AWS Command Line Interface
User Guide

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Using AWS CLI Pagination Options

For commands that can return a large list of items, the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) adds three options that you can use to control the number of items included in the output when the AWS CLI calls a service's API to populate the list.

By default, the AWS CLI uses a page size of 1000 and retrieves all available items. For example, if you run aws s3api list-objects on an Amazon S3 bucket that contains 3,500 objects, the CLI makes four calls to Amazon S3, handling the service-specific pagination logic for you in the background and returning all 3,500 objects in the final output.

If you see issues when running list commands on a large number of resources, the default page size of 1000 might be too high. This can cause calls to AWS services to exceed the maximum allowed time and generate a "timed out" error. You can use the --page-size option to specify that the AWS CLI request a smaller number of items from each call to the AWS service. The CLI still retrieves the full list, but performs a larger number of service API calls in the background and retrieves a smaller number of items with each call. This gives the individual calls a better chance of succeeding without a timeout. Changing the page size doesn't affect the output; it affects only the number of API calls that need to be made to generate the output.

$ aws s3api list-objects --bucket my-bucket --page-size 100 { "Contents": [ ...

To include fewer items at a time in the AWS CLI output, use the --max-items option. The AWS CLI still handles pagination with the service as described above, but prints out only the number of items at a time that you specify.

$ aws s3api list-objects --bucket my-bucket --max-items 100 { "NextToken": "eyJNYXJrZXIiOiBudWxsLCAiYm90b190cnVuY2F0ZV9hbW91bnQiOiAxfQ==", "Contents": [ ...

If the number of items output (--max-items) is fewer than the total number of items returned by the underlying API calls, the output includes a NextToken that you can pass to a subsequent command to retrieve the next set of items. The following example shows how to use the NextToken value returned by the previous example, and enables you to retrieve the second 100 items.


The parameter --starting-token cannot be null or empty. If the previous command does not return a NextToken value, then there are no more items to return and you do not need to call the command again.

$ aws s3api list-objects --bucket my-bucket --max-items 100 --starting-token eyJNYXJrZXIiOiBudWxsLCAiYm90b190cnVuY2F0ZV9hbW91bnQiOiAxfQ== { "Contents": [ ...

The specified AWS service might not return items in the same order each time you call. If you specify different values for --page-size and --max-items, you can get unexpected results with missing or duplicated items. To prevent this, use the same number for --page-size and --max-items to sync the AWS CLI's pagination with the pagination of the underlying service. You can also retrieve the whole list and perform any necessary paging operations locally.