This step-by-step guide will help you store your files in the cloud using Amazon S3. We will go through how to create a bucket, upload a file, retrieve a file and delete a file. Everything done in this tutorial is free-tier eligible.

Back Up Your Files

Sign in to the Console

When you click here, the AWS management console will open in a new browser window, so you can keep this step-by-step guide open. When this screen loads, enter your user name and password to get started. Then find S3 under Storage & Content Delivery, and double click to open the dashboard.

Backup Files to S3 - Console

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Backup Files to S3 - Console

Now you are in the S3 dashboard, click Create Bucket button. Enter a Bucket Name (must be unique and all lower case) and make sure the Region is set to US Standard. Then press the Create button.

Note: there are a number of restrictions on S3 bucket names; you can see the full list here.

Backup Files to S3 - Create a Bucket

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Backup Files to S3 - Create a Bucket

a. Select your newly created bucket yourname-backup-bucket, then click the Upload button.

Backup Files to S3 - Upload

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Backup Files to S3 - Upload

b. Click Add Files and choose a file that you would like to backup. Then, click the Start Upload button to begin the upload of the file you selected.

Backup Files to S3 - Add Files

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Backup Files to S3 - Add Files

c. You will see your bucket's home screen again along with the progress bars on the right column showing the upload status.

Backup Files to S3 - Progress Bar

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Backup Files to S3 - Progress Bar

a. Select the checkbox next to the file you would like to download, then click the Actions button and select Download.

Backup Files to S3 - Retrieve

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Backup Files to S3 - Retrieve

b. Follow the instructions on your screen to Please right-click the download link below and choose Save Link As… to download the file you backed up.

Note: if you click the Download link instead or right-clicking, the file will open in your browser.

After you save your download, click OK to close this menu.

Backup Files to S3 - Save

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Backup Files to S3 - Save

Select the checkbox next to the file you would like to delete, then click the Actions button and select Delete. Click OK to confirm that you want to delete the file you selected.

Backup Files to S3 - Delete

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Backup Files to S3 - Delete

Congratulations! You have backed up your first file to the cloud. AWS S3 is designed for 99.999999999% durability to help ensure that your data is always available when you want it. You’ve also learned how to retrieve your backed up file and how to delete them if you no longer want to store it.


Now that you have learned how to use Amazon S3 from the web console you can progress to the next tutorial where you will learn how to use the command line to do these same backup and recovery actions in a scripted way.

Backing Up Your Files to Amazon S3 From the Command Line »


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