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Amazon S3 - How to Delete a Bucket?

Amazon S3 Bucket is a container in which you stores S3 objects. You can create upto 100 buckets in a AWS S3 account. When you do not want to keep your data at Amazon S3, then you can delete the S3 Bucket. Before deleting the Bucket, you must comfirm that it is empty. You can delete bucket only if it is empty.

Delete Amazon S3 Bucket by sending Http DELETE Request to S3 Server

If you want to Delete an Amazon S3 Bucket , you can do that by sending an HTTP DELETE Request to S3 Server. You can send HTTP DELETE Request to Amazon S3 server in two ways:
  1. Delete an Amazon S3 Bucket by using Amazon S3 APIs- If you know software programming, you can write your own program to use Amazon S3 REST or SOAP APIs. In this documentation, we will only talk about Amazon S3 REST API- DELETE Bucket. You can refer to S3 documentation to get more details on SOAP APIs.
  2. Delete an Amazon S3 Bucket using Bucket Explorer- If you do not want to write a software program to Delete a Bucket, you can simply do so by using Bucket Explorer, with mouse clicks.
To delete an existing Bucket, you must be a valid registered AWS Account holder to authenticate the request. As you delete a Bucket, you must confirm that bucket is empty and after deleting the bucket you won't be the owner of the Bucket.

The below two sections describe the steps for both of the above mentioned options:

a) Delete a Bucket using Amazon S3 REST API (DELETE Bucket)

To delete an S3 bucket, you will need to send DELETE Bucket request to Amazon S3 server. For that, you need to pass the Name of the Bucket to be deleted from your AWS account, in the request body.


Host: yourBucketName
Date: date
Authorization: signatureValue

b) Delete a Bucket using Bucket Explorer

While the DELETE Bucket API of AWS allows you to delete existing buckets by writing code, Bucket Explorer user interface lets you do that with mouse clicks without writing a single line of code.
Bucket Explorer has two options to delete a bucket. Aside from the normal delete, where you need to make sure that the bucket to be deleted is empty, you can also perform a " Quick Delete ".

If you want to delete an existing S3 Bucket, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the bucket that you wish to delete.
  2. Bucket Explorer provides two ways to delete S3 Bucket.
    1. Bucket Delete.
    2. Quick Delete (Batch Delete API)
      Note: Follow the link to learn more about Quick Delete API, for that click the link Quick Delete (Batch Delete API).

Bucket Delete

  1. There are two available options to delete the Bucket.
    • Right click on bucket listing table and select "Delete Bucket --> Bucket Delete" option.
    • Click on "Bucket" button and choose "Delete" icon located in Bucket toolbar.
  2. When you click on any of the above two options, you will be prompted with the message "Are you sure you want to delete Bucket: #Bucket name# " with two buttons- for Delete and Don’t Delete.
  3. Click on Delete.


Click on "Move to trash" button to delete the existing S3 Objects and then S3 Bucket.

  • If the bucket that you want to delete is a distributed Bucket, it will prompt you with “You have created a distribution on this bucket. Are you sure you want to delete the bucket #BucketName#?
    Click on Delete or Don’t Delete button depending on your choice.
  • If any log delivery has been set to any Bucket, then it will prompt you with "#BucketName# may be used by Amazon for log delivery. Are you sure you want to delete it?
    You can click on Yes or No.
  • If the specified Bucket has versions, the message "You are trying to delete a bucket which contains versions. You must delete all versions in the Bucket before deleting the bucket." will appear.
    With that, you have to delete all the versions from the specified Bucket that you are trying to delete.
  • If bucket is empty, it will be deleted.
  • If Bucket contains only S3 object(s) and not the versions, it will warn you with the message "Do you want to delete all files in bucket #BucketName#" which has two options-
    1. Move to trash.
    2. Don't delete.
    Click on "Move to trash" button to delete the existing S3 Objects and then S3 Bucket.