Last September, I uploaded about 7GB of data into Amazon Glacier.

I have had a catastrophic data loss and now need to get only a few files from the Vault.

I have retrieved the Vault inventory but all I see are encrypted file names like this:

Filename:   <ArchiveMetadata><Path>TXkgRG9jdW1lbnRzL0FwcGxpY2F0aW9uIGRhdGEvU2t5cGUvc2hhcmVkLnhtbA==</Path><LastModified>Mon, 30 Jul 2007 20:49:07 GMT</LastModified></ArchiveMetadata>
Size:       29 KB
Uploaded:   09/02/12 08:28:35 (24 weeks ago)
Ready for download: no
Requested for download: no
Id: 1uRJ2P5xdwzhQZkBx9_4o46WYexha12nRtLPY5pj7Br9vaGoC8XGGPhrBpBUnVQg3y32vuANAc4Cuq41RcbzltArXPz9DoOh-IL1PFxcWdK8GEAWTePhUX_jQeJ9DPzRVjfFKc_N-Q

How do I tell which files are which? Do I have to download the entire Vault to see?

  • Although it doesn't actually help you right now, the old adage to never use version 1.0 of anything seems to apply here. Once the early adopters have triggered all the booby-traps in Glacier I'll feel much more comfortable using it. I do hope you manage to figure this one out and post an answer to your question. If it helps motivate you to come back and post an answer, I promise to upvote both when you do.
    – Ladadadada
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 21:53
  • 1
    That looks like FastGlacier's metadata format. If you use it, you should be able to see the actual filenames.
    – Casey Chu
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


It looks as if your files were uploaded using FastGlacier. If so, the simplest approach is to install FastGlacier on another machine, point it at your vault, and request a new inventory. In 4-5 hours it will receive the inventory, decode the filenames, and make them available to you.

The FastGlacier documentation indicates that the filename is encoded as UTF-8 and then encoded as base-64. Presumably this is because Amazon Glacier is picky about the kinds of characters that are allowed in the 'description' metadata field, and filenames can contain arbitrary Unicode characters which Amazon would reject.

In the case you give above, the path is


and while this looks like it's encrypted, in fact it is just encoded and can be decoded to

My Documents/Application data/Skype/shared.xml

using any base-64 decoder.

  • Thank you kindly, Dave; I successfully retrieved my repository with Fast Glacier 2.1.6
    – iokevins
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 16:51

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