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How to download files from S3 bucket (Update 2023)

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Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is a widely used cloud storage service that offers scalable, reliable, and secure storage for various types of data. S3 allows users to store and retrieve files, making it a popular choice for storing and managing large volumes of data, including images, videos, backups, and more. In this article, we will walk you through the process of downloading files from an Amazon S3 bucket using various methods.


Before you begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Account: You'll need an AWS account to access and manage S3 buckets.
  2. AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) (Optional): While you can interact with S3 using the AWS Management Console, using the AWS CLI can streamline the process.

Method 1: Using the AWS Management Console

Login to AWS Management Console:

Navigate to S3: Once logged in, navigate to the "S3" service from the console.

Locate the File: Select the S3 bucket containing the file you want to download.

Select and Download:

  • Navigate to the file's location within the bucket.
  • Select the file by clicking on it.
  • Click the "Download" button from the top menu.
  • The file will be downloaded to your local machine.

Method 2: Using the AWS CLI

  1. Install AWS CLI (if not already installed): Follow the official installation guide for your operating system.
  2. Configure AWS CLI:
  • Open a terminal or command prompt.
  • Run aws configure and provide your AWS Access Key ID, Secret Access Key, region, and preferred output format.
  1. Download File using AWS CLI:
  • Use the following command to download a file from an S3 bucket:

    aws s3 cp s3://bucket-name/file-path local-file-path

    To download files under specific folder, use the following command:

    aws s3 cp s3://bucket-name/folder-path local-folder-path --recursive
    # or use command with the --recursive flag
    aws s3 sync s3://bucket-name/folder-path local-folder-path

    Replace bucket-name with your bucket's name, file-path with the object's path within the bucket, and local-file-path with the desired local destination for the file.

Method 3: Using AWS SDKs

  1. Choose a Programming Language:
  • AWS provides SDKs for various programming languages, such as Python, Java, Node.js, and more.
  1. Install and Configure SDK:
  • Install the appropriate SDK for your chosen programming language.
  • Configure the SDK with your AWS credentials.
  1. Download File using SDK: Use the SDK's functions to connect to your S3 bucket and download the desired file.

Below is an example how to use python boto3 to download file from S3 bucket:

import boto3

def download_file_from_s3(bucket_name, file_name):
    s3 = boto3.client('s3')

        s3.download_file(bucket_name, file_name, file_name)
        print(f"File '{file_name}' downloaded successfully from '{bucket_name}'")
    except Exception as e:
        print(f"Error downloading file: {e}")

# Replace with your actual bucket name and file name
bucket_name = 'your-bucket-name'
file_name = 'techvuehub.txt'

download_file_from_s3(bucket_name, file_name)

If you want to download all the files under specific folder e.g. techvuehub-folder, you can use this script:

import boto3
import os

def download_folder_from_s3(bucket_name, folder_name, local_path):
    s3 = boto3.client('s3')

        response = s3.list_objects_v2(Bucket=bucket_name, Prefix=folder_name)
        for obj in response.get('Contents', []):
            file_name = obj['Key']
            local_file_path = os.path.join(local_path, os.path.basename(file_name))
            s3.download_file(bucket_name, file_name, local_file_path)
            print(f"File '{file_name}' downloaded to '{local_file_path}'")
    except Exception as e:
        print(f"Error downloading folder: {e}")

# Replace with your actual bucket name, folder name, and local path
bucket_name = 'your-bucket-name'
folder_name = 'techvuehub-folder/'
local_path = './downloaded-files/'

if not os.path.exists(local_path):

download_folder_from_s3(bucket_name, folder_name, local_path)

Security Considerations

When working with S3 buckets and files, it's important to follow best practices for security:

  • Access Control: Ensure that your S3 bucket and files have the appropriate access permissions. Avoid making files public unless necessary.

  • Encryption: Consider enabling server-side encryption for your files in transit and at rest to enhance data security.

  • Authentication: Use secure methods to store and manage your AWS credentials, such as using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles.

    Here's an example of an IAM policy that grants read access to a specific folder and its contents within an S3 bucket:

        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
                "Sid": "AllowSpecificFolderAccess",
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                "Resource": [

    This policy grants permissions to GetObject (download files) and ListBucket (list objects within the bucket) actions for the specified bucket and folder path.


Downloading files from an Amazon S3 bucket can be done using various methods, including the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, and AWS SDKs. Choose the method that best suits your workflow and familiarity with AWS services. Always prioritize security by following AWS best practices for access control and encryption.