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CloudFront - Update Default Root Object

You can define a Default root object, which is an S3 Object key name (S3 File name), for your AWS CLoudFront Distribution . When a user makes a request to your distribution without having a specific object name in URL, your distribution will return the default root object in response as a home/default page for your website. You can update a default root object of created CloudFront distribution.
You can update Default Root Object by sending the PUT Distribution Config Request either using AWS CloudFront PUT Distribution Config REST API OR using Bucket Explorer User Interface. To use AWS CloudFront REST API, you can write your own software program, however, if you do not want to write your program, you can use Bucket Explorer User Interface to update Default Root Object using mouse clicks.
The below two sections describe how you can update Default Root Object using the PUT Distribution Config request in your code or using Bucket Explorer.

Update Default Root Object Using PUT Distribution Config REST API

Steps to be followed to update CloudFront default root object -
  • Submit a GET Distribution Config request to get the information of the selected distribution.
  • Make an update in the XML document that was returned in the response to GET Distribution Config request with the changes in default root.
  • Next, create PUT Distribution Config request to update the distribution.

Syntax: GET Distribution Config Request

GET /2013-05-12/distribution/ distribution ID /config HTTP/1.1
Authorization: AWS authentication string
Date: time stamp
Other required headers

Syntax: PUT Distribution Config Request

PUT /2013-05-12/distribution/ distribution ID /config HTTP/1.1
If-Match: value from ETag header in previous GET response
Authorization: AWS authentication string
Other required headers
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<DistributionConfig xmlns="">
<DefaultRootObject> URL for default root object </DefaultRootObject>

Update Default Root Object using Bucket Explorer

  1. Start Bucket Explorer and connect with your Amazon S3 Account.
  2. Choose "Distribution -> List Distribution" icon in Bucket table toolbar or right click on any bucket and click on "Manage Distribution" option.
  3. Select a particular distribution from the list to be updated and make sure this distribution type is NOT STREAMING and click on "Update" button in the toolbar.
  4. It will open a General Distribution Details window where you can add/update information about CNAME, price class, comment, logging and other options.
  5. You will find a text box labeled "Default Root Object" .
  6. To make an update in default root, enter the new S3 object name in the text box for "Default Root Object".
  7. Click on Next and you will get a window - Origin Details and Cache Behavior Details to make any updates in them.
  8. And finally click on "Update" button.
  9. Click on refresh button and check Status column. Wait until distribution is deployed.
  10. Copy the Domain Name by right clicking on the recently deployed distribution.
  11. Now open your browser, copy "URL" having only the domain name in the address bar. E.g.
  12. Your browser will now open the default updated object you specified for this distribution.