatusCode
Success 200
Rejected.Enabled 409
Rejected.Disabled 409
Rejected.PendingDeletion 409
Rejected.PendingImport 409
Rejected.StateModifiedFailed 409
API Enabled Disabled PendingDeletion PendingImport
CreateKey Success Success Success Success
GenerateDataKey Success Rejected.Disabled Rejected.PendingDeletion Rejected.PendingImport
Encrypt Success Rejected.Disabled Rejected.PendingDeletion Rejected.PendingImport
Decrypt Success Rejected.Disabled Rejected.PendingDeletion Rejected.PendingImport
ListKeys Success Success Success Success
DescribeKey Success Success Success Success
EnableKey Success Success Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Rejected.StateModifiedFailed
DisableKey Success Success Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Rejected.StateModifiedFailed
ScheduleKeyDeletion Success Success Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Success
CancelKeyDeletion Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Success Rejected.StateModifiedFailed
CreateAlias Success Success Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Success
DeleteAlias Success Success Success Success
ListAliases Success Success Success Success

Special API


  • It is affected only by the state of the “target key”, not the state of the “original key”.
  • If the “target key” is in the PendingDeletion state, Rejected.PendingDeletion is returned. If not, Success is returned.

Exclusive API for the External Key

API Enabled Disabled PendingDeletion PendingImport
GetParametersForImport Success Success Success Success
ImportKeyMaterial Success Success Rejected.StateModifiedFailed Success
DeleteKeyMaterial Success Success Success Success