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Application Pruning & Resource Deletion

All Application resources created by the ApplicationSet controller (from an ApplicationSet) will contain:

  • A .metadata.ownerReferences reference back to the parent ApplicationSet resource
  • An Argo CD finalizer in .metadata.finalizers of the Application.

The end result is that when an ApplicationSet is deleted, the following occurs (in rough order):

  • The ApplicationSet resource itself is deleted
  • Any Application resources that were created from this ApplicationSet (as identified by owner reference), will be deleted.
  • Any deployed resources (Deployments, Services, ConfigMaps, etc) on the managed cluster, that were created from that Application resource (by Argo CD), will be deleted.

Thus the lifecycle of the ApplicationSet, the Application, and the Application's resources, are equivalent.

It is still possible to delete an ApplicationSet resource, while preventing Applications (and their deployed resources) from also being deleted, using a non-cascading delete:

kubectl delete ApplicationSet (NAME) --cascade=false


Even if using a non-cascaded delete, the is still specified on the Application. Thus, when the Application is deleted, all of its deployed resources will also be deleted. (The lifecycle of the Application, and its child objects, are still equivalent)