Is it possible to recover a file I deleted from my S3 bucket?


According to the Amazon S3 Documentation:

Once deleted, there is no method to restore or undelete an object.

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  • It's unfortunate S3 doesn't support snapshots. – churnd Mar 24 '10 at 11:40
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    To give hope to some people, nowadays you can undelete files if your bucket has versioning enabled. – jweyrich Jun 14 '17 at 15:37
  • how dammit....? – scytale Dec 4 '18 at 21:41

If you have versioning enable, yes you can! On a versioned bucket, a delete action on a file does not really delete it but it adds a version with a "Delete Marker". You can delete the delete marker with the AWS CLI:

aws s3api delete-object --bucket yourbucket-name --key "yourfile" --version-id id_of_the_delete_marker

You can get all the files in the bucket with

aws --output text s3api list-object-versions --bucket yourbucket-name > files.txt

If you want to undelete all the files in the bucket you can try:

echo '#!/bin/bash' > undeleteScript.sh && aws --output text s3api list-object-versions --bucket yourbucket-name | grep -E "^DELETEMARKERS" | awk '{FS = "[\t]+"; print "aws s3api delete-object --bucket yourbucket-name --key \42"$3"\42 --version-id "$5";"}' >> undeleteScript.sh && . undeleteScript.sh; rm -f undeleteScript.sh;
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  • I appreciate this answer! Worked flawlessly. – tacotuesday Jan 4 '16 at 22:11
  • dude! your undelete all files script just saved my life. thank you. – herostwist Mar 16 '16 at 11:39
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    For the script above you need to add a --output=text if you want it to work. He's assuming you are outputting your AWS command via a .txt file and not .JSON file. – Brad Allison Aug 9 '17 at 19:51
  • I've tried the script but it doesn't restore the object, it deletes it permanently! May it be becuase I'm not the owner of the bucket? – nicola Jul 30 '18 at 10:34
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    Why is this not the accepted answer? @vonhogen please reconsider your choice :) – Janaka Bandara Sep 18 '18 at 4:05

Just updating this question as I was looking for the answer:

You can add VERSIONING to S3 buckets now. This will cause S3 to keep versions of an object even after deletion. Full documentation: http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/Versioning.html

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  • Is it possible to retrieve a deleted file over AWS Console? Can't find a way to do that. – Rafael Oliveira Jan 30 '14 at 22:25

You can now list object versions using the AWS console: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/UG/managing-objects-versioned-bucket.html

If you have the right permissions, then you could delete the delete marker (the latest version of a deleted object) and the result would be that the object is available again.

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