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

Deleting or Emptying a Bucket

It is easy to delete an empty bucket, however in some situations you may need to delete or empty a bucket that contains objects. In this section, we'll explain how to delete objects in an unversioned bucket (the default), and how to delete object versions and delete markers in a bucket that has versioning enabled. For more information about versioning, see Using Versioning. In some situations, you may choose to empty a bucket instead of deleting it. This section explains various options you can use to delete or empty a bucket that contains objects.

Delete a Bucket

You can delete a bucket and its content programmatically using AWS SDK. You can also use lifecycle configuration on a bucket to empty its content and then delete the bucket. There are additional options, such as using Amazon S3 console and AWS CLI, but there are limitations on this method based on the number of objects in your bucket and the bucket's versioning status.

Delete a Bucket: Using the Amazon S3 Console

The Amazon S3 console supports deleting a bucket that may or may not be empty. For information about using the Amazon S3 console to delete a bucket, see How Do I Delete an S3 Bucket? in the Amazon Simple Storage Service Console User Guide.

Delete a Bucket: Using the AWS CLI

You can delete a bucket that contains objects using the AWS CLI only if the bucket does not have versioning enabled. If your bucket does not have versioning enabled, you can use the rb (remove bucket) AWS CLI command with --force parameter to remove a non-empty bucket. This command deletes all objects first and then deletes the bucket.

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$ aws s3 rb s3://bucket-name --force

For more information, see Using High-Level S3 Commands with the AWS Command Line Interface in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

To delete a non-empty bucket that does not have versioning enabled, you have the following options:

  • Delete the bucket programmatically using the AWS SDK.

  • First, delete all of the objects using the bucket's lifecycle configuration and then delete the empty bucket using the Amazon S3 console.

Delete a Bucket: Using Lifecycle Configuration

You can configure lifecycle on your bucket to expire objects, Amazon S3 then deletes expired objects. You can add lifecycle configuration rules to expire all or a subset of objects with a specific key name prefix. For example, to remove all objects in a bucket, you can set a lifecycle rule to expire objects one day after creation.

If your bucket has versioning enabled, you can also configure the rule to expire noncurrent objects.

After Amazon S3 deletes all of the objects in your bucket, you can delete the bucket or keep it.

Important

If you just want to empty the bucket and not delete it, make sure you remove the lifecycle configuration rule you added to empty the bucket so that any new objects you create in the bucket will remain in the bucket.

For more information, see Object Lifecycle Management and Expiring Objects: General Considerations.

Delete a Bucket: Using the AWS SDKs

You can use the AWS SDKs to delete a bucket. The following sections provide examples of how to delete a bucket using the AWS SDK for .NET and Java. First, the code deletes objects in the bucket and then it deletes the bucket. For information about other AWS SDKs, see Tools for Amazon Web Services.

Delete a Bucket Using the AWS SDK for Java

The following Java example deletes a non-empty bucket. First, the code deletes all objects and then it deletes the bucket. The code example also works for buckets with versioning enabled.

For instructions on how to create and test a working sample, see Testing the Java Code Examples.

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import com.amazonaws.AmazonServiceException; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.AmazonS3; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.AmazonS3Client; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.model.ListVersionsRequest; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.model.ObjectListing; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.model.S3ObjectSummary; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.model.S3VersionSummary; import com.amazonaws.services.s3.model.VersionListing; import java.util.Iterator; /** * Delete an Amazon S3 bucket. * * This code expects that you have AWS credentials set up per: * http://docs.aws.amazon.com/java-sdk/latest/developer-guide/setup-credentials.html * * ++ Warning ++ This code will actually delete the bucket that you specify, as * well as any objects within it! */ public class DeleteBucket { public static void main(String[] args) { final String USAGE = "\n" + "To run this example, supply the name of an S3 bucket\n" + "\n" + "Ex: DeleteBucket <bucketname>\n"; if (args.length < 1) { System.out.println(USAGE); System.exit(1); } String bucket_name = args[0]; System.out.println("Deleting S3 bucket: " + bucket_name); final AmazonS3 s3 = new AmazonS3Client(); try { System.out.println(" - removing objects from bucket"); ObjectListing object_listing = s3.listObjects(bucket_name); while (true) { for (Iterator<?> iterator = object_listing.getObjectSummaries().iterator(); iterator.hasNext();) { S3ObjectSummary summary = (S3ObjectSummary)iterator.next(); s3.deleteObject(bucket_name, summary.getKey()); } // more object_listing to retrieve? if (object_listing.isTruncated()) { object_listing = s3.listNextBatchOfObjects(object_listing); } else { break; } }; System.out.println(" - removing versions from bucket"); VersionListing version_listing = s3.listVersions( new ListVersionsRequest().withBucketName(bucket_name)); while (true) { for (Iterator<?> iterator = version_listing.getVersionSummaries().iterator(); iterator.hasNext();) { S3VersionSummary vs = (S3VersionSummary)iterator.next(); s3.deleteVersion( bucket_name, vs.getKey(), vs.getVersionId()); } if (version_listing.isTruncated()) { version_listing = s3.listNextBatchOfVersions( version_listing); } else { break; } } System.out.println(" OK, bucket ready to delete!"); s3.deleteBucket(bucket_name); } catch (AmazonServiceException e) { System.err.println(e.getErrorMessage()); System.exit(1); } System.out.println("Done!"); } }

Empty a Bucket

You can empty a bucket's content (that is, delete all content, but keep the bucket) programmatically using the AWS SDK. You can also specify lifecycle configuration on a bucket to expire objects so that Amazon S3 can delete them. There are additional options, such as using Amazon S3 console and AWS CLI, but there are limitations on this method based on the number of objects in your bucket and the bucket's versioning status.

Empty a Bucket: Using the Amazon S3 console

For information about using the Amazon S3 console to empty a bucket, see How Do I Empty an S3 Bucket? in the Amazon Simple Storage Service Console User Guide

Empty a Bucket: Using the AWS CLI

You can empty a bucket using the AWS CLI only if the bucket does not have versioning enabled. If your bucket does not have versioning enabled, you can use the rm (remove) AWS CLI command with the --recursive parameter to empty a bucket (or remove a subset of objects with a specific key name prefix).

The following rm command removes objects with key name prefix doc, for example, doc/doc1 and doc/doc2.

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$ aws s3 rm s3://bucket-name/doc --recursive

Use the following command to remove all objects without specifying a prefix.

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$ aws s3 rm s3://bucket-name --recursive

For more information, see Using High-Level S3 Commands with the AWS Command Line Interface in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

Note

You cannot remove objects from a bucket with versioning enabled. Amazon S3 adds a delete marker when you delete an object, which is what this command will do. For more information about versioning, see Using Versioning.

To empty a bucket with versioning enabled, you have the following options:

  • Delete the bucket programmatically using the AWS SDK.

  • Use the bucket's lifecycle configuration to request that Amazon S3 delete the objects.

  • Use the Amazon S3 console (can only use this option if your bucket contains less than 100,000 items—including both object versions and delete markers).

Empty a Bucket: Using Lifecycle Configuration

You can configure lifecycle on you bucket to expire objects and request that Amazon S3 delete expired objects. You can add lifecycle configuration rules to expire all or a subset of objects with a specific key name prefix. For example, to remove all objects in a bucket, you can set lifecycle rule to expire objects one day after creation.

If your bucket has versioning enabled, you can also configure the rule to expire noncurrent objects.

For more information, see Object Lifecycle Management and Expiring Objects: General Considerations.

Empty a Bucket: Using the AWS SDKs

You can use the AWS SDKs to empty a bucket or remove a subset of objects with a specific key name prefix.

For an example of how to empty a bucket using AWS SDK for Java, see Delete a Bucket Using the AWS SDK for Java. The code deletes all objects, regardless of whether the bucket has versioning enabled or not, and then it deletes the bucket. To just empty the bucket, make sure you remove the statement that deletes the bucket.

For more information about using other AWS SDKs, see Tools for Amazon Web Services.