Amazon Simple Storage Service
Developer Guide (API Version 2006-03-01)

Copying Objects

The copy operation creates a copy of an object that is already stored in Amazon S3. You can create a copy of your object up to 5 GB in a single atomic operation. However, for copying an object that is greater than 5 GB, you must use the multipart upload API. Using the copy operation, you can:

  • Create additional copies of objects

  • Rename objects by copying them and deleting the original ones

  • Move objects across Amazon S3 locations (e.g., us-west-1 and EU)

  • Change object metadata

    Each Amazon S3 object has metadata. It is a set of name-value pairs. You can set object metadata at the time you upload it. After you upload the object, you cannot modify object metadata. The only way to modify object metadata is to make copy of the object and set the metadata. In the copy operation you set the same object as the source and target.

Each object has metadata. Some of it is system metadata and other user-defined. Users control some of the system metadata such as storage class configuration to use for the object, and configure server-side encryption. When you copy an object, user-controlled system metadata and user-defined metadata are also copied. Amazon S3 resets the system controlled metadata. For example, when you copy an object, Amazon S3 resets creation date of copied object. You don't need to set any of these values in your copy request.

When copying an object, you might decide to update some of the metadata values. For example, if your source object is configured to use standard storage, you might choose to use reduced redundancy storage for the object copy. You might also decide to alter some of the user-defined metadata values present on the source object. Note that if you choose to update any of the object's user configurable metadata (system or user-defined) during the copy, then you must explicitly specify all the user configurable metadata, even if you are only changing only one of the metadata values, present on the source object in your request.

For more information about the object metadata, see Object Key and Metadata.


Copying objects across locations incurs bandwidth charges.


If the source object is archived in Amazon Glacier (the storage class of the object is GLACIER), you must first restore a temporary copy before you can copy the object to another bucket. For information about archiving objects, see GLACIER Storage Class: Additional Lifecycle Configuration Considerations.

When copying objects you can request Amazon S3 to save the target object encrypted using an AWS Key Management Service (KMS) encryption key, an Amazon S3-managed encryption key, or a customer-provided encryption key. Accordingly you must specify encryption information in your request. If the copy source is an object that stored in Amazon S3 using server-side encryption with customer provided key, you will need to provide encryption information in your request so Amazon S3 can decrypt the object for copying. For more information, see Protecting Data Using Encryption.