Amazon Simple Storage Service
Console User Guide

How do I use folders in an S3 Bucket?

In Amazon S3, buckets and objects are the primary resources, where objects are stored in buckets. Amazon S3 has a flat structure with no hierarchy like you would see in a file system. However, for the sake of organizational simplicity, the Amazon S3 console supports the folder concept as a means of grouping objects. Amazon S3 does this by using a shared name prefix for objects (that is, objects that have names that begin with a common string). Object names are also referred to as key names.

For example, you can create a folder in the console called photos, and store an object named myphoto.jpg in it. The object is then stored with the key name photos/myphoto.jpg, where photos/ is the prefix.

Here are two more examples:

  • If you have three objects in your bucket—logs/date1.txt, logs/date2.txt, and logs/date3.txt—the console will show a folder named logs. If you open the folder in the console, you will see three objects: date1.txt, date2.txt, and date3.txt.

  • If you have an object named photos/2017/example.jpg, the console will show you a folder named photos containing the folder 2017 and the object example.jpg.

You can have folders within folders, but not buckets within buckets. You can upload and copy objects directly into a folder. Folders can be created, deleted, and made public, but they cannot be renamed. Objects can be copied from one folder to another.


The Amazon S3 console treats all objects that have a forward slash "/" character as the last (trailing) character in the key name as a folder, for example examplekeyname/. You cannot upload an object with a key name with a trailing "/" character by using the Amazon S3 console. However, objects named with a trailing "/" can be uploaded with the Amazon S3 API by using the AWS CLI, the AWS SDKs, or REST API.

An object named with a trailing "/" displays as a folder in the Amazon S3 console. The Amazon S3 console does not display the content and metadata for such an object. When copying an object named with a trailing "/" by using the Amazon S3 console, a new folder is created in the destination location but the object's data and metadata are not copied.