hands-on lab

Create Your First Amazon EC2 Instance (Windows)

Up to 1h 15m
You can pause this lab for up to 1h
Get guided in a real environmentPractice with a step-by-step scenario in a real, provisioned environment.
Learn and validateUse validations to check your solutions every step of the way.
See resultsTrack your knowledge and monitor your progress.


Amazon EC2 allows you to launch different types of cloud instances and pay for them with a pay-per-use approach. With Amazon EC2 you can create new servers in a few minutes and use different images (AMI) to personalize them. AWS provides several Microsoft Windows Server AMIs that enable you to run almost any compatible Windows-based solution. You can use Windows-based applications, websites, and web-services written in .NET, for data processing, media transcoding, and any other task requiring Windows software.

By completing this Hands-on Lab, you will be able to launch and access your first Amazon EC2 instance running Microsoft Windows Server.

Lab Objectives

Upon completion of this Lab you will be able to:

  • Use the AWS Management Console to create an EC2 instance using the Windows operating system
  • Use the AWS Management Console to work with EC2 Key Pairs
  • Access the EC2 instance using Remote Desktop

Lab Prerequisites

You should be familiar with:

  • Some familiarity with Windows and Remote Desktop Connection is helpful but not required
  • Some familiarity with the AWS Management Console is helpful but not required


November 27th, 2023 - Migrated retrieving metadata step to powershell

October 11th, 2023 - Updated the instructions and screenshots to reflect the latest UI

May 31st, 2022 - Updated instructions and screenshots to reflect the new launch instance wizard

August 27th, 2020 - Updated the screenshots to match the new EC2 instances user interface

June 14th, 2019 - Updated the format of the Lab to improve quality

December 4th, 2018 - Added a validation Lab Step to check the work you perform in the Lab

Environment before

Environment after

About the author

Matt Martinez, opens in a new tab
Cloud Content & Labs QA
Learning paths

Matt has worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies as a DevOps Engineer and Solutions Architect. He is an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional, and an AWS Certified Solution Architect - Associate. He enjoys reading and learning new technologies.

Covered topics

Lab steps

Logging In to the Amazon Web Services Console
Creating a Windows EC2 Instance
Retrieving the Administrator Password Using the Keypair
Connecting to a Windows EC2 Instance Using a Remote Desktop Connection
Viewing the EC2 instance metadata (Windows)