Working with Query Results, Output Files, and Query History - Amazon Athena

Working with Query Results, Output Files, and Query History

Amazon Athena automatically stores query results and metadata information for each query that runs in a query result location that you can specify in Amazon S3. If necessary, you can access the files in this location to work with them. You can also download query result files directly from the Athena console.

To set up an Amazon S3 query result location for the first time, see Specifying a Query Result Location Using the Athena Console.

Output files are saved automatically for every query that runs regardless of whether the query itself was saved or not. To access and view query output files, IAM principals (users and roles) need permission to the Amazon S3 GetObject action for the query result location, as well as permission for the Athena GetQueryResults action. The query result location can be encrypted. If the location is encrypted, users must have the appropriate key permissions to encrypt and decrypt the query result location.


IAM principals with permission to the Amazon S3 GetObject action for the query result location are able to retrieve query results from Amazon S3 even if permission to the Athena GetQueryResults action is denied.

Getting a Query ID

Each query that runs is known as a query execution. The query execution has a unique identifier known as the query ID or query execution ID. To work with query result files, and to quickly find query result files, you need the query ID. We refer to the query ID in this topic as QueryID.

To use the Athena console to get the QueryID of a query that ran

  1. Choose History from the navigation bar.

                        Viewing the query history in the Athena console.
  2. From the list of queries, choose the query status under State—for example, Succeeded. The query ID shows in a pointer tip.

                        Viewing a query ID on the History tab of the
                            Athena console.
  3. To copy the ID to the clipboard, choose the icon next to Query ID.

                        Copying a query ID to the clipboard on the
                                History tab of the Athena console.

Finding Query Output Files in Amazon S3

Query output files are stored in sub-folders on Amazon S3 in the following path pattern unless the query occurs in a workgroup whose configuration overrides client-side settings. When workgroup configuration overrides client-side settings, the query uses the results path specified by the workgroup.

  • QueryResultsLocationInS3 is the query result location specified either by workgroup settings or client-side settings. For more information, see Specifying a Query Result Location later in this document.

  • The following sub-folders are created only for queries run from the console whose results path has not been overriden by workgroup configuration. Queries that run from the AWS CLI or using the Athena API are saved directly to the QueryResultsLocationInS3.

    • QueryName is the name of the query for which the results are saved. If the query ran but wasn't saved, Unsaved is used.

    • yyyy/mm/dd is the date that the query ran.

Files associated with a CREATE TABLE AS SELECT query are stored in a tables sub-folder of the above pattern.

Identifying Query Output Files

Files are saved to the query result location in Amazon S3 based on the name of the query, the query ID, and the date that the query ran. Files for each query are named using the QueryID, which is a unique identifier that Athena assigns to each query when it runs.

The following file types are saved:

File type File naming patterns Description

Query results files



DML query results files are saved in comma-separated values (CSV) format.

DDL query results are saved as plain text files.

You can download results files from the console from the Results pane when using the console or from the query History. For more information, see Downloading Query Results Files Using the Athena Console.

Query metadata files



DML and DDL query metadata files are saved in binary format and are not human readable. The file extension corresponds to the related query results file. Athena uses the metadata when reading query results using the GetQueryResults action. Although these files can be deleted, we do not recommend it because important information about the query is lost.

Data manifest files


Data manifest files are generated to track files that Athena creates in Amazon S3 data source locations when an INSERT INTO query runs. If a query fails, the manifest also tracks files that the query intended to write. The manifest is useful for identifying orphaned files resulting from a failed query.

Using the AWS CLI to Identify Query Output Location and Files

To use the AWS CLI to identify the query output location and result files, run the aws athena get-query-execution command, as in the following example. Replace abc1234d-5efg-67hi-jklm-89n0op12qr34 with the query ID.

aws athena get-query-execution --query-execution-id abc1234d-5efg-67hi-jklm-89n0op12qr34

The command returns output similar to the following. For descriptions of each output parameter, see get-query-execution in the AWS CLI Command Reference.

{ "QueryExecution": { "Status": { "SubmissionDateTime": 1565649050.175, "State": "SUCCEEDED", "CompletionDateTime": 1565649056.6229999 }, "Statistics": { "DataScannedInBytes": 5944497, "DataManifestLocation": "s3://aws-athena-query-results-123456789012-us-west-1/MyInsertQuery/2019/08/12/abc1234d-5efg-67hi-jklm-89n0op12qr34-manifest.csv", "EngineExecutionTimeInMillis": 5209 }, "ResultConfiguration": { "EncryptionConfiguration": { "EncryptionOption": "SSE_S3" }, "OutputLocation": "s3://aws-athena-query-results-123456789012-us-west-1/MyInsertQuery/2019/08/12/abc1234d-5efg-67hi-jklm-89n0op12qr34" }, "QueryExecutionId": "abc1234d-5efg-67hi-jklm-89n0op12qr34", "QueryExecutionContext": {}, "Query": "INSERT INTO mydb.elb_log_backup SELECT * FROM mydb.elb_logs LIMIT 100", "StatementType": "DML", "WorkGroup": "primary" } }

Downloading Query Results Files Using the Athena Console

You can download the query results CSV file from the query pane immediately after you run a query, or using the query History.


Athena query result files are data files that contain information that can be configured by individual users. Some programs that read and analyze this data can potentially interpret some of the data as commands (CSV injection). For this reason, when you import query results CSV data to a spreadsheet program, that program might warn you about security concerns. To keep your system secure, you should always choose to disable links or macros from downloaded query results.

To download the query results file of the most recent query

  1. Enter your query in the query editor and then choose Run query.

    When the query finishes running, the Results pane shows the query results.

  2. To download the query results file, choose the file icon in the query results pane. Depending on your browser and browser configuration, you may need to confirm the download.

                        Saving query results to a .csv file in the
                            Athena console.

To download a query results file for an earlier query

  1. Choose History.

  2. Page through the list of queries until you find the query, and then. under Action for the query, choose Download results.

Specifying a Query Result Location

The query result location that Athena uses is determined by a combination of workgroup settings and client-side settings. Client-side settings are based on how you run the query.

  • If you run the query using the Athena console, the Query result location entered under Settings in the navigation bar determines the client-side setting.

  • If you run the query using the Athena API, the OutputLocation parameter of the StartQueryExecution action determines the client-side setting.

  • If you use the ODBC or JDBC drivers to run queries, the S3OutputLocation property specified in the connection URL determines the client-side setting.


When you run a query using the API or using the ODBC or JDBC driver, the console setting does not apply.

Each workgroup configuration has an Override client-side settings option that can be enabled. When this option is enabled, the workgroup settings take precedence over the applicable client-side settings when an IAM principal associated with that workgroup runs the query.

Specifying a Query Result Location Using the Athena Console

Before you can run a query, a query result bucket location in Amazon S3 must be specified, or you must use a workgroup that has specified a bucket and whose configuration overrides client settings. If no query results location is specified, the query fails with an error.

To specify a client-side setting query result location using the Athena console

  1. From the navigation bar, choose Settings.

  2. For Query result location, enter the path to an existing Amazon S3 folder, including the trailing slash.


    Be sure to include the trailing slash. Failing to include the trailing slash results in the error Invalid S3 folder location.

    The Amazon S3 location that you enter is used for subsequent queries. You can change this location later if you want.

                            Specifying a query result location in the Athena console

    If you are a member of a workgroup that specifies a query result location and overrides client-side settings, the option to change the query result location is unavailable, as the following image shows:

                            The query result location setting is unavailable when a
                                workgroup overrides client-side settings.

Previously Created Default Locations

Previously, if you ran a query without specifying a value for Query result location, and the query result location setting was not overridden by a workgroup, Athena created a default location for you. The default location was aws-athena-query-results-MyAcctID-MyRegion, where MyAcctID was the Amazon Web Services account ID of the IAM principal that ran the query, and MyRegion was the region where the query ran (for example, us-west-1.)

Now, before you can run an Athena query in a region in which your account hasn't used Athena previously, you must specify a query result location, or use a workgroup that overrides the query result location setting. While Athena no longer creates a default query results location for you, previously created default aws-athena-query-results-MyAcctID-MyRegion locations remain valid and you can continue to use them.

Specifying a Query Result Location Using a Workgroup

You specify the query result location in a workgroup configuration using the AWS Management Console, the AWS CLI, or the Athena API.

When using the AWS CLI, specify the query result location using the OutputLocation parameter of the --configuration option when you run the aws athena create-work-group or aws athena update-work-group command.

To specify the query result location for a workgroup using the Athena console

  1. Choose Workgroup:CurrentWorkgroupName in the navigation bar.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If editing an existing workgroup, select it from the list, choose View details, and then choose Edit Workgroup.

    • If creating a new workgroup, choose Create workgroup.

  3. For Query result location, choose the Select folder.

  4. From the list of S3 locations, choose the blue arrow successively until the bucket and folder you want to use appears in the top line. Choose Select.

  5. Under Settings, do one of the following:

    • Select Override client-side settings to save query files in the location that you specified above for all queries that members of this workgroup run.

    • Clear Override client-side settings to save query files in the location that you specfied above have the query location that you specified above only when workgroup members run queries using the Athena API, ODBC driver, or JDBC driver without specifying an output location in Amazon S3.

  6. If editing a workgroup, choose Save. If creating a workgroup, choose Create workgroup.

Viewing Query History

You can use the Athena console to see the queries that succeeded and failed, download query result files for the queries that succeeded, and view error details for the queries that failed. Athena keeps a query history for 45 days.

To view query history in the Athena console

  1. Open the Athena console at

  2. Choose the History tab. The History tab shows information about each query that ran.

                        Viewing the query history in the Athena console.
  3. Do one of the following:

    • To see a query statement in the Query Editor, choose the text of the query in the Query column. Longer query statements are abbreviated.

                                Choose the text of a query to see it in the Query
    • To see a query ID, choose its State (Succeeded, Failed, or Cancelled). The query ID shows in a pointer tip.

                                Viewing a query ID on the History tab
                                    of the Athena console.
    • To download the results of a successful query into a .csv file, choose Download results.

                                Downloading query results from the
                                        History tab of the Athena
    • To see the details for a query that failed, choose Error details for the query.

                                Choose Error details to view the
                                    details of a failed query.
                                Viewing the error details of a query that failed.

If you want to keep the query history longer than 45 days, you can retrieve the query history and save it to a data store such as Amazon S3. To automate this process, you can use Athena and Amazon S3 API actions and CLI commands. The following procedure summarizes these steps.

To retrieve and save query history programmatically

  1. Use Athena ListQueryExecutions API action or the list-query-executions CLI command to retrieve the query IDs.

  2. Use the Athena GetQueryExecution API action or the get-query-execution CLI command to retrieve information about each query based on its ID.

  3. Use the Amazon S3 PutObject API action or the put-object CLI command to save the information in Amazon S3.