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Amazon S3 - Set Private Access on Bucket with PUT Bucket ACL

Amazon S3 Access Control List (ACL) lets you define permissions on S3 Buckets and S3 Objects , independent of each other. If you give a READ permission to the Bucket, the Object(s) contained in the Bucket do not become publicly readable automatically. You will need to grant permissions on Objects explicitly.

You can give public access to the S3 Bucket by giving permissions to "All Users Group". To provide Private Access, you can grant access to an AWS Account using email address or canonical user id. There are four types of permissions namely: READ, WRITE, READ_ACP, WRITE_ACP and FULL_CONTROL. These apply different permissions when set in context of Objects v/s Buckets. You can assign private access to an S3 Bucket by sending an HTTP PUT Request with acl subresource.

You can send PUT Request in two ways:

  1. Grant Private Access on Amazon S3 Bucket using S3 API PUT Bucket ACL - If you are a programmer, you can write a program to use Amazon S3 REST API PUT Bucket ACL to grant private access on an Bucket. You can read more on AWS Documentation for SOAP APIs.
  2. Grant Private Access on Amazon S3 Bucket using Bucket Explorer - If you do not want to program or write code, you can use Bucket Explorer user interface to grant private access to an S3 Bucket.

1. Set Private Access to S3 Bucket using Amazon S3 API

You can set Private Access to Amazon S3 Bucket using PUT Bucket ACL Request. With PUT request, you need to specify Permission (ACL) on the existing Bucket. To authenticate the request, you must have WRITE_ACP permission. You don’t need to have any request parameter in the request.
You can either "Specify the ACL in the request body" or "Specify permissions using request headers". To set Private ACL on a Bucket, you can use x-amz-acl header in addition to common Request headers if specifying permissions using Request Headers. You cannot use both the body and the request header to specify access permission on the Bucket. To make Bucket private, you only need to pass Owner with Full Control ACL Permission in ACL Policy and all other groups will not have any permission.


PUT /?acl HTTP/1.1
Host: BucketName
Date: date
Authorization: signatureValue

<ID> ID </ID>
<DisplayName> EmailAddress </DisplayName>
<Grantee xmlns:xsi="" xsi:type="CanonicalUser">

2. Set Private Access on S3 Bucket using Bucket Explorer

While the "PUT Bucket ACL" API of AWS allows you to "Set Private" Bucket permission by writing code, Bucket Explorer lets you do that without writing even a single line of code.

Steps to Update Amazon S3 Access Control for Bucket:

  1. Select a particular Bucket.
  2. Right click on the selected Bucket and select Update Bucket’s Access Control List option.
  3. You will get a form showing current ACLs of that Bucket.
  4. These ACLs are shown in Table and the table contains 4 rows for Bucket (Owner, Authenticated Users, All Users, and Log Delivery). Rows could be more than the specified number.
  5. You can make Buckets private by clicking on " Make Private " button.
  6. You can change ACLs as per your requirement by simply checking or un-checking the checkbox.
  7. Click on Update ACL button to apply the settings.