How can I copy all objects from one Amazon S3 bucket to another bucket?

Last updated: 2020-12-23

I want to move all my objects from one Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket to another bucket. How can I migrate objects between my S3 buckets?

Short description

To copy objects from one S3 bucket to another, follow these steps:

1.    Create a new S3 bucket.

2.    Install and configure the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).

3.    Copy the objects between the S3 buckets.

4.    Verify that the objects are copied.

5.    Update existing API calls to the target bucket name.

Before you begin, consider the following:


Create a new S3 bucket

1.    Open the Amazon S3 console.

2.    Choose Create Bucket.

3.    Choose a DNS-compliant name for your new bucket.

4.    Select your AWS Region.
Note: It's a best practice to create the target bucket in the same Region as the source bucket to avoid performance issues associated with cross-Region traffic.

5.    Optionally, choose Copy settings from an existing bucket to mirror the configuration of the source bucket.

Install and configure the AWS CLI

1.    Install the AWS CLI.

2.    Configure the AWS CLI by running the following command:

aws configure

Note: If you receive errors when running AWS CLI commands, make sure that you’re using the most recent version of the AWS CLI.

3.    Enter your access keys (access key ID and secret access key).

4.    Press Enter to skip the default Region and default output options. For information about Region parameters, see AWS Regions and endpoints for Amazon S3.

Note: The AWS CLI outputs are JSON, text, or table, but not all the commands support each type of output. For more information, see Controlling command output from the AWS CLI.

Copy the objects between the S3 buckets

1.    If you have archived S3 objects in the Amazon Simple Storage Service Glacier storage class, restore the objects.

2.    Copy the objects between the source and target buckets by running the following sync command using the AWS CLI:


The sync command uses the CopyObject APIs to copy objects between S3 buckets. The sync command lists the source and target buckets to identify objects that are in the source bucket but that aren't in the target bucket. The command also identifies objects in the source bucket that have different LastModified dates than the objects that are in the target bucket. The sync command on a versioned bucket copies only the current version of the object—previous versions aren't copied. By default, this preserves object metadata, but the access control lists (ACLs) are set to FULL_CONTROL for your AWS account, which removes any additional ACLs. If the operation fails, you can run the sync command again without duplicating previously copied objects.

To troubleshoot issues with the sync operation, see Why can't I copy an object between two Amazon S3 buckets?

Verify that the objects are copied

1.    Verify the contents of the source and target buckets by running the following commands:

aws s3 ls --recursive s3://DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET-SOURCE --summarize > bucket-contents-source.txt
aws s3 ls --recursive s3://DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET-TARGET --summarize > bucket-contents-target.txt

Note: Update the command to include your source and target bucket names.

2.    Compare objects that are in the source and target buckets by using the outputs that are saved to files in the AWS CLI directory. See the following example output:

$ aws s3 ls --recursive s3://DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET --summarize
2017-11-20 21:17:39      15362 s3logo.png

  Total Objects: 1        Total Size: 15362

Update existing API calls to the target bucket name

Update any existing applications or workloads so that they use the target bucket name. You might need to run sync commands to address discrepancies between source and target buckets if you have frequent writes.

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