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Amazon S3 - Listing Object Keys (List Objects using GET Bucket)

In Amazon S3 there are two terms, which are most commonly used, Bucket and Object . Each S3 Object (File stored on Amazon S3) has a unique feid Object Key name, which identifies that Object on S3.

Bucket is a container, in which, numbers of objects can be stored. All S3 Objects are stored at root level of S3 Bucket, which means there is no concept of Folder structure in S3 for organizing your files under different categories. You can still organize your S3 Objects by naming them in such a manner that multiple Objects (Files) contain common prefixes and forward slashes in their file names. The common prefix in the S3 Objects' name can be treated as the S3 Folder name that contains that (and other S3 Objects which have that same common prefix in their names) Object.

When you use Bucket Explorer to list your Objects, you can see your S3 files organized within Folders on the UI.

List Files and Folders (Objects) stored in Amazon S3 Bucket by sending Http GET Request to Amazon S3 Server

To list all of your files and folders that you have stored in an Amazon S3 Bucket, you can send Http GET Request to Amazon S3 Server, in one of the following two ways:

a) List Objects using Amazon S3 REST or SOAP APIs - If you are a programmer, you can write your own software program to list objects in a Bucket using Amazon S3 REST or SOAP APIs. In this documentation, we will only describe REST API GET Bucket. You can refer to AWS documentation if you want to use SOAP.

b) List Objects stored in a Bucket using Bucket Explorer - If you do not want to write code, you can use Bucket Explorer to list the files and folders (Objects) by simply clicking on the Bucket.

The following sections describe how you can list Objects in a Bucket using the two options listed above:

a) List Objects using Amazon S3 REST API GET Bucket

To List all the objects in the AWS Bucket, you will need to request GET. For that, you need to include parameters in the request body and common Request headers. AWS allows you to list some or all (up to 1000) existing objects in a bucket, however, you can specify parameters as your selection criteria, to return a subset of the files and folders stored in the bucket.


GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: < your bucketname >
Date: currentdate
Authorization: signatureValue

b) List Objects using Bucket Explorer

While the "GET Bucket" API of AWS allows you to get some or all (up to 1000) existing objects in a bucket by writing code, Bucket Explorer with REST API lets you do that on the user interface, with mouse clicks.

Listing Objects

Bucket Explorer not only allows you to get the existing objects in a Bucket, but it also allows you to view the object list for the selected Bucket in two formats:

  • Folder View

    By default, object listing shown is in Folder View and it lists the Objects similar to local file system.

  • Show Full Path

    This will list all the Objects at root level instead of a hierarchy. Since we do not have folder structure at Amazon, "Show Full Path" will list the Object with their full path without showing the folder structure.

To list the Objects in Full Path, follow the steps below:

  1. Run Bucket Explorer.
  2. Select any Bucket from Bucket listing.
  3. It will list the Object in Object table.
  4. By default, the Object listing is in "Folder View". To change it to "Show Full Path" format, click on "Show Full Path" button at the top right corner of object table window.
  5. You can add prefix or leave empty this field (if rule want to apply for the bucket)Bucket Explorer first checks if a bucket policy request has already been set on the bucket. If any policy is set, then this panel will show with the bucket policy.
  6. It will now display the Objects in Full Path format.

Refresh File listing:

This option is used to refresh the listing of objects in a selected bucket.

Refresh Object list

If you want to refresh Amazon S3 Object Listing, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on "Refresh" icon on the Object toolbar.
  2. It reloads the list of Amazon S3 Objects in Object table.