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

Any type of file uploaded on Amazon S3, will be treated as an S3 Object . 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 will not be publicly readable. You will need to grant permissions on Objects explicitly. You can give public access to the object 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 Object by sending an HTTP PUT Request with acl subresource. You can send PUT Request in two ways:

  1. Grant Private Access on Amazon S3 Object using S3 API PUT Object ACL - If you are a programmer, you can write a program to use Amazon S3 REST API PUT Object ACL to grant private access on an Object. You can read more on AWS Documentation for SOAP APIs.
  2. Grant Private Access on Amazon S3 Object 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 Object.

Private Access on Amazon S3 Object using Amazon S3 API PUT Object ACL

You can send a PUT request (PUT Object ACL) with acl subresource to grant private access on S3 Object. You will need to specify Permission (ACL) on the object that exists in the Bucket. To authenticate the request, you must have WRITE_ACP permission. You need to either use the request body or the headers. For the headers, you can choose to “Specify canned ACL” or “ Specify the permission for each grantee explicitly”. You can use x-amz-acl in addition to Common request headers.


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

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


Private Access on Amazon S3 Object using Bucket Explorer

While the “PUT Object” API of AWS allows you to set Private Object permission by writing code, Bucket Explorer lets you do that easily and without the hassle of writing any code, using its user interface.

Steps to Update Amazon S3 Access Control for Object:

  1. Select a particular Object/File.
  2. Right click on the selected Object/File and choose Update File’s Access Control List option.
  3. You will get a form showing the current ACLs of that File.
  4. These ACLs are shown in Table and that table contains at least 3 rows for object (Owner, Authenticated Users and All Users). Row could be more than the specified number.
  5. You can make S3 Files private by clicking on Make Private button ( private ACL setting is set by default ).
    Give permission manually by checking on the checkbox of Owner - Full Control and Uncheck all remaining row’s checkboxes.