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

Restoring Previous Versions

One of the value propositions of versioning is the ability to retrieve previous versions of an object. There are two approaches to doing so:

  • Copy a previous version of the object into the same bucket

    The copied object becomes the current version of that object and all object versions are preserved.

  • Permanently delete the current version of the object

    When you delete the current object version, you, in effect, turn the previous version into the current version of that object.

Because all object versions are preserved, you can make any earlier version the current version by copying a specific version of the object into the same bucket. In the following figure, the source object (ID = 111111) is copied into the same bucket. Amazon S3 supplies a new ID (88778877) and it becomes the current version of the object. So, the bucket has both the original object version (111111) and its copy (88778877).

A subsequent GET will retrieve version 88778877.

The following figure shows how deleting the current version (121212) of an object, which leaves the previous version (111111) as the current object.

A subsequent GET will retrieve version 111111.